The 10 Best Things To Be Addicted To

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Addiction…

It’s a buzzword that has sparked fear and loathing in our hearts for years: fears that have been propagated by Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, and the Ad Council.  This, of course, is for good reason; especially since addictions to alcohol, drugs, nicotine, and HBO carry that alluring instant gratification, but detrimental effects to our quality of life.

Lucky for us, there are ways of breaking addictions, such as rehab and smoking cessation hypnotherapy (which, actually works so well, it’s almost creepy), but we can’t just go about living life avoiding gratification altogether.  What kind of a life is that?

The best lives are lived, not by only avoiding the bad, but by chasing after the good.  Henceforth, I’ve compiled a top-10 list of the best addictions, because life is just too short to lack a couple healthy vices.

 

#10: Hobbies

“One must be serious about something, if one wants to have any amusement in life.” – Oscar Wilde

Studies have shown that if you are addicted to your hobby, then you will actually have a healthier outlook on life.  According to Eilene Zimmerman of the New York Times, having a hobby that you love will stimulate your brain, causing you to become more creative, positive, better at your job, and even have a higher self-worth.

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Whether it be toy trains, model airplanes, or antiques: just give in.

 

#9: The Arts

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso

It has been proven time and time again that creating and admiring art and music has extremely positive effects on mental health.  In fact, art has been used to uplift those of us who are going through the worst of times, as therapists often use art and music to improve the overall life-outlook of their patients with severe mental and physical health problems.

…So go ahead.  Indulge in crafting that 337-piece collage of 1970’s vinyl records on your bedroom wall.

 

#8: Volunteering

“Research has shown that people who volunteer often live longer.” – Allen Klein

In a most intriguing study that was featured in Stephanie Watson’s article in Harvard Health Publications, their findings on the health benefits of volunteer work are quite obvious: “In the Carnegie Mellon study, 200 hours of volunteering per year correlated to lower blood pressure.”  Simply put, people who volunteer are healthier and likely happier as a result.

Sometimes the addiction isn’t in the act.  The addiction can be smile on your face, knowing you made a difference.

 

#7: Home Games

“Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. Not all holes, or games, are created equal.” – George Will

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Going to your local home games can do lots of great things for your mind and body (including that delectable sauerkraut-smothered ballpark frank).  In fact, MentalHealth.org found that attending sporting events greatly improves life outlook.  Especially if you’re attending a home game, it’s a great way to interact with new people and build camaraderie with your fellow fans.

 

#6: Loud Music

“You create a community with music, not just at concerts but by talking about it with your friends.” – David Byrne

If you’re not much of a sports person, then there’s still a way to build camaraderie, relationships, and immerse yourself in the crowd of people just like you.  Going to concerts has been shown to even help with improving physical health.  Basically, you get the mental benefits of art with the social aspect of a ballgame.

Rock on, fellow addicts.  Rock on.

 

#5: Traveling

“Discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

Have you noticed many bucket lists are often composed of visiting certain destinations?  Well, it seems that the more of those destinations you check off that list, the longer you live.  According to several studies, traveling can lower risk of heart attack, “prevents dementia”, and improves mood.  Also, traveling expands awareness of other cultures, languages, and ideas.

So, don’t fret if you start getting the shakes for the open road or turquoise water.  Just start packing. It’s good for your health.

 

#4: Blogging

 “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have” – Maya Angelou

As strange as this sounds, research has shown that blogging “…improves memory and sleep, boosts immune cell activity and reduces viral load in AIDS patients, and even speeds healing after surgery,” according to Scientific American.  In addition, it also speeds up your brain, increases vocabulary, which expands knowledge, and even helps get your mind out of the fog.

Blogging is one addiction that keeps us healthy, sane, and smart. (Insert self-serving joke here.)

 

#3: Early Mornings

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” –Benjamin Franklin

According to Forbes.com, rising early carries a myriad of benefits from positive, optimistic life-outlook to better sleep to better grades.  Early mornings are even an addiction that give you time for exercise and make your morning commute much easier.

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Addiction to the morning sun not only pays dividends in improved mood and health, but it even helps you succeed in life.  The crash isn’t bad either.  That’s called bedtime.

 

#2: Chocolate

“There’s nothing better than a friend, unless it’s a friend with chocolate.” – Charles Dickens

Sure, too much of something can be detrimental to overall health, but that’s also true with things like water and sunlight.  Chocolate is also apparently one of those food phenomena that we are still studying after all these years.  The health benefits of chocolate simply go on and on… and on.  Here are just a few, according to The Huffington Post:

  • Increased intelligence
  • Better vision
  • Better circulation
  • Better mood
  • Ease coughing
  • Protects skin
  • Could fight diabetes
  • Decrease appetite
  • Better heart health
  • Decreased risk of stroke

Not to mention, it’s also used as an aphrodisiac, and it will even help with headaches.

Yes, it is possible to overdo it but this is one addiction you might not want to completely kick.  Why not tantalize your taste buds with a little every day?

 

#1: Exercise

“Exercise is labor without weariness.” – Samuel Johnson

This addiction is, rather obviously, a healthy one.  If you haven’t heard your doctor tell you to ‘eat right and exercise’ then you might want to find a new one.  However, its most interesting aspect is not the fact that exercise is healthy for you; it’s the fact that exercise really can be addicting!  How so?

Exercise releases endorphins into your brain, which have a euphoric effect and some studies have shown that it can somewhat mimic opiates.  In a strange way, it’s pretty much the healthiest drug addiction a person can have, while benefiting from a sense of pleasure and empowerment, according to FitDay.com.

It’s one addiction where the high is a reward for time and effort well spent –not to mention a longer, happier life waiting in the wings.

 

Roxana Saidi

In June 2011, Roxana became the third founding team member of The Kerry Gaynor Method. Kerry’s mission to rid the world of cigarettes was a very personal one as many of her friends and acquaintances had already quit smoking thanks to Kerry. Roxana regards her role at the company not as a position, but instead as a leader in a movement to eradicate death, suffering and illness due to cigarettes.

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