The 12 Thrive Days of Christmas -11- Habits and Addictions

A series of 12 brief articles, published daily from 25th December to 5th January (The traditional 12 days of Christmas.  Today – Habits and Addictions.

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What’s the difference?

Many of us are in the habit of behaving in a certain way.  “I am in the habit of going to bed early”, or  “I am in the habit of going running twice a week”.  Neither of these habits are likely to cause us a problem but, should they start to take over it’s another matter.

Problems would certainly arise if you amended this to, say, “I spend all of my free time running”.  The message is that most things are good for us in moderation but if we allow them to take over problems will follow.

There are, however, much more serious matters, such as smoking, that are often explained by claiming an addiction. Many so called addictions are nothing of the sort – they are habits that get out of hand.

habits and addictions-Thrive with IanOr are they just habits ?


Why can’t I stop then?

One of the biggest hurdles you will face is your belief systems.  If we think about smoking, we all know that it is bad for our health, makes our clothes smell, and costs a fortune.  How often do we say “I’d give up but I’m addicted”

Here I will use smoking as an example but we could just as easily talk about many habits and ‘addictions’

So, back to our smokers belief that he is addicted to nicotine. There is no proven evidence that nicotine is addictive!  Yes, that’s right, despite huge volumes of research directed towards smoking, none of it provides evidence of addiction.

Given that smoking is bad for us in so many ways we must be pretty stupid to smoke!  Would you like to think of, or even describe, yourself as stupid?  I doubt it, far better to claim an addiction you can do nothing to overcome.

Every time a smoker thinks about smoking they start to crave a cigarette.  (If you think about chocolate you probably fancy some but that doesn’t make you an addict!)  They then light up and satisfy their craving, thus reinforcing their belief that they are addicted.

The Long Haul

Have you ever been on a plane?  No smoking is allowed to smoke on any aircraft or anywhere within an airport.  For international flights you have to check in at least 2 hours (longer for long haul) before take-off.  Disembarking and baggage reclaim will add a good hour or more at your destination.  A 3 hour flight will, thus, be at least a 6 hour smoke free experience.

Have you, or anybody you know, suffered withdrawal symptoms during such enforced abstinence?  Research among long haul cabin crew who are smokers has demonstrated that their cravings only start as they are close to their destination and their next smoke.

It is the awareness that they can soon smoke that has the effect, just as you mouth might start to water at the promise of a nice meal.

Habits and Addictions- Smoking- Thrive with Ian


Other ‘addictions’

Yes, physical addictions do exist, such as drugs and, to some extent, alcohol, but most of the time we are simply giving in to habit.  We may have a ‘ learned helplessness thinking style’ having tried, and failed, to modify our behaviour on a number of occasions, but, perhaps, we were just going about it in the wrong way.

Whatever you think you are addicted to : Mars Bars, Pepsi, McDonalds, Sugar, Biting my nails, Smoking, Gaming, these are all just habits and can be overcome.

When I met my future wife, 37 years ago, I was a smoker.  I liked the look of this young lady but she was a non smoker and made it clear she didn’t like smokers.  Stopping was the only option so I did, got a date, and the rest is history.  I had a sufficiently strong reason to overcome my habit and you could do the same.

Habits and Addictions-Thrive as a Non SmokerThe Thrive Programme.

The Thrive Programme teaches you how you are maintaining your bad habits and how to amend your thinking in order to quit. There is a specific programme, ‘Thrive as a non smoker’ , fully evidenced through research, with a proven 92.5% success rate.  Imagine that – you could become a non-smoker in as little as 2 sessions.

The Thrive Programme addresses all the ways in which you develop and maintain habits and addictions and how you can simply overcome them

At this time of year resolutions are at the fore, why not let Thrive With Ian help with yours.

Tomorrow we will look at The Thrive Programme as a whole and how Thrive With Ian can help you.  I will also be announcing some limited New Year offers so be sure to catch tomorrows article.

Ian Crosswell – Thrive With Ian


I’m Ian and I’m a qualified Thrive Programme Consultant. Using the professionally developed Thrive Programme – a proven, evidence based, positive psychology training programme – I work with people from all walks of life, providing the insights and skills they need to change their lives for the better.

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