Are You in Control of Your Vices?
I’ve got to be honest with you, it’s been 5 days since I’ve had any caffeine, alcohol, or sugar and I’m feeling a little irritable today, truth be told. Twice a year I work with a nutritionist and I give up all my vices for a little while because not only is it incredibly healthy for my body physically, but it also reassures me that I am still in control of my vices and they are not controlling me. It’s all about moderation, right? I wanted to talk to you today about what to do when you notice that your own consumption of alcohol, pot, or even unhealthy foods has become excessive. In most of those situations, there’s usually some underlying stress, unhappiness, or even emotional pain that is contributing to us engaging in excess. In our profession we see a really high correlation between people who are feeling depressed and anxious, and people who engage in excess for long periods of time. That makes a lot of sense because we all know that those vices help us numb out from the painful things in life, and they also help us reach those higher levels of trying to feel good/buzzed temporarily, so it makes sense. However, if any of your vices feel like they’ve been getting a little bit out of hand lately, now is a really great time to check in with you. Ask yourself, “How am I doing?” “What really is going on with my life that is contributing to this?”
How Does Consumption Affect Our Relationships?
It’s also really important for you to know that your consumption plays a role in your intimate relationship. We know that when a relationship is really stable and a couple is feeling connected, they’re most likely to feel emotionally high. They’re going to be happy, fulfilled, and optimistic. However, when a relationship is really struggling and a couple is feeling distant and misunderstood or having a lot of conflict, those individuals are most likely to feel emotionally low. They’re going to be stressed out, frustrated, maybe even worried about the future, or pessimistic about how things are trending between them and their partner. Therefore, pulling in a vice and drinking or smoking to excess becomes a really easy crutch and a very common crutch to pull into a relationship that’s struggling. One of the big problems with that is, when we’re buzzed we are checking out on life. Of course doing that on occasion is not a problem, but doing that with high frequency usually just makes matters at home that much worse. So, if you are wondering whether or not you want to shift your consumption with your vices now is a great time to really pull back. Get very clear and intentional on how much you’ll consume, when you will consume it, when you won’t consume it. Create your own rules about moderation, and then force yourself to follow them. That allows you to spend more time and more energy being present to what’s going on in your life. Even though that may not be fun or comfortable right now, you do need to be present in order to be proactive about addressing those things and learning how to remedy what’s not working for you.