We all know how harmful cigarettes are, but there are people who still smoke. Some claim that cigarettes calm them down, others claim that they find it difficult to leave cigarettes, and most leave cigarettes tomorrow.
Although nicotine is physically addictive, we are more dependent on serotonin and dopamine, the so-called happiness hormone that is secreted after we receive a dose of nicotine.
For some strange reason, every time we bring in nicotine, our body releases the hormones of happiness that come as a reward for our behavior, which is why smokers feel calm after they light a cigarette and breathe in thE smoke.
It is in our nature to repeat the behavior that is rewarded, and especially when it is rewarded with that strong hormonal stimulus.
The body cleanses itself of nicotine for about three weeks and the physical dependence of that moment ceases, but the psychological dependence caused by the hormones of happiness remains much longer, which is why we continue to do things that we know are bad for us.
The same is the case with alcohol, drugs, sugar, gambling, social media …
Although the latter are not physically consumed, when we learn that someone likes our post, that we are socially accepted, we release dopamine and feel good temporarily; for this reason we will always go check out what’s new on Facebook before we start work or after we wake up.
Similarly, people do not gamble to get rich but to experience that adrenaline and dopamine stroke when they get it. When we get something at stake, we generally give everything back to the casino owners quickly because we want more excitement and not more money.
The problem is when we spend a lot more time on Facebook than we would like; when we drink much more alcohol than we would like, or when we eat much more sugar than we would like, and when we cannot restrain ourselves during any of the harmful actions.
The longer we abstain from the harmful actions that cause addiction, the greater our desire.
Most people fail to get rid of their addictions because they think:
One candy won’t kill me …
The same goes for one glass of cola, one cigarette, one glass of drink, 5 minutes on social media, one bet, or one fix of any other drugs.
I do not think that we should live under a glass bell and take away all the pleasures because they are in some way harmful to us, but we should very well choose which of the bad habits we will keep and we must know from them that we are able to keep it under control.
For example, I quit smoking more than ten years ago, I drink alcohol only during festive occasions.
I use social media in moderation and under strictly controlled circumstances; I don’t have any apps on my phone; I my social media accounts I only share my blog posts. I try to communicate my ideas through them; I sometimes post a photo on instagram, but I follow very few people because I know how to get carried away and spend hours flipping through colorful photos.
It is much easier to get rid of addiction when you understand how the whole mechanism works; when you know you have no need for tobacco or sugar or whatever, but for serotonin and dopamine.
There are so many other ways to secrete happiness hormones that are not a little harmful; moreover, they are useful and can very easily serve as a substitute for the harmful ones.
Visit friends, walk, go fishing, go karaoke (I recently discovered this as a kind of therapy), exercise, pat your cat, read a book, …
Find out for yourself what makes you happy and evaluate whether it is harmful to you or not.ž