Stop the addictive habit – replace it with an inspiring one | 2021
Other than substance abuse, what is the most destructive habit or addiction?
I would argue that since mid-2015, the biggest devastating addiction habit for many Americans has been tracking the national political news.
And I’m not casually talking about the word addiction. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine:
“Addiction is characterized by an inability to constantly abstain[from a substance]impaired behavioral control, cravings, impaired recognition of significant problems in one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and ineffective emotional response.”
Are you addicted to national political news?
Here are some telltale signs:
If you don’t read, listen or watch some political news every day, you feel anxious and deprived.
Political news grabs your immediate attention and it’s hard to get away from you.
You can spend hours reading, listening to or watching political news, even if there is a lot of repetition.
Your participation in political news takes you away from life’s most productive and rewarding activities (not to mention getting ahead with your business and marketing).
You can find many thoughtful articles about political news addiction on the internet, just Google: “political news addiction” and read some of them.
Here’s my view, and it’s a very personal one.
As a political news junkie for the past three years, I’ve seen the costs, and I’d like to share with you what I’m doing to combat this addiction — and how I’m replacing it with something more inspiring.
Step 1. My first step about two years ago was to cut out my cable TV subscription. I watched up to three hours of political news programming every evening. It has become toxic.
It has replaced cable TV with subscriptions to Amazon Prime, Netflix, Acorn, and CBS All-Access. My wife and I now watch high quality programming on our schedule with no commercials and free from political shows. (Yes, even this is a little addictive, but it’s much less toxic.)
It can be hard to ditch CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc., but within a week or two you will notice a huge difference in your well-being.
Step Two: Perhaps more subtle is the dominance of political news on the Internet. On my iPad, I had bookmarks to 12 different political websites, and I’d scroll through them daily, reading the latest articles—sometimes for hours on end.
In the end, this wasn’t much better than watching TV. I would often read several articles before I started working each morning. What a frustrating, and what a great way to suppress my creativity and productivity. It’s really starting to show up.
With the help of a coach, I chose a new online activity to replace reading political news articles.
It was a simple and easy switch, actually. I’ve replaced all my political bookmarks with links to articles and information that inspire and uplift me and help me feel more creative and productive.
Of course, there are countless sources for material like this on the Internet, but I have two that I find a particularly effective antidote to political news addiction.
Medium.com For me, Medium is the best place for articles of general interest, with lots of great ideas on personal and business growth.
My current favorite medium writer is James Clear Who writes about: “… topics such as health, happiness, creativity, productivity, success and more. The central question that drives my work is, ‘How can we live better?’” To answer this question, I would like to write about science-based methods for solving practical problems.
In my estimation, his articles are very insightful and always leave me thinking of new and exciting possibilities.
Right now, my main alternative to checking the political headlines every morning is to read an article or two from James Clear — even before I wake up. Before long, my brain clicked into “creative productivity mode” and my day took on a more positive and energetic shape.
If James Clear, doesn’t float on your boat, just use the search function on Medium to find articles on any topic under the sun. Just avoid the political! (However, even on this topic, you will find more interesting and thought-provoking articles than most news sites.)
This definitely rings out, “Oh, crap, what are they doing now, we’re all screwed!” The mindset generated from reading political articles tends to suppress creativity and productivity.
Another great source of inspiration Ted Talk Videos. Most are less than 20 minutes; All are thought-provoking, and many are inspiring enough to spark new ideas and possibilities. You may start with 25 All-Time Most popular TED Talks.
The political news addiction is real. And if you have it, it hurts you in some way, either subtle or overt. The best way to change an addictive habit is to replace it with a positive one. I urge you to try this approach honestly.
The inspiration for writing this article came from an article by James Clear I read this morning about how to change a bad habit. Thanks James!