Beliefnet
Beyond Blue

On a lighter note, this article (click here for the full Q and A) was somewhat intriguing for a person like myself with both soft and hard (light and heavy, round and square) addictions. Judith Wright, co-founder of the Wright Institute for Lifelong Learning in Chicago, explains how to recognize and overcome soft addictions like too much TV, shopping, surfing the Net (not Beyond Blue though), or gossiping.
Following are some samples of soft addictions, what underlying hunger they are trying to fill, and suggestions on how to satisfy the hunger in a more fulfilling way. (Beware: some of them ain’t going to work for the hard-core addicts. In fact, you might want to read these with a major grain of salt. They’re good to get you thinking, but I doubt they’ll bring you home.)

Soft Addiction: Watching TV
Hunger: To feel connected
Alternative: Call a friend and go out to a play
Soft Addiction: Surfing the Internet
Hunger: To learn and grow
Alternative: Go to a museum or a lecture on a subject that intrigues you
Soft Addiction: Overwork
Hunger: To matter
Alternative: List the ways you make a difference, and take pride in your contribution
Soft Addiction: Gossiping
Hunger: To connect and to belong
Alternative: Talk about yourself and the person you are with, rather than others
Soft Addiction: Name Dropping
Hunger: To be important
Alternative: Talk about what matters instead of who matters
Soft Addiction: Shopping
Hunger: To feel abundant
Alternative: “Shop” for friends, ideas, possibilities instead of stuff
Soft Addiction: Fast Food
Hunger: To be fulfilled
Alternative: Have quick treats that aren’t food
Soft Addiction: Chat Rooms
Hunger: To feel connected
Alternative: Call a friend and “chat live”

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