There are moments when we require entertainment and enjoyment, but these moments shouldn’t turn into compulsions or signs of weakness.
Anything we grow addicted to, will become a problem in our lives because it impairs our ability to think clearly, degrades our sense of morality, and makes it difficult for us to set the proper priorities. It has a negative impact on our emotional, psychological, and spiritual levels, generating a downward movement in all aspects of our lives.
I’ve witnessed a number of people using their phones at all hours of the day and night, even right after getting out of bed, while crossing the street, while using the restroom, when their family or friends are seated next to them, and while dining. Even while visiting serene, gorgeous locations like Alaska, the Himalayas, or Goa, their heads are constantly buried in their small devices, ignorant to the true beauty around them.
Even if they only have a little period of time in traffic, they pick up their phones and stare at them as if it were their last opportunity to use them. Of course, there is nothing more vital or urgent than eating, talking to their spouse, parents, or kids, or properly operating their vehicle at that time, but they are so dependent on it that they pick up their phone aimlessly and begin unintentionally browsing at it.
They forfeit the opportunity to fully experience the rich and authentic present moment as a result. They pass up the opportunity to notice the delicate, lovely details all around them, such as the discussions of their family members, the sounds of birds, the flavour of each piece of food, and many other things. Due to these addictions, people unintentionally suffer from a number of losses over time, such as mental unease, memory loss, lack of focus, attentiveness, mood swings, rage, despair, overthinking, dullness, and boredom.
How much progress have we made individually as a result of our phone use over the previous week should be a simple question we ask ourselves. How well can we recall our recent smartphone activity? In truth, we don’t remember what we did, and it doesn’t really make a difference in how successfully we live our lives.
“Addiction is a disease of isolation, which feeds on shame and guilt,”
– Tommy Rosen
One of my closest pals was extremely disciplined and prompt. In my class, he was the topper. However, after finishing his engineering, he became so attracted to music and movies that he watched practically every movie and wore earbuds all the time, listening to music and songs. Over the months after his addiction, he began to get the sensation that something was always going through his mind, such as something calling, something playing, and so on. To escape from such experiences, he began to occupy himself more and more by watching movies, drinking, riding, smoking, listening to music and other entertainments. But rather than escaping, he became more and more entangled in such KARMA. He began unintentionally imitating the characters in the film by living out those movie scenarios in real life.
He became afraid of such events and became concerned. Unaware of the negative consequences, he becomes trapped on these nets and becomes severely entangled. His decline began here, and he sought the advice of numerous doctors. He had numerous mental and physical health issues.
He finds it difficult to get a restful night’s sleep now that his thoughts is so jumbled. He is completely under the control of his social anxiety, overthinking, lack of confidence, poor willpower, and feeble body.
Any addiction, whether to a phone, drink, or entertainment, is bad for us and results in far larger harm from which recovery takes years.
Addictions drain us. They may feel good at first, but the long-term consequences are lethal. When we lose ourselves to something, we will undoubtedly lose our happiness and peace. People who do not open their minds to the possibility of breaking free from such addictions will definitely suffer severely. They are like add-ons to your life’s issues because everyone’s life has some obstacles, but addictions add a few more.
The “middle path” should always be chosen, according to Buddha. If you enjoy entertainment, parties, junk food, etc., treat yourself to them sometimes, perhaps once a month. Such self-discipline helps you gain a strong sense of control and independence as well as a strong sense of willpower and mental fortitude. Your appeal, confidence, strength, and level of inner calmness all rise when you embrace such a lifestyle.
To a certain extent, it is permissible to use anything for our benefit, but it shouldn’t be our weakness. Life, relationships, and time are the most valuable things we have. Therefore, it is crucial that we make an effort to live more frugally, joyfully, and healthily.
Here are some ideas for leading a healthy, happy life that everyone may access, not just those who battle addictions.
- Dinacharya: A daily routine is absolutely necessary to establish one’s overall health by bringing radical changes in body, mind, and consciousness. It also helps one’s digestion, absorption, and assimilation, and generates self-worth, discipline, calm, happiness, and longevity. It also helps one’s biological clock run smoothly. Your daily routine includes knowing when to wake up, how and when to cleanse your body, such as through Neti and oil pulling, introducing abhyanga/body massage, knowing when to eat and what to eat, knowing when to sleep, and many other things. Start out small and gradually add more effective practices to your dinacharya as you gain experience and expertise.
- Sadhana: The addict in us wants to remain alone and in the dark, but spiritual activities like Japa, Pranayama, Dhyana, Pooja, Satsang, and many other practices light a path for us. The absence of light makes the darkness impossible to endure. For many people, understanding the importance of spirituality and how it can aid in treating numerous ailments and addictions may be essential.Long ago, a distinct relative of mine got throat cancer. He developed the habit of reciting the Gayatri mantra and chanting Omkara for many minutes every morning, afternoon, evening, and night before going to sleep while receiving therapy. He claimed that these techniques greatly aided in his speedy recovery from the condition.
- Distract yourself: Come up with alternatives to use to keep yourself occupied while the need lasts, such as going for a walk, calling a friend or family member, drawing something with a pencil, driving a distance, making some tea, or preparing a meal. It is meant to deflect attention from obsessive thought patterns, for a short period of time.
- Finding PurposeWhen someone has a clear purpose in life, they seem to be less likely to fall into the addiction trap. In contrast, many people who have conquered addiction experience a sense of loss and a lack of meaning in their lives. Since these people are unsure of their ability to discover direction on their own, it is wiser to look for help through spirituality.
Spirituality encourages people to focus beyond themselves and step out of their comfort zone to help others. These practices often help people find ways to feel useful, important, and respected. From that sense of purpose and value comes higher self-esteem and confidence.
The transformation of Ratnakara into Maharshi Valmiki, a hunter who transformed and wrote the magnificent adi kavya, “Ramayana”, is the best example of how spirituality may help someone find their purpose.
- Journaling: Writing out your thoughts and feelings can feel empowering and freeing. Maintaining a journal is essential for promoting healing. Through this process, you are allowed to share your joys, disappointments, challenges, and frustrations. Most significantly, there is no pressure because no one is examining your stories or passing judgment on you.