We humans will do anything to avoid feeling a certain way.
We will drink, smoke, and eat certain things (that we know we shouldn’t) to help us avoid negative feelings. For example, you’ll temporarily feel better when you have the ‘junk food’, the cigarette, the booze, the biting of nails (my forte).
But that would be an incorrect assumption/correlation. The first sip, the first bite, the first drag. They don’t work that quick, from a biochemical standpoint.
What you are actually doing is changing your state, distracting yourself from a busy mind. The interpreted thoughts which turn into feelings of worry, all fall away. Your mind begins to quieten. The concerns and stressors subside. There is calm.
It’s not the vice! It’s the environment and ritual that lead to a change of state. Like Pavlov’s dogs.
You return home after a day’s work, open a bottle, recline in your chair and take a sip.
You leave your work go to your smoking area, fire up the cigarette, and take a puff.
Return home, take from your cupboard the chocolate bar, and have that first bite.
This ritual you repeat for years and years. And over time you make the erroneous assumption that it is the booze, cigarette, junk food you need.
You become dependant on that thing because you’ve incorrectly assumed that is the vice that is causing the relaxation.
The reality is you could substitute that acute vice for something that’s not long-term detrimental. This would positively impact your health and wellbeing in a big way.
A non-alcoholic drink, a vape, a less energy-dense / higher nutritional value food
Working these substitutes into your ritual will cause a massive shift. You can expect extended life expectancy, a better quality of living, plus changes to your weight and physique