Facebook PixelIndulging in your addictions strictly in uncomfortable conditions as a way of keeping the spotlight on the problem
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Indulging in your addictions strictly in uncomfortable conditions as a way of keeping the spotlight on the problem

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Jun 03, 2022
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People's addictions are usually wrapped in pleasant rituals. Let's reverse this. If you can't resist, at least indulge in your addictions strictly under uncomfortable conditions.
  • Being aware of your addictions is the first step to controlling them.
  • This keeps your weaknesses in the spotlight so that you can deal with them when you're ready.
  • Indulging in your addiction in uncomfortable conditions serves as a reminder that you shouldn't do it, but are too weak to resist. At the very least you're honest about what's happening.
  • Look at it as a slow-boiling, silent protest against your weakness.
How it works
Whenever you cant resist something that you know is bad for you, go for it but do it under unpleasant conditions.
Examples for food addiction
Food should be used as sustenance, not a source of pleasure. A pleasant way to indulge might be to retreat to your special place where you can eat a bunch of comfort food while watching your favorite show.
Instead, here is how to endulge under unpleasant conditions:
  • Eat that piece of chocolate while holding a plank position.
  • Take each individual piece of food, walk with it to another room, and eat it while standing in a corner, facing the wall. repeat for the next piece.
  • What else?
Non-obvious addictions
Anything that is pleasurable is potentially addiction-forming. Normal, everyday things that are otherwise useful can be abused to the point where they are primarily used as a source of pleasure. For example: "I'm just going to check up on the news so that I can be informed about what's happening in the world". Sounds benign, right? If there is an entire ritual around it chances are the activity has been adapted to serve as a source of pleasure. So be vigilant for daily rituals. Chances are, they are wrapped around addictions.
What are some addictions and examples of how one may indulge in them under unpleasant conditions?
Creative contributions

An app that lists addictions coupled with a beneficial thing

Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Jun 07, 2022
Create an app that lists all addictions on one hand and couples them with a beneficial thing on the other. So, if you want to eat chocolate, you search "chocolate" in the app and the app gives you a list of activities that are beneficial/ healthy to you that you need to do if you want to eat chocolate. For example, "chocolate" is coupled with "eating it while doing a plank" as mentioned in the session text, "with a salad for lunch", or "only on top of a hill (that you have to climb)". Users can come up with newer and newer "addiction-beneficial couplets" that they have tried. They post it on the app with a short description and photos. Others can use it and rate and mark them as "performed". It will be a fun way of doing things that you like.
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Automatization and verification

Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković Jun 07, 2022
I think this works only if it's automated. Other than that, it's just a sheer force of will to stick to it. Which most people don't have. Or have only briefly for a few days.
So there needs to be a way of ensuring that the actions are done. Similarly to Shubhankar Kulkarni's suggestion.
It would require a big authorization given to your phone.
For instance, if you don't want to use social media or mobile video games as much, you can set the app to lock the apps until you climb a hill, cross 1,000 steps, film yourself doing a plank, or do 20 squats.
With a security lock that you can't turn off or delete the app without completing some major task, like taking 30,000 steps in a day, or climb a mountain.
But for non-tech addictions, it could introduce peer-to-peer checking, similar to sponsors in Alcoholics Anonymous. For instance, you have coffee every morning at 9 AM and at that time you are linked via a video call to another person who has the same issue and you hold each other accountable. They check whether you reading the book while drinking coffee, instead of scrolling on social media.
You can't set the video call to mute so that you don't have to be annoyed by the noise coming from the end.
Also, I think my former idea for incentivizing fat loss can be applied to addictions too. Have an app block card purchases at coffee places, video games shops, bakeries... Also marijuana in places where it is legal to buy it at shops. It would make indulging in addictions more uncomfortable as you would have to have cash on you.
I think that addictions are controlling people's lives more than anything and only a few propositions are too wild to be worth trying.
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General comments

Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
I just ate a few cookies standing in a corner, facing the wall. It took half of the joy away. It was almost not worth it.
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni2 years ago
Darko Savic Good proof-of-concept :)
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Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković2 years ago
Putting mirrors at places where you usually indulge in negative addictions is a solid reminder and can be an uncomfortable deterrent.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
Miloš Stanković this reminds me of this approach
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Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagain2 years ago
While this might be useful for 'soft' (or say socially accepted) addictions like sugar addiction, caffeine addiction, or social media addiction, this might be problematic for hard addictions like substance abuse. A lot of drugs and psychoactive substances are linked to causing paranoia, and substance-induced schizophrenia is a well-proven thing. As such, if people are motivated to use these drugs in uncomfortable settings, the situation can be problematic as it might cause elevated anxiety and other forms of mental problems.
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