Day #15 from stress to success: Reduce the four addictors

Welcome to day #14 of the 31-day challenge: from stress to success. Today’s secret to success is:

Reduce the four addictors

Yesterday I was writing about “Do what you love doing and love what you do” and explained how this is built on what you value most. If you missed that post, I really encourage you to read it before you go into this topic. If we are doing what we love and are totally aligned with what we value most, the less likely you are involved in having any addictions. When your soul is fulfilled with what you do, the less likely you grave any of these substances.

We are more prone to addictions when we don’t do what we love doing and are not aligned with our highest values. When we live our life according to other people’s values, we feel dissatisfied and look for immediate gratification. The chances of having one of the four addictors are very likely.

So what are the four addictors?

  1. coffee
  2. cigarettes
  3. alcohol
  4. sugar

How do I reduce my addictions?

So the first part of the solution is to relook at what you are doing and evaluate if that is in line with your highest values. If not, either link what you do with your values or if that is not working out, change your situation or if financially not possible straight away, make a plan and start preparing towards your goal in your spare time. You might say, I don’t have time, but if I tell you that each one of us has 24 hours a day and it is up to you to choose how to fill the 24 hours, you most likely will find time for what is really important to you.

To further help you not needing these addictors any longer, start with reducing your intake. I had one client who had 10 cups of coffee a day to numb himself out from the stress he experienced at work. Of course, he couldn’t stop having coffee altogether, but he started to reduce the coffee intake slowly, week by week. He is now down to 2 cups a day but having said this, he also changed his job he was doing. He is still in the same company but realised that what he was doing, was what he hated and made him feel depressed and stressed out. So both actions helped him to overcome the stress and burnout.

Very important is to not feel bad about your addictions to any of these sources to numb yourself out. Instead say thank you to them as they teach you that something is not in line with your values, so you are able to address the real cause.

In fact, your body does not need any of these, in moderation everything is ok. Ask yourself why you are choosing these addictors. What symptoms are you trying to cover? For instance, if you feel sluggish in the mornings or are bored at work, you grab a cup of coffee. It provides you with a temporary buzz, but if its’ used in excess, it can disturb the energy-producing process of the liver and pancreas.

Smoking cigarettes, particular if you smoke a lot, can rob your lungs of oxygen and shrink your blood vessels so that your cells can’t survive. Again, moderation is key.

Alcohol in moderation is ok, but certainly in excess and on a daily basis is telling you something. Are you drinking it to relax? What else could you do or drink to help you relax? Start substituting until you realise you don’t need the alcohol. Alcohol does not help you in staying alert to your own intuition. It may provide you with a temporary high, but we all know how you feel afterwards or the next day. You might enjoy the taste, but at that moment, think about how it makes you feel the next day or makes you wake up numerous times during the night. Do you really want to feel like this? So control it, before it controls you.

In the same way, your brain needs oxygen to function correctly. It also requires sugar but only in moderate amounts. High concentration burden your pancreas, liver and adrenals. So if you are already suffering from chronic stress and adrenal fatigue, the last thing you want to have is sugar. It causes even more stress to your adrenals. Sugar does not only affect your body but also your emotions. Manic-depressive swings may result from sugar addiction. So just like the other addictors, limit your sugar intake. Substitute sugar with maple-, coconut syrup or honey.

Life experiences provide us already with enough stress. We don’t need these addictors to add to our stress level.

Action steps:

1. Most of the addictors are social ones and are often associated with peer pressure. To remain moderate, say “Thanks, but no thanks,” to excesses.

2. When you are out, select places where these addictors aren’t used excessively. For example, if you go to a bar, you’d probably be persuaded to have a cigarette and a drink. Likewise, you’d probably be tempted to order a coffee and some sugary foods if you go to a cafe or pastry bar. Prioritise where you hang out. Luckily nowadays there are so many healthy cafes and restaurants available, try one of these. Substitute your coffee with a matcha latte.

3. If you keep stock of the four addictors in your home, you’ll probably be more tempted to have it because it is accessible. Stop buying any of these or buy it in moderation only.

4. Try this experiment for a week: moderate the four addictors or other ones you use – for instance being online on social media is another big addictor! How much time do you spend on social media or playing games on your phone? Notice the difference it makes to reduce the intake of any of these addictors. Be creative instead.

After a few days of adjusting your lifestyle, you might experience physical reactions from withdrawal. You might be suffering from headaches. Note, that this will pass when you stick to not having these addictors. You will notice that you will gain more energy, clearer focus, and more confidence which is helping you with your success. Once you see the positive impact on stopping to have these addictive behaviours in your life, you don’t want to return to the past.


I am a master of myself, and my middle name is moderation.


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Stay tuned for day 16 action steps.


Why are creative people prone to addictions and how to overcome them?


Hello everyone, Alex here. Today I would like to talk about why creative people are prone to addictions and how to overcome them.

Why are creative people prone to addictions?

Creativity and sensitivity go hand in hand. Sensitive people usually feel overwhelmed a lot and may feel lost about what to do with their emotions.

Sensitive, artistic people can be prone to addictions if they are not expressing their feelings through creativity. Addictive substances and behaviours temporarily numb our emotional pain. We do it even though we know that the pain returns after the numbing effect wear off.

What are the most common type of addictions for creatives?

What kind of dependencies am I talking about? These can be any kind of substance abuse or behaviours, such as drug, alcohol, fast food, sugar, emotional eating disorders and the list goes on, even workaholism, binge-watching TV or social media.

We numb ourselves out to forget what we really want to express. We distract ourselves with nonsense and keep us busy with things which don’t matter, so we don’t need to deal with our emotions. However, the emotions are still there. If we don’t release it, it will make it really painful for us.

How do you overcome your addictions?

If you think about it, when you let your creativity out and express what wants to be released, you naturally heal your emotions and create a lasting outlet for understanding. At the same time, you help to heal others with your art facing similar feelings.

Doesn’t this sound like a better alternative to replace an addiction with being creative?

Ask yourself: What type of addiction do you have? How much time do you spend on facebook or other social media or watch TV shows you don’t even like? Are you addicted to sugar and can’t stop eating desserts, chocolate bars and cookies or are you addicted to alcohol, drugs or smoking?

Notice, what it is for you and ask yourself: What is the positive intention behind doing this? What are you escaping from?

Now, what action can you take, to slowly stop your addictive behaviour? Can you replace, e.g. a glass of wine or beer with some creative work? Give it a go and see how it feels. Once we are in our creative zone, you will realise that you don’t need all these addictive things.

How do creative people deal with manic depression and bipolar?

Did you know that highly creative people can be emotionally unstable? Most of the prominent are that the classic artists, composers, and writers were manic-depressive or bipolar? Bipolar has significant mood swings. Creativity involves going into the depths of despair and afterwards having high energy to express the despair artistically. That means, creative people, get their inspiration from their depression and then when their mood swings to high energy, they have the motivation to be creative and paint, sing or otherwise express their feelings. There is a lot of evidence that creative people go through emotional highs and lows. Studies are showing that creative people are more apt to be bipolar than the general population.

However, you don’t need to be bipolar to be creative. Most of us have a less extent of roller – coaster emotions and are able to function normally when they’re sad or excited.

Observe your negative feelings through a lens of a researcher and study your genuine feelings without being pulled down by them.

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