What is a Vice?
Having depression is hard enough to deal with for one life, but sometimes that depression causes people to have some really negative habits they can’t easily change.
A vice is precisely a deep ingrained habit of doing something harmful to our body, mind and soul that we have a hard time changing or stoping it.
Once we understand why we do it and how we have fallen for it, doesn’t necessarily mean that we can suppress, eliminate, or at least control it with less hardship.
What we lack to understand is that this is not just an issue of knowing what’s happening, this is something that needs to be tackled from an emotional perspective in order for us to be able to change those habits.
Why Vices Help Dig a Deeper Hole Into Depression?
A person trying to quit smoking says to himself “Ok, I’ll have these 3 last cigarettes for today and starting tomorrow I’ll quit smoking once and for all”
Next day comes and if that person started with a strong resolution it probably will resist the urge to smoke for that day and a few more days until that craving becomes so strong it feels like a need and can’t be controlled any longer.
This is why he fails in quitting and because he feels being a failure he falls into the habit of smoking once again, making his self-trust and self-worth take a hit, which will set him to dig a deeper hole into being depressed.
Being depressed creates the “need” to search some sort of relief and that’s how a person picks its own preferred poison that provides the instant and too fleeting satisfaction.
Quite a simple way to explain how the vicious cycle works and why it’s so difficult to break it.
What Can I Do to Overcome a Vice and Feel Less Depressed?
Vices do provide some relief indeed but because of the nature of the relief, we can say this is a short term solution for a long term problem that surely will show us how it will backfire when we see our life from a holistic perspective.
Big problems like these are difficult to handle but I think there are some simple practical techniques you can use to manage the craving and even eliminate these negative habits.
For instance, in the situation of trying to quit smoking, instead of using the willpower to stop, remove the resistance and accept the feelings of desiring that and continue smoking cigarettes.
Now comes the tricky part of the equation, rather than opening a pack and have a cigarette to appease that craving right there, select one place selling cigarettes 5 miles away from home and walk there to buy just one (this is key), then go back walking home and smoke it as you please.
Repeat the process of walking 10 miles again before smoking another one.
Practicing this for at least a few weeks will completely change how you feel about the cravings of any vice you may have. And will also have the positive side effect of doing some exercise.
Despite how good it feels at the moment, a vice sooner or later will backfire in life by manifesting conflicts and struggle in your relationships, financial situation, career, personal development, physical and mental health.
As a vice foster a negative self-image over time and only helps to relieve stress momentarily, it won’t help to create in us the confidence and mindset to fulfill the need for happiness and accomplishment in the long run.
There are several simple – but not easy to apply – practices and mind-tricks to help you achieve a free-depression-life more easily.
While I know that this is not a one size fit all method to control a vice (either for the kind of vice or the particular situation of the person) I hope you can put in good use the one that I’ve shared here and that it can serve you well in your journey.