I LOVE the taste of sugar and the high that follows. I once saw a study (but can’t find it now) that about 15% of the population have brains that react to sugar the way a heroin addict’s brain reacts to heroin.
I’m probably in that group - a sugar addict. I dream of eating sweets. I’ve gone on sugar detoxes and then, after a month, had one piece of birthday cake and woke up the next morning needing something sweet.
Now, why would like think that has anything to do with too much screen time?
Just like I can’t stop eating and the temptation to eat sweets will always be around me, computers are part of our lives. It is up to us use them in a way that brings long-term joy to our lives (note the words ‘long-term’ and ‘joy’).
We may think there is willpower involved, but more likely... change is due to want power. Wanting the new addiction more than the old one. Wanting the new me in preference to the person I am now.
~George A. Sheehan
All the suffering, stress, and addiction comes from not realizing you already are what you are looking for.
1. Look at what is missing. For me, I was missing nutrients. Getting the right supplements and enough protein helps reduce the craving. I still do not enjoy most proteins but I need to eat them to enjoy life. Sometimes life isn’t fun but the end result is worth the bother. I am healthier when I eat protein.
What needs are being fulfilled with screen time? In other words, what is missing if screen time was removed? Is it relationships? Excitement? Easy entertainment? Figure it out and find it in the offline world. If it is relationships, then yes, sometimes real world relationships can be inconvenient or not fun. But they do make us grow in our maturity and our ability to handle problems. Just like me eating protein, I don’t like it at the time but my future is better and I am happier if I do.
2. Create a new norm. I am almost at the stage that cheap chocolate doesn’t interest me. Not there yet but I can see the day is coming. I’m becoming more particular about my sweets. My taste buds and physiology has changed.
If someone has lots of wonderful options in their lives, then the ‘cheap chocolates’ won’t hold the same appeal. Go, have an experience. You might enjoy it. Or not. Either way, you’ve learned something about yourself and can make a better plan for the future.
3. It has taken me years (read: many, many, many failed attempts to give up sugar) to get to this point. I’m still working on it. Still learning what works, and what doesn’t. Still making progress.
Controlling screen time, especially when the people creating the programs are gamifying it for addiction, will not be a one shot deal, a pass/fail. It will be an ongoing progression of learning what works, what brings joy to your life overall and over time. The information gained in the process is not only valuable for that circumstance but it can be applied to other parts of our lives.
If you can figure out what hooks you or a loved one into screen time, that information can be used elsewhere. Do you put on the TV in the evening because of habit/ease? Make it easy to do something else in the evening. Make a commitment to another person or group. Get out and do something that challenges you, creates laughter or deepens a friendship. You’ll sleep better and chances are, you’ll feel more connected with the world.
4. If you are spending just the right amount of time in front of your computer and would like a light release of muscle tension, our pressure activated massager is just what you are looking for.
If you have sugar issues and would like more info, I can send you my notes from a free webinar I'm taking tomorrow evening: The 4 reason you crave sugar -- and what to do about it.
Let me know and I'll gladly send them to you.
What strategies have you used to break an addition/change a habit? I would love to hear them. Maybe they would help me progress a bit farther down my low sugar life.