You might be an addict and you don’t even know it. I’m not talking about drugs and alcohol. There’s such a thing as a “soft addiction," like if you can’t live without your favorite TV show. Or you spend hours and hours online.  Even playing video games constantly qualifies. Those are all “soft addictions”. They sound pretty harmless right?

Well, there’s a book out called “There Must Be More Than This” written by life coach Judith Wright and she says, these soft addictions aren’t harmless. They can mask your true feelings, zap your energy, and keep you from really relating to others. They also rob you of time. People who say they have no time to exercise often find that their free time is taken up with “soft addictions”.

So how do you know whether your love for Farmville is normal or a soft addiction? Think about how you feel when you’re playing it. Do you feel numbed? That’s a huge sign. People involved in healthy passions learn something, feel energized, or inspired by what they’re doing.   

But we get hooked on these soft addictions because for a time, they can make us feel better. Maybe you had a really bad day.  So you log on to Facebook for a few hours and forget about your real problems. You might even feel comforted by your soft addiction – or that you belong. But really, you’re escaping. And a little bit of escaping is fine – even healthy. It’s when it becomes obsessive.

So how do you kick a soft addiction? Acknowledge what they’re costing you and then start to replace them with healthier activities. Maybe you skip Farmville for a day and go for a walk instead. Start small and work your way up.

If you want to go further, the book is called “There Must Be More Than This” by Judith Wright.