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Pivot Point #10: Guilty Pleasure or Creeping Disease?

good intentions life balance managing emotions personal reflection self-improvement time management Nov 29, 2022

Guilty pleasures generate uplifting emotions, reduce stress, and elevate mood. What could be wrong with that? Unfortunately, guilty pleasures often evolve from occasional stress relievers into addictive time wasters. Before we realize it, they can eat away at the time we could have invested in more productive pursuits. This occurs when seemingly harmless activities evolve into a kind of “creeping disease.”

Many drug addicts swore they’d never use a needle. And yet, what began as THEIR guilty pleasure, gradually evolved into a creeping disease that led them to that very sad predicament. While this is an extreme example, the principle is the same. Society is filled with a wide range of readily accessible guilty pleasures. All are designed to entice us into addictive behavior. Social media platforms, video games, food, gambling, alcohol, and drugs are just a few of the addictive possibilities. So, what can you do to avoid this trap?  

Recognize your natural inclinations toward certain, tension-relieving activities. Gambling, alcohol, and social media hold little fascination for me, but I remain wary of food, video games and Netflix.  Determine the number of hours you fritter away each week. It can be an eye-opening experience.

Then, imagine what you’ll achieve when you reallocate as little as one hour per week or 52 hours per year toward more productive pursuits. Taking brief pauses from your busy life to refresh your spirit is a productive use of your time when sparingly sprinkled throughout your week. By monitoring the amount of time you engage in YOUR guilty pleasures can help you decide whether they are just guilty pleasures or a creeping disease?

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