Hell yeah! – aren’t we all?
I saw this banner as I drove past our local garden centre and it made me a bit mad.
Don’t get me wrong – I love a piece of cake and I’m all for enjoying “treats” now and again.
But, that’s the problem with the Garden Centre’s banner. We are constantly bombarded by enticing offers for bigger and better portions, playing on our desire for more and our desire for value for money.
No matter what little treat you fancy, I’m sure you can get it ‘super sized’. My favourite daily treat is a cappuccino. Go into any coffee shop and you’re bombarded with mega size lattes, cappuccinos, frappes and coolers, with added syrups, flavourings, sprinkles and cream. Before you know it, a simple drink which should be a maximum of 100 calories, can become a super sized 406 calories – an extra 306 calories on every drink. Even if you only have one per day, that’s 2142 extra calories in one week. That’s over a whole day of calories for a woman! It’s become so easy to over indulge without even realising it. No wonder our waistlines are all expanding.
But it’s not just food that we are being encouraged to over consume.
I once went to a tradefair for homewares and gifts in Birmingham. I was staggered as I wandered around endless halls, each the size of a football pitch, packed to the rafters with “stuff” companies were pitching to shops to sell onto us. I just couldn’t believe they could ever sell all that “stuff”. Then I thought about how much of it would probably end up in landfill.
Companies are spending billions in marketing everyday to convince us to buy the next new thing.
Our lives won’t be complete unless we have:-
- the latest new phone
- latest large screen TV
- latest ‘on trend’ clothing and furniture
So what do we need to do to achieve these life changing goods?
Usually work more and more hours or go into debt. Both of these options are guaranteed to make our lives unbearably stressful and totally miserable.
Then there’s our addiction to technology.
The wonders of the internet are amazing. Over the past 6 months I’ve learnt hundreds of new skills through YouTube and webinars. I love keeping up to date with all my friends on Facebook and follow countless blogs via email.
But, have you ever found yourself losing two hours of your day just because you’ve fallen into the “internet blackhole”?
I know I have.
Are you suffering from F.O.M.O (fear of missing out) so constantly checking your Facebook feed?
Feeling constantly anxious, because you can never switch off from work emails or news updates?
Does your brain and mood feel disconnected and frazzled because you’ve wasted most of the evening looking at your phone?
It’s easy to become addicted to over eating, over shopping and over use of technology when we feel unfulfilled and seeking comfort. They all provide an escape from our daily routine. The problem is that these addictions tangle us in a cycle of discontent – overeating can make us feel unlovable or crush our confidence – so we eat more.
Shopping provides a momentary lift, until we dive down into despair when faced with the debts we’ve incurred and the need to keep working in jobs we hate to pay the bills.
Technology can leave us feeling more anxious and lonely even though it’s supposed to keep us more connected.
Doing any of the above means you are spending less time doing the things you actually want to do in life. Not feeling fulfilled can lead to over consumption, which has a detrimental effect on your overall health, whether through obesity, anxiety, loneliness or stress.
So what can we do?
Blame it all on marketing companies and big business for leading us astray?
Well, that’s an easy option and whilst true, we’re all intelligent humans and know we shouldn’t fall for their marketing ploys.
The trick is to ask ourselves every time we’re tempted by the supersized slice of cake – do I actually want this? Would I be just as satisfied/happy if I picked a smaller option. Am I happy to live with the consequences of my choice.
Do I really need a new TV when my old one works perfectly well.
Am I looking at my phone because I need to look something up or because I’m seeking comfort or fulfilment. Consciously thinking about what your true needs are can help you make a better decision.
If we all take a moment to consider our choices before acting on them, we are one step closer to avoiding making ourselves unhappy and unhealthy.
Small adjustments to our habits every day can have a massive compound effect over time in improving our general wellbeing. As mentioned above, just making the adjustment to a smaller coffee, over a week can soon reduce the extra calories you consume.
Instead of going shopping or spending an hour on the internet to cheer yourself up, phone a friend or head out for a walk or a picnic with family.
Try to focus on the things that make you feel truly fulfilled.
If you enjoyed this article, I would love to hear from you in the comments below or like and share this post on social media.
http://www.tinybuddha.com – Samy Felice – Attached to your smartphone? How I overcame my addiction.