Recently, I posted two articles on how essential oils may be a tool to assist someone in breaking unhealthy “addictive” patterns. In these posts, I discussed the general concepts and theories centering around addictions and applications for essential oils to support in relieving them. I even mentioned that using essential oils could create a positive addiction! Finally, I highlighted several clinical trial outcomes for using specific oils for various substance addictions. (You can click on the following links to read Part I and Part II to learn more.)
I admit, I do have a strong passion for essential oils and a self-proclaimed “obsession” with the microbiome. Just a few weeks ago, I blended my two favorite topics in one blog when I wrote about how essential oils could be beneficial to our belly bugs!
I also must confess that I do experience an elated feeling after studying these subjects and sharing them with you. That’s obvious, right? However, I highly doubt it is comparable to an addictive “high.”
I mean, could you really compare my frequent and geeky enjoyment of reviewing the latest scientific and health publications to someone who is unable to stop using illicit drugs? Well, it may not really be as far-fetched as it seems?
It appears that the concept of “positive addictions” and “healthy obsessions” has been a means mitigate self-destructive ones. In our society, there seems to be some “socially” accepted forms of positive addictions: work, health, exercise, even being blissful. But, where’s the line between a “harmful” and “healthy” addiction? According to the criteria of Psychology Today.
Glasser provides six criteria that must be fulfilled for a person to have a positive addiction to an activity. They are:
- It is something noncompetitive that you choose to do and you can devote approximately an hour per day;
- It is possible for you to do it easily and it doesn’t take a good deal of mental effort to do it well;
- You can do it alone or rarely with others but it does not depend upon others to do it;
- You believe that it has some value (physical, mental, or spiritual) for you;
- You believe that if you persist at it you will improve—but this is completely subjective—you need to be the only one who measures the improvement; and
- The activity must have the quality that you can do it without criticizing yourself. If you can’t accept yourself during this time the activity will not be addicting (emphasis original).
Basically, a positive addiction is not a true “addiction,” in that it doesn’t dominate someone’s life and that the activity is for a limited amount of time. Furthermore, a person finds it pleasurable. The same article states:
The pleasure is diminished if one just hammers on herself for not getting better at an activity, even one she loves in many ways. A negative attitude precludes a positive addiction.
Intriguing. Spurred by my recent series, I am starting to review this topic in more depth. I will be sharing with you some of my findings in the weeks to come.
For now, here’s the conclusion to my series on essential oils and “addictions,” “Can Essential Oils Help Change Unwanted Behavior and Balance the Brain? Part III.
In it, I provide you with two case studies that highlight that addressing the root cause of why someone may be choosing non-nurturing behavior can lead to more optimized health and “positive” behaviors. (Names have been changed to protect the brave and wonderful.)