10 common habits that get you hooked
We all have certain activities we love, but did you know you could be addicted to your favourite hobby? Check out the 10 surprising things you may be addicted to.
Surprising addiction 1: Surfing the internet
You may think that browsing the internet is nothing more than a pleasant way to pass some time. However, researchers in China revealed that internet addiction actually alters the brain in a similar way to addictions to drugs and alcohol. It is thought that sufferers of Internet addiction disorder (IAD) could face similar symptoms to those suffering from other addictions, including withdrawal symptoms. One study of users of internet-ready smartphones found that many are so addicted to their device they now hear “phantom vibrations” in their desperation to receive a message.
Surprising addiction 2: Falling in love
We all know that person who goes from relationship to relationship, never seeming to spend more than five minutes alone. Well, according to research, it may be that they are actually addicted to falling in love! Yep, that heart-racing, euphoric feeling of falling in love… turns out you can get hooked on it. According to psychologist Arthur Aron, who led a study investigating love addiction, falling in love activates the same system in the brain as drug addiction, making you crave that feeling again as soon as the first flush of love starts to fade.
Surprising addiction 3: Sugar
We all crave our favourite sweet treat from time to time, but did you know you may actually be addicted to snacks such as doughnuts and chocolate? Studies have suggested that when we eat sugary snacks, chemicals called opiods are released in the brain, leading to intense feelings of pleasure, and it is this feeling we often crave in the absence of sugar. In fact, according to research by a University of California team, sugar is both as damaging and as addictive as both alcohol and cigarettes.
Surprising addiction 4: Tattoos and piercings
While dabbling in body art will not necessarily lead to you becoming inked up and pierced from head to toe, many people who start out with the intention of getting one tattoo or piercing will feel compelled to get more, which can feel like an addiction. While it is debatable whether this is a true addiction, it is certainly a compulsion for many, which may be partly down to the rush of feel-good endorphins which are released during the process of getting a tattoo to help you cope with the pain.
Surprising addiction 5: Work
Although most of us look forward to the weekends, for those suffering from a work addiction these days away from the office may not be quite as treasured. While many of us jokingly use the term “workaholic”, research suggests this is a real condition that can jeopardize sufferers’ health and relationships – it is not simply a case of “working hard”. According to a Spanish study, around 12 per cent of workers in Spain suffer from the addiction, while in Japan “death by overwork” (karoshi) is thought to cause an estimated 1000 deaths per year.