How to Beat an Adrenaline Addiction

What Is Adrenaline Addiction?

Our bodies are all wired with a "fight-or-flight" system that cause them to release stress hormones when faced with a life-threatening situation. Adrenaline is a hormone that can cause a person to feel a sudden burst of energy and excitement. While this hormone should be reserved for extreme circumstances, some people find themselves addicted to it.

An adrenaline addiction is when a man consistently engages in behaviors that trigger adrenaline. Some of the major adrenaline triggers are fear, excitement, stress or anger. Adrenaline-seekers are those who have a compulsive need to create an adrenaline rush. In short, they cannot control the need to put themselves in stressful or physically challenging situations.

How Does Adrenaline Addiction Occur?

Addictions occur when a person becomes mentally and physically dependent upon a substance for daily living. Addiction is a cycle. A person exposes themselves to a substance (in this case, adrenaline), experiences a high or sensation and then the sensation decreases and a person feels he has to do it again to re-capture the feeling.

If more than half of these statements sound like you, you may have an adrenaline addiction:

  • I drink caffeinated drinks to start going or keep going.
  • I have a tendency to over-promise work and am always rushing to get things done.
  • I arrive at work rushed or already "on."
  • I'm the kind of person who tends to find the toughest way to get something done.
  • I tend to run or arrive late, even if it's not my fault.
  • Money is currently tight, and I have been working on getting ahead, but I haven't.
  • I find it difficult to focus on more than one thing at a time.
  • I don't give myself plenty of time during the day for things that are likely to come up.
  • I please people to the point of feeling compulsive, regardless of appropriateness or cost.
  • I find that I attract more problems and stress than I feel I deserve.
  • I have a strong reaction when the unexpected occurs.

An adrenaline addiction may temporarily feel good, but over time, it becomes exhausting to you, can cause you to feel stressed and overwhelmed all the time and can affect your ability to maintain close relationships with others.

What Treatments for Adrenaline Addiction Are Available?

Admitting you have a problem is an important step to overcoming an adrenaline addiction. When you recognize that your behavior is a problem and must be addressed for you to feel better and live happier, you can begin to make changes. The next step is to contact an expert that can help you overcome this addiction, such as a therapist, psychologist or coach. Some of the behaviors you can engage in to experience real change include:

  • Under-promise on purpose, even if you fear a person's reaction.
  • Leave 15 minutes earlier than you would plan on for every meeting and appointment.
  • Shift your thinking from focusing on results to focusing on the process, people and things you enjoy.
  • Be specific and ask for what you need.
  • Take care of projects one thing at a time.
  • Admit that a particular time is tough, instead of seeing it optimistically.

It takes time to recover from an adrenaline addiction. You may also have to enlist loved ones and tell them you are trying to reduce stress and over-activity in your life. Through time, commitment and support of others, you can overcome an adrenaline addiction.

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