After a tough day, do you come home and flop in your easy chair, grab a bag of chips and zone out in front of the television? Or maybe you compulsively check your e-mail, spend hours surfing the Net or stay up late chatting with strangers in chatrooms. Whether you get lost in cyberspace, over shop, watch too much TV, gossip, bite your nails, daydream excessively, procrastinate or over-exercise, you may be caught in what Judith Wright calls a “soft addiction”.

Soft Addictions are seemingly harmless habits that rob us of our time, zap our energy, numb us from our feelings, mute our consciousness and keep us from living the satisfying, meaningful lives we desire.

Soft Addictions can be activities, moods or ways of being, avoidances, and things-edible and consumable. Many soft addictions involve necessary behaviors like eating, reading, and sleeping. They become soft addictions when we overdo them and when they are used for more than their intended purpose.

Are you involved in a regular activity, avoidance, mood or thing that is a soft addiction?

Take this quiz and find out.

How many “yes” answers indicate that you have a soft addiction? Even a single “yes” answer might qualify!

Soft Addiction Quiz

1. Would you be unlikely to go on national television and say, “You, too, should do this,” about your behavior?

2. When asked why you do this thing, do your reasons sound like an excuse or a rationalization?

3. Do you do an activity or retreat to a mood compulsively or habitually?

4. Is there a particular routine that you follow, almost like a ritual, for this behavior?

5. Do you have difficulty imagining life without it (or even with less of it)?

6. Do you want to change this behavior, resolve to do so, but then find yourself unable to keep your resolution?

7. Do you feel scared or stubborn when someone suggests you stop or reduce this behavior?

8. Has the time you spend doing the activity or being in the mood increased without providing the same level of satisfaction it once did?

9. Have you been teased, mocked, or criticized because of how you’re wasting a great deal of your time on trivial pursuits?

10. Has someone close to you become annoyed or angry with you about the amount of time, money, and/or energy you devote to a given activity?

11. Have you cancelled or turned down positive opportunities in order to indulge an activity, substance, or mood?

12. Has your particular activity, mood, or avoidance caused you to get in trouble on the job?

13. Is this something that you would be embarrassed about if others were to learn of it? Does it feel like a secret you’re ashamed of?

If you are still unsure or would like to see how much of an issue your soft addictions are for you, there are three key questions you can always ask yourself: How much time do I spend? What is my motivation? How does it make me feel? If the activity or behavior creates MORE for you - more energy, more learning and growing, more time, more of a sense of aliveness - then it's probably not a soft addiction. But if the behavior or activity leaves you feeling drained, numbed, buzzed, distracted or feeling less, then chances are it is a soft addiction. Remember, everybody has soft addictions. If you can recognize them, then you're well on your way to overcoming them.

Author's Bio: 

Identifying Soft Addictions is just one of the eight key life skills shared by national best-selling author, speaker, and educator, Judith Wright in her new book, There Must Be More Than This: Finding More Life, Love, and Meaning by Overcoming Your Soft Addictions. Wright has helped hundreds of people transform their lives through this proven program. For more information, visit:, call 1-866-MORE-YOU, or email

IMPORTANT Please read this NOW! May 1st only – Do yourself a favor and check out a very special and unique (immediate) $300 bonus gift offer that expires at midnight * MAY 1st *