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Abstinence Essay Example

Abstinence is widely viewed as a self-inflicted restraint from undertaking various bodily activities that would normally amount to bodily pleasures. Abstinence is a practice which can sprout as a result of religious restrictions or other practical considerations. Due to the fact that abstinence is a conscious act, it can be differentiated from repression which is considered to be as a result of the unconscious state of the mind.

From the religious perspective, abstinence is meant to elevate the believer to surpass the common life of desire to a chosen ideal life. On the other hand, according to the medical fraternity, abstinence is viewed as the discontinuation of using a drug that was initially considered addictive.

There are various types of abstinence which mainly include; food, alcohol, tobacco smoking, pleasure and sexual abstinence. Food abstinence is commonly referred to as fasting which is a willing act to refrain from eating some or all food and drink for a specified period of time. According to the classical definition, fasting precludes the consumption of food and drink with the exception of water. On the other hand abstaining from consumption of the alcohol beverages is known as teetotalism. A varying array of reasons leads to teetotalism which include; religion, health, family or the change of the consumers taste and preference. Tobacco smoking abstinence is commonly known as smoking cessation. This is the act that leads to the discontinuation of the usage of smoked substances. Abstinence from pleasure is referred to as work life balance. This form of abstinence is mainly spearheaded by ambition, career goals or the urge to acquire self-respect. Finally, sexual abstinence is the act of refraining from aspects of sexual activity which may be caused by various reasons. However, there is disparity between sexual abstinence and celibacy as the latter is motivated by religious beliefs.

It is apparent that abstinence is an act of refrain from indulging in various bodily activities that would otherwise result to pleasures. Abstinence is free and has no hormonal side effects. However, people may find it difficult to abstain for prolonged periods of time. It is hence important to evaluate the abstinence decision and stick to the initial motives.

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