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6 Useful Tools for Beating Addiction
Ready to kick a habit that’s been kicking you? Is it time to release the hold that something has over you and start to live life – addiction free?
A compulsion toward any sort of substance is hard to overcome; whether it’s to food, alcohol, drugs or any anything else. Not only do you have to deal with the physical aspects of the addiction, but there are mental considerations too.
Here are six tools that will help you beat your dependence:
Make a commitment
Make the pledge to kick your addiction once and for all. Agree to use every ounce of energy in your body to not stop until you’ve gotten past it.
Say it out loud. Write it down and sign it like a contract. Do what it takes to cement in the fact that you’re going to release the hold that it has on you.
Change your environment
While it’s not impossible to change a behavior without changing your environment, it is definitely more difficult. If you’re trying to quit smoking and everyone around you smokes, you’re going to face some hard times.
Sometimes other people will make changes in support of your new commitment. Maybe, for instance, they’ll agree to smoke outside or at least not in your presence. But, you’re not always going to be that fortunate.
If you truly set out to banish your addiction, you may have to take drastic steps to meet that goal. That may include not hanging out with the same group of people or hanging out less often until you feel stronger and more capable of making better choices. And, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a forever thing. Just give yourself time to adjust to your new lifestyle.
Replace your habits
Notice it doesn’t say stop your habits or quit your habits. Why? Because research has shown that the best way to change a negative, unwanted behavior is to replace it with a positive, desired behavior.
For instance, if you’re trying to lose weight and one of your problems is munching in front of the TV at night, just stopping is going to be tough. Replace your behavior of eating popcorn with something that will keep your hands busy, like painting your fingernails or giving yourself a pedicure.
Plan for hurdles
Be ready for whatever comes your way. Plan ahead of time so you’re not caught off guard. Be aware of what events and people trigger your addiction. Decide beforehand how you’re going to respond when faced with something that makes your commitment difficult.
Once you create your plan, visualize yourself going through it. By mentally rehearsing yourself successfully navigating tough situations, you’re increasing the likelihood that that is exactly what you’ll do when faced with them.
Ask family and friends for support
Just because you’ve chosen to beat your addiction doesn’t mean that you have to walk the path alone. You don’t. Ask the people that care about you to support you in your decision and encourage you when you’re having rough days.
Some people feel weak by asking for help, but just the opposite is true. It takes great strength to admit when you could use a helping hand. That’s why it’s harder.
When undergoing changes, meditation is a great way to keep a sense of peace and calm during the process. One of the ways it helps is by increasing your levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA. Those who are addicted to something, from food to caffeine to even shopping, have one common factor – not enough GABA.
Beating your addiction may be the toughest thing you ever do. But, it will also be the most worthwhile. Use these tools and give yourself a fighting chance. You can do this!