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Five Great Strategies to Overcome Any Addiction
Addiction is one of the most destructive human traits. Whether it be drugs, alcohol, gambling, or just about anything else one can do in excess, addiction can ruin lives. While there are often warning signs along the way, sometimes an addiction can become a problem quickly and with little warning. Whatever you or a loved one happen to be addicted to, I have good news. There is most definitely hope – all you need is a good plan and a support system to help that plan come to fruition. This article will outline five tried and true methods to overcome an addiction once and for all.
– Acknowledge the problem. If you have done any reading on beating addictions, you have certainly heard this one before. The first step to fixing any problem is often identifying the problem exists in the first place. For addiction, that means stopping and being truthful with yourself or a loved one about the extent of the problem. I would encourage you to write down many of your thoughts and feelings during this process. By recording everything, you can go back and read what you were thinking at different points in time. This ‘outside’ perspective can help you to observe your own patterns and change them over time.
– Reward yourself. People who have personalities that are susceptible to addiction are often motivated by rewards. That does not have to be a bad thing. When fighting to conquer your addiction, create a reward system that is a healthy incentive to keep going when you are having trouble. For instance, if you are trying to quit smoking, treat yourself to something special every Sunday night at the end of a week when you did not smoke. Make it something of value to you, and try to plan it with a friend or family member so they can help to hold you accountable as well.
– Replace the addiction. It is often said that people don’t break habits, they only form new ones. In order to pull yourself away from the damaging addiction, try to take on a more positive habit. One popular option is exercise. While it may be hard to believe, exercise can actually be a highly addictive activity once you get into it. You will need to start slow to build up your physical conditioning, but by staying focused you can successfully replace your negative addiction with something positive and uplifting like exercise.
– Locate and Avoid Trouble Spots. For most addictions, there is a time and place that trigger the action. Maybe it is as obvious as a bar for someone with alcohol addiction – or it could be more subtle like a break at work that makes you reach for a cigarette. Whatever the trigger, schedule your days to avoid putting yourself in that position. Try planning a walk with a non-smoking co-worker on your break. Go to a movie on Friday night instead of the bar. You won’t have to keep this up forever either – once the pull of the addiction is broken, you may find yourself comfortable in any situation.
– Meditate. Addictions are impulsive actions often taken with little to no conscious thought. An addicted person is stuck in a cycle of thoughts that simply repeat from day to day. The practice of meditation can break those patterns and allow one to see the world from a new perspective. Meditation is known to produce endorphins much like physical exercise. This natural ‘high’ is a healthy and safe alternative to the high that is sought through so many various addictions.