Ready to Stop Addiction? Here’s How
Are you struggling with a substance or behavior? It might not be drugs or alcohol any more, but something else has a hold on you, whether it’s food, sex, the internet, cigarettes, gambling, and the list can go on and on. If there’s something that still “has you” and you’re ready to stop addiction in its tracks, here are the steps to take.
Ready to Stop Addiction: Recognize That You Are in Denial
You understand on a conscious level, an intellectual level that your addiction is unhealthy, yet you continue and this perplexes you. If you’re minimizing it, trivializing it, or justifying it and making excuses, then you’ll never get where you need to be. And these are all forms of denial.
Ready to Stop Addiction: Face Your Denial
You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. Get real with yourself. Ask the tough questions and listen closely to your answers.
It may be hard for you to admit that you have a habit; you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. Then find the courage to determine what you need that you’re not getting that has you acting out or seeking pleasure with a behavior, activity, or substance. Acknowledge the purpose: Why do you do it? You have to be able to answer that question. Is it to help you deal with anxiety and stress?
Ready to Stop Addiction: Identify Your Triggers
Triggers can be anything from a specific time of day or your reaction to a particular circumstance. There are times that you’re more prone to indulge in your habit than others. Recognize what those times are, and do something that is incompatible with the addiction you’re trying to break. For example, if you have the urge to light up during your 3 p.m. break at work, take that time to do your breathing or relaxation exercises instead.
Ready to Stop Addiction: People, Places, Things
Make lifestyle changes. It’s not willpower, it’s programming. You have to set your life up for success if you’re going to break your addiction. If you’re trying to stop smoking or drinking, try simple things like not carrying money for cigarette vending machines or cleaning your cupboards of alcoholic beverages. You may have to change the places you frequent, what you do for fun and whom you hang out with. If you are a computer junkie, remove the computer from your house. The best way to stop an addiction is to not have access to it.
Ready to Stop Addiction: Be Accountable, Have a Support System
Being accountable to someone means that that person will not only support you, but will give you the kick in the butt that you need when it gets tough and tell you the truth when you’re kidding yourself. Get your family and friends involved in your efforts to kick the habit. You may also need to seek treatment or check into a rehabilitative program.
Some suggest that we never really “break” a habit. To get rid of bad behavior, replace it with something positive that serves you in life. Work on identifying positive behaviors that would make good replacements for your addictions. Use alternative coping skills. People don’t break bad habits; they replace them with new ones. Recognize that you get a reward from smoking or drinking.
If you or a loved one is ready to stop addiction but need help doing it please call toll-free 1-888-672-4435.