What is addiction? In simple terms, it is being unable to stop exhibiting a behavior or using certain substances, irrespective of the physical or psychological impact. Although the term denote positive values such as being addicted to studying daily or smiling frequently.
However, it is often used in reference to negative values such as drug addiction. When people engage in addictive behavior, they usually do not expect it to become an addiction. They falsely believe that exhibiting the act is solely by their choice, and if they wanted, they could stop it.
Unfortunately, the behavior develops overtime to become an addiction. And like yawning and laughing simultaneously, putting an end to it becomes a daunting job. They find themselves "trapped in" and unable to break loose from its chains, which results in depression, anxiety, and mental torture.
Despite that, breaking the chains of addiction is possible. Unlike most people think, you don't have to suffer a life-threatening health crisis before you can overcome addiction. Becoming a better individual and eliminating addictive behaviors is achievable – it all begins with making a solid decision.
Although achieving the desired results may require the help of a rehab center, however, that depends on the stage of addiction an individual is. If you're looking for tips that can help you minimize or eliminate addictive behaviors, here are 5 practical things you can do.
1. Identify and decide
If you want to achieve better results, identifying what addictive behaviors you need to stop is the first step. If you have a couple of negative habits you would like to eliminate, focusing on them all at a time might slow down your progress. Instead, focus on just one or (at most) two, especially the one that triggers others.
For instance, if drug addiction makes you engage in illicit sex, focusing on eliminating drug abuse can help you stop illicit sex as well.
After that, make a solid decision to stop the addictive behavior. Doing this will help you create a roadmap for success and keep you on track whenever you slip.
2. Note down the adverse effects
Every addictive behavior has both long and short-term impacts on the addict. This could be physical effects, mental or both. Although addicts do not always agree with the impacts, or they feel special and exempted from them.
The truth is, everyone thinks they're exempted until the reality sets in, and it becomes too late. If you can, meet people who have been addicts that are now victims of the addiction's adverse effects.
Note down their problems, pains, and regrets of not quitting as early as possible. Find out how harmful the behavior can be in order to strengthen your willpower and stay focused on quitting.
3. Replace bad behaviors with good ones
Quitting an addiction is easier when you replace it with productive and positive activities. Otherwise, leaving your to-do list blank can make your thoughts wander around and increase the urge to repeat the behavior.
When this persists, you may slip into repeating the behavior and experience a feeling of guilt or regret afterward. Find out other great things you love to do and occupy your time with them. This could be learning a new skill, taking online courses, meeting new friends, or even connecting with your loved ones.
4. Remove the triggers for that addiction
The process of getting addicted begins with
learning about a behavior
performing that behavior voluntarily
developing cues or triggers for it
and finally exhibiting the behavior subconsciously
A typical example is drug addiction. You may discover that being in certain locations or with certain individuals increases your urge to take drugs. In this situation, removing the triggers by not going to such locations or dealing with such individuals can help you overcome your addiction.
5. Seek professional help
Visiting a rehab center for help and support can make the whole process easier and faster than you had expected. These professionals are equipped with years of valuable experience, and know how to develop tailored plans for each individual.
Completely overcoming addiction can sometimes be a long journey; needing guidance and support from a third-party. Luckily, rehab centers offer just that.
While attempting to overcome addiction, it is important to know that the progress graph isn't usually a straight line. You may slip once in a while, and that doesn't mean you aren't progressing.
What matters is to minimize the frequency and diminish the urge overtime until the desired success is achieved.