Whether you or a loved one are addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, or shopping, addiction can be a struggle. Indeed, experiencing addiction or watching someone else go through it is difficult. On the bright side, stopping addictive behaviors is definitely possible.
Identifying Addictive Behaviors
Someone who has an addiction often exhibits certain behavioral patterns. This can include loss of control, self-medication, having a desire for participating in the addiction without gaining pleasure, and others. Furthermore, an addict can act irrationally, be manipulative, become angry and abusive, commit a crime such as stealing, or blame others for what they themselves did wrong. Some common behavioral addictions are:
- Video games
- Drugs and alcohol
Ways to Stop Addictive Behaviors
Despite the fact that stopping an addictive behavior can be a major challenge, this doesn’t mean you should give up. Here are some effective solutions to aid in dealing with and even stopping your addictive behaviors.
Empower Yourself with Knowledge
For one thing, you can gain an understanding of what addiction is by educating yourself. This includes recognizing the definition of addiction, how it can affect your brain, and what your triggers are. You can even read educational books about the psychology of addiction, how it can control you, and what you can do to stop it.
Although seeking treatment can be highly beneficial, there are other strategies you may be more comfortable with. For example, you can practice mindfulness on a regular basis. This can help you become more aware and present so you can stay focused and in control of yourself.
Motivate Yourself to Stop
You can motivate yourself to quit addictive behaviors by thinking about why you’d like to change. For instance, consider what bothers you about your addiction and how it’s destroying your life. Is it ruining your mental health? Are you having trouble paying your rent? It could also be wreaking havoc on your relationships. Or maybe it’s a combination of these three things or something else entirely. No matter what it may be, thinking about what bothers you about your addiction can give you a valid reason to stop.
In addition, a smart way to stop addictive behavior can be to replace it with something positive. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be useful in changing negative actions and thinking patterns to form positive ones. It can also be beneficial for finding productive ways to cope with situations that are stressful, among other things. Additionally, getting regular exercise can be a great replacement for addictive behavior.
This can be especially true since exercise stimulates the brain in a similar way to addictive substances. This means exercise may be able to help you say goodbye to old drug habits or another addiction and hello to a more positive lifestyle. Getting involved in a pleasurable activity that brings you joy on a regular basis can help you be more successful in stopping addictive behaviors.
Change Your Actions
Although you can think and dream about improving, nothing will likely happen until you take action. For instance, if you’re addicted to alcohol or have another addiction, you can make plans to do something else at the time you normally head to a bar. You could sign up to take a class, learn a new hobby, or spend time with a good friend who’s a positive influence on you. And if you start to engage in your addictive behaviors again, forgive yourself and try again and again. Make it a habit to never give up on your goals because your life is important.
Any Addiction Can Be Serious
Whether you or someone you care about has a behavioral or substance addiction, both are just as serious. Both addictions involve negative consequences, and similar warning signs and behavioral patterns. This makes it vital to seek help for yourself or encourage a loved one to get help if necessary. Given these points, dealing with an addiction can be one of the biggest challenges of a person’s life. But this doesn’t mean you can’t find healthy ways to overcome it. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 772-266-5320.