There are all kinds of addiction, and they are not all horrible ones like opioids, heroin or cocaine. Some can be as simple as sugar or caffeine addiction, nicotine, or even internet porn or social media.
No matter what you are addicted to, beating it is not impossible. In fact, there are some keys to doing so. That does not mean it will be easy. Addiction to some substances is tougher to break than others. For instance, nicotine is one of the worst, and quitting has been compared to withdrawals like those from heroin or cocaine.
Whatever you are struggling with, here are some keys to beating addiction.
Replace Old Habits with New Ones
There are some habits that involve more than just the drug. They also involve things like hot beverages in the morning, the breathing and occupation of your hands when it comes to smoking, and the temporary high of sugar or caffeine.
This is why replacing old habits with new ones is one of the best methods to beat addiction. Replacing coffee with hot, decaffeinated tea in the morning, replacing cigarettes with the best vape to ease you off nicotine, and natural snacks like fruit to replace sweets with processed sugars.
While this will not work for everything, for many addictions you can at least partially substitute another similar, but healthier activity.
Break Up Your Routine
Often, an addiction is a part of your daily routine. You go outside for a smoke break, drink alcohol when you get off work, on the weekends, or both. You wake up and make a pot of coffee right away. Maybe you have dessert right after dinner or worse just before you go to bed.
Changing your routine can be difficult, but breaking it up by eating at different times, staying inside or going elsewhere for breaks, and even simply not buying alcohol or having it in the house can keep you from falling back into old habits.
Of course, there will be more challenges to beating addiction. Breaking up your routine should be part of a larger recovery strategy.
Find New Friends
One of the biggest issues with beating addiction is peer pressure. While they may not fully understand it, your friends can exert pressure on your unwittingly. Inviting you out on break to the same place where you smoked before, inviting you to parties where alcohol is present, and even inviting you to a coffee shop or offering you a cup after you have quit.
If your friends understand, and will support your efforts to beat addiction, that is great. If not, you may need to choose not to hang out with those same people, at least for a while. Initially, your own desire to return to the addiction you are trying to beat will be hard enough for you to deal with. Adding peer pressure makes things more difficult.
As with replacing one habit with another, you should make an effort to replace the friends you must give up with new ones. This means reaching out to those who will be supportive and making connection with them so they can hold you accountable to your decisions.
This sounds easy, but it can be challenging. Making new friends is hard for some but resist the temptation to return to your old circles where your addictions live.
Stay Engaged with Groups
If you can find a group that is working with your addiction, even online, you will have a support system. Staying engaged with these groups can help you keep from slipping back into your old habits.
These groups can also be a source of lifelong friends. Many who have been through AA or other similar programs have made connections in their groups that have evolved into amazing friendships.
This means setting these meeting date and times as appointments with yourself you will not break. While often this kind of group therapy is court mandated, this is not always the case. When it is not, it is imperative that you treat it as if it is, and don’t skip or cancel for any non-vital reason.
Recovery is a Lifestyle Change
Regardless of what your addiction is, recovery means a change of lifestyle. This may mean anything as simple as drinking tea instead of coffee or vaping instead of smoking, but it also can mean such drastic steps as moving to a different city or even state,
Changing your routine, breaking up with some friends, and staying engaged in groups all involve sacrifice: leaving a part of your life and something that may have become very important to you behind, and turning instead to something entirely new. This type of lifestyle change is not easy, nor should you expect it to be.
To beat your addictions, you will need help: the help of friends, family, and even groups. Use these keys to beating addiction as a guide, and you will be on your way to a better and healthier life.
What are some habits that you have found beneficial to a healthy lifestyle? leave us a comment in the section below.