This is a guest blog by John Trogdon
You can be a victim of a variety of addictions. Today, the most common types of addictions are drugs, social media, sex, television, food, alcohol, and gambling. Addicts of any substance or activity usually want to experience a feeling of pleasure with the sole purpose of escaping reality.
After getting high for the first time, the individual becomes hooked to the substance or activity because the brain releases dopamine, nature’s happy drug. This stimulant has also proven to improve learning and boost memory.
Compulsive behavior begins when the brain responds to the activity or substance with pleasure. It also stores these enticing memories thus making the individual crave more.
You might be thinking that you have no control over your addictions since the brain stimulates dopamine by itself. But this is not the case. You can overcome your addictions today using simple proven methods. Thousands of people have done it across the world. Why not you?
Today, we are going to discuss ten powerful proven tips on overcoming any kind of addiction. You have the power to do this. Keep reading.
- 1. Reflect on your life
- 2. Harness your creativity
- 3. Be accountable to someone
- 4. Exercise regularly
- 5. Identify your weak spots
- 6. Stay away from people who encourage addiction
- 7. Distract yourself
- 8. Keep a record
- 9. Offer help to other people
- 10. Read books
- Bonus Tips
1. Reflect on your life
You can enjoy your life to the fullest without having to consume drugs, watching TV shows all day or wasting your money at the casino. Every human being has been wired to feel good. But the societal norms and the mass media are encouraging unhealthy ways of seeking pleasure.
Due to social engineering, the majority of people now believe that drugs, material items, technological gadgets, and sexual relationships are the best ways to seek pleasure.
As time passes, the brain receptors start building a tolerance to the stimulants like alcohol or drugs because they get overwhelmed. This leads to a reduction in dopamine levels.
According to research, addicts have to ingest more substances, spend ridiculous amounts of money or increase the number of sexual partners to release the same amount of dopamine. Over time, the brain associates these substances or activities with pleasure and it gets harder to quit.
To overcome any kind of addiction, you have to sit down and reflect on your life. Find out why you started using these substances or indulging in these behaviors. In most cases, individuals start using stimulants to cover up the emptiness they feel.
Others feel unhappy or stuck in life. Remember, your exterior world is a reflection of who you are. To change your outer world, you have to change your inner world.
When you fix yourself, the rest will fall in place. Reflecting on your life will help you understand why you became addicted and the best course of action.
2. Harness your creativity
Do you like playing music, dancing, drawing or acting? These art forms are important for a recovering addict because he or she can do them without having to suffer from the side effects of substances and other destructive behaviors. Human beings seek pleasure either consciously or unconsciously. And just like other human beings, addicts want to experience pleasure every time out.
As per reports, reconnecting with creativity will help you realize that everything around you is trying to suck out some energy out of you. Harnessing your creativity will make life easier and fun. You’ve probably seen artists or musicians who can’t imagine a world without these art forms because they make them escape.
You need not indulge in an activity or consume something that will do you more harm than good in the long run. Find out what you love doing in the realm of art and use it as a source of pleasure. Your life will be magical.
3. Be accountable to someone
In the professional world, people who want to stop procrastinating and boost their productivity and performance use accountability partners. These partners keep them sober and accelerate their rate of recovery.
You also need an accountability partner to help you beat your addiction. You should communicate with your accountability partner at least once or twice a week. You’ll share your thoughts, emotions and your progress.
Before you go to the bar, smoke a cigarette or gamble your money remember that you’ll be accountable for your actions. Your accountability partner should be someone whom you respect and is willing to tell you the truth no matter what.
4. Exercise regularly
A study shows that physical exercise will improve your health and reduce the risk of developing terminal diseases such as cancer, heart diseases, and diabetes. Physical exercise will help you feel better about yourself because it energizes you during the day and makes you sleep better at night.
To beat your addiction, you should start working out. Recovering addicts who have been exercising regularly have reported that their worries and stress dropped. They also improved their social skills and became fulfilled with their lives.
You don’t have to exercise like you are training for the Olympics. Jogging for at least thirty minutes every day is enough to improve your physical and mental health. If you don’t like jogging, you can cycle or walk. Before you start exercising, you should see a doctor.
5. Identify your weak spots
When are you most likely to indulge in addictive behavior or consume a drug? Do you like doing it in the morning? Do you do it in your car? Or in the bar? When you stop engaging in these behaviors, your brain will start going crazy.
Therefore, it’s important to make plans early enough to avoid sinking in the same act again and again. For instance, if you usually smoke in your car before walking into your office, you can think of doing something that will benefit you in the long run during that period.
It could be something like drinking some juice, calling someone or chewing gum. By replacing the negative behaviors with the positive, you’ll feel more positive about yourself and you’ll start recovering.
6. Stay away from people who encourage addiction
If you want to stop using drugs, you won’t make any progress by associating with drug abusers often. You have to surround yourself with people who focus on their health and indulge in positive habits such as exercising, traveling, eating healthy foods, journaling and striving to achieve their dreams.
Since you are an addict, it’s likely that your closest friends are addicts too. When you start your recovery journey, your friends may not understand why you don’t hang out with them anymore. Yet, it is necessary to keep a distance.
The same applies to gambling, food, sex or any other kind of addiction. Your closest friends are a reflection of who you are.
7. Distract yourself
Every addict will benefit from a list of distractions that will take their mind away from the enticing activity or drug.
Some of the best distractions include walking your dog, playing video games, chatting with friends, cleaning the house or your car, pulling the weeds in your garden, listening to music or watching your favorite TV show.
When you distract yourself for a couple of minutes or hours, the urge will go down gradually until you forget about it. Most people fall into the trap of indulging in addictive behaviors through their thoughts.
You should not take your thoughts too seriously because they keep changing like the weather. Before taking any action, always think about the long-term effects.
8. Keep a record
Successful people define insanity as doing the same thing every time and expecting different outcomes. It’s easier to see this pattern in others than in yourself. You have a friend who keeps swearing she’ll never drink or smoke again only to do it after a few days.
To avoid repeating the same mistakes over and over again, it’s important to keep a record. Keeping a record is similar to what others call journaling. You record your thoughts and emotions at a particular time before indulging in an addictive activity.
By doing this, you’ll discover the most effective way to deal with your cravings. For instance, before smoking a cigarette, you may start feeling bored, restless or angry. What can you do during that moment to distract yourself from those thoughts and emotions?
Writing down your thoughts and emotions is crucial because you can go through them during your free time. Plus, you’ll have an opportunity to understand yourself.
9. Offer help to other people
The best way to learn something new is by teaching it. If you are struggling with addiction, the best way to help yourself is by helping someone who is in a deeper hole than you. In most cases, people who help others are usually less depressed and frustrated.
You don’t need to become a member of the Red Cross or any other organization to help people. Your loved ones and colleagues need your help daily. Do good to others and you’ll do good to yourself. Plus, you won’t have time to be bored and indulge in addictive activities.
10. Read books
Successful people read books at least thirty minutes a day. Warren Buffet reads approximately three hours a day. There is magic in reading especially if you are trying to solve problems that are beyond your control.
By reading books, you’ll get tons of ideas and tips that will help you not only in beating your addiction but also achieving your short-term and long-term goals.
Reading books regularly will help you develop and improve your problem-solving skills. The next time you think of lighting that cigarette or having random sex, pick a book and read a few pages.
If you do not know which book to pick, try this random book suggestor.
1. Practice meditation
Meditation will help you face your daily struggles and understand yourself better. Meditation is an ancient practice that has improved millions of lives across the world. It allows you to observe your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
You might be struggling to recover from your addictions right now however, you can start living a happy and fulfilled life by turning your mind off for a few minutes and being yourself. Do not force yourself to change quickly. Be patient. Everything worthwhile takes time.
Meditation will invite you to a world where you don’t have to do anything to feel pleasant. You’ll be happy being yourself. By practicing meditation regularly, you’ll have boundless energy and live a blissful life.
One of the best ways to overcome any kind of addiction is to know when you’ve had enough. Knowing where to set boundaries for yourself will keep help you stay on track even when things don’t work out as planned.
The majority of people changed their lives and became successful when they drew a line in the sand and started moving towards the direction of their goals. This is something you can do too anytime.
You can only help others when you have the power to control yourself. Self-control is the one thing that no one can do for you.
When you take control of your life, the universe will work for you. Start listening to your intuition. Take your time before making important decisions. And once you’ve made up your mind, just do it!
3. Do Nothing
As a recovering addict, doing nothing is good for you. Why? You are gradually changing to become a positive goal-oriented individual. Sometimes, indulging in a positive habit might be difficult or impossible at the moment.
Instead of falling back to your old habits, it’s better to do nothing. If you are addicted to your phone, doing nothing can seem like an uphill battle. Remember, tomorrow is a new day with better opportunities for you to grow and succeed.
Overcoming an addiction is no easy thing. Apart from the tips we’ve discussed, you might need professional help. Do not hesitate to seek help whenever you need it. Also, you can do it alone however, it would be best to have someone whom you can share your thoughts and emotions.
Do not be in a hurry to recover. Everything worthwhile takes time. You’ve been taking drugs or indulging in destructive activities for a while. And it will take a while before you recover fully. Enjoy the journey. It’s as important as arriving at the destination.
Maxim Dsouza has spent over a decade experimenting and finding various time management techniques to improve his productivity. He strongly understands the fact that time is a limited commodity and tries to make every second count. He has extensive experience in leadership in startups, small businesses, and large corporations.
He has helped people of different professions and age groups gain clarity on their goals, improve focus, revise their time management skills and develop an awareness of their psychological cognitive biases.