21 Jun How to Live Addiction Free
How to Live Addiction Free
All addictions have one thing in common – the ability to weaken one’s willpower and self-discipline. Some addictions are seemingly innocent like caffeine, shopping or video games. Others tend to be more serious like drugs, alcohol or gambling. Regardless of the vice, the person wrapped up in the addiction is dealing with an internal struggle to break free. Sometimes people don’t realize that one addiction tends to lead to others. Eventually, addicts find themselves with a half-dozen addictions, although they may only be consciously aware of one or two. The pleasure-seeking part of a person’s brain is conditioned when certain behaviors trigger a dopamine response. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps to solidify desired behaviors, such as gratification from addictions. Sadly, our brains oftentimes work against our long-term happiness and fulfillment.
Five Ways to Overcome Addictions
There are several methods recommended for learning to live an addiction-free life. Using a combination of a few approaches is the best plan in staying the course long term.
- Identify – It’s critical to identify the feelings and thoughts that get you into trouble. Try to realize patterns that lead you toward destructive behavior. Even though these thoughts may seem soothing, they should be identified as an enemy. By pinpointing the internal and external triggers, people can become more mindful and self-aware. This brief pause will help an addict reflect and resist acting on thoughts that go against their own well-being.
- Journal – It’s no secret that writing is therapeutic. So, once you’ve identified negative thoughts and triggers that lead to trouble, write them down. Taking the initiative to write down whatever comes into your head is a healthier alternative to partaking in destructive behavior. It also offers you something tangible to look back on down the road. This may help you find patterns in yourself and determine what motivates your addictions.
- Reflect – Once you’ve recognized the thoughts in your head that prompts you to act against your better judgment, ask yourself ‘why?’ Where do the “voices” in your head come from? Do they sound familiar – is it your mom, dad, or significant other’s voice? Do the phrases remind you of someone or something from your past? Did a close friend or family member influence you by engaging in similar behavior? Did your parents or other important figures use damaging coping mechanisms to deal with their feelings and worries? Try to answer these questions to better understand how and why you’ve gotten to this point.
- Plan – Becoming aware of what triggers you position you toward action. Simply being aware puts you back in the driver’s seat of your life. Now you can develop a plan of what to do when you’re feeling weak and wanting to indulge. One method is to visualize yourself saying no. You can also think of things you’ve done in the past that have worked to distract you. Sometimes, seeking the company of a close friend to talk to is a helpful tool as well. This is why there is a sponsor in 12-step programs. Companionship is key when trying to overcome any type of addiction.
- Have compassion – We are all human. Each of us will mess up occasionally and make mistakes. But learning to deal with an addiction is a sign of strength, not weakness. So, in the event of a relapse or mistake don’t beat yourself up about it. Any urge to self-punish is strongly tied to the addiction in the first place. Sometimes listening to your inner voice is detrimental and will only work against you. If you fall off the proverbial bicycle, pick yourself back up and keep on riding. Be kind to yourself and never give up finding what works best for you in managing your addiction.
If you or someone you care about is seeking help from an Albuquerque alcohol rehab or Rio Rancho rehab, we can help. Reach out to our compassionate, trained professionals anytime at (877) 723-1243.