What’s your addiction? Whether you’re dealing with an addiction to alcohol, tobacco, sex, drugs, lying or gambling, admitting that you have a problem is always the first step to overcoming it, and it is not easy. Now it’s time to make a plan for quitting, seek help, and prepare yourself for obstacles you’ll surely encounter.
If you want to learn how to kick that habit and start living life to the fullest again, if you or someone you love suffers from addiction and you need some advice, see the Additional Resources section at the bottom of this article for organizations that can help.
7. WRITE DOWN THE HARMFUL EFFECTS OF YOUR ADDICTION
It might not feel good to acknowledge all the ways in which your addiction is harming you, but seeing the list on paper will help you resolve to stop as soon as possible. Take out a pen and a piece of paper and brainstorm a list that includes all the negative effects you’ve experienced since your addiction started.
• Think about how your addiction has affected your physical health. Are you at greater risk for getting cancer, heart disease, or another illness as a result of your addiction? Maybe the addiction has already taken a noticeable physical toll.
• List the ways in which it has hurt you mentally. Are you embarrassed about your addiction? In many cases addictions lead to shame and embarrassment, as well as depression, anxiety, and other mental and emotional issues.
• How has your addiction affected your relationships with other people? Does it prevent you from spending time with people you love, or having enough time to pursue new relationships?
• Some addictions take a big financial toll. List the amount of money you have to spend feeding your addiction every day, week and month. Determine whether your addiction has affected your job.
• What daily annoyances are caused by your addiction? For example, if you’re a smoker, maybe you’re tired of having to leave your office every time you need to light up.
6. MAKE A LIST OF POSITIVE CHANGES YOU WANT IN YOUR LIFE
Now that you’ve detailed all the negative effects of your addiction, think about how much your life will improve once you’ve kicked the habit. Create a picture of your life post-addiction. How do you want it to look?Maybe you’ll feel a sense of freedom you haven’t had in years.
You’ll have more time to spend on people, hobbies, and other pleasures.You’ll be able to save money again.You know you’re doing everything you can to stay healthy. You’ll feel immediate physical improvements.You’ll feel proud and confident again.
5. WRITE DOWN YOUR QUITTING COMMITMENT
Having a list of solid reasons to quit will help you stick to your plan in the long run. Your reasons for quitting must be more important to you than continuing your addictive behavior. This mental hurdle is tough, but it’s a necessary first step to quitting any addiction. No one can make you quit but yourself. Write down the true, solid reasons you’re stopping this habit.
Only you know what they are. Here are a few examples:Decide you’re quitting because you want to have energy to live life to the fullest again.Decide you’re quitting because you’re running out of money to support your habit.Decide you’re quitting because you want to be a better partner to your spouse.Decide you’re quitting because you’re determined to meet your grandchildren one day.
4. SEEK PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT
It might not seem like it now, but you’re going to need all the support you can get during your journey to overcome addiction. Because so many people battle addictions, there are many wonderful institutions in place that serve as support systems, helping you stay motivated, providing tips for success, and encouraging you to try again if you have a false start. Research in-person and online support groups designed to help people with the specific type of addiction you’re battling. Many resources are free. Make an appointment with a therapist skilled in helping people through addictions.
Find someone you’re comfortable with so you’ll be able to rely on him or her in the months to come. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), behavioral therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Gestalt techniques and life skills training are amongst the techniques that have been proven successful for those seeking to overcome addictions. A therapeutic setting ensures that you will have privacy and that the treatment will be based on your particular needs and goals.Seek support from your closest loved ones and friends. Let them know how much this means to you. If you’re addicted to a substance, ask them not to use it in your presence.
3. GET YOUR ENVIRONMENT READY
Remove reminders of your addiction from your home, car and workplace. Get rid of all the objects that goes along with the habit, as well as other items that remind you of the habit.Consider replacing the objects with items that help you feel positive and calm. Fill your refrigerator with wholesome food. Treat yourself to a few good books or DVDs (provided they don’t contain content that could act as a trigger). Place candles and other aesthetically pleasing items around the house.You might want to try redecorating your bedroom, rearranging the furniture, or just buying a few new throw pillows. Changing your environment will give you the feeling of having a fresh start.
2. DON’T LET A RELAPSE BE THE END OF YOUR JOURNEY
Everyone slips up from time to time. That doesn’t mean you should give in and return to your addictive habits in a full-blown relapse. If you have a slip up, go back over what happened and determine what changes you can make if it happens again. Then get back on your feet and start again.Don’t let guilt and shame take over if you slip up. You’re trying your best, and all you can do is keep at it.
1.CELEBRATE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Do something nice for yourself when you meet the goals you’ve made, no matter how small. Kicking an addiction is incredibly tough work, and you deserve to be rewarded.