How to Overcome Addiction?

1,893 Views Updated: 15 Feb 2019
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How to Overcome Addiction?

Addiction is a brain disorder where a person compulsively engages in a desirable stimulus. Despite the adverse consequences, a person indulges in them because the brain interprets it positively. Why does a person repeat when the desired stimuli have negative results? Addiction works on the reward system. When a person achieves something they desire, it gives them pleasure. The object itself is a source of pleasure and therefore it receives reinforcement. Addiction does not have boundaries. A person can get addicted to almost anything that facilitates a positive outcome. Addiction can be related to a substance or it can be behavioral. Some types of addictions have been specified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Substance addiction includes addiction to alcohol, drugs like cocaine and heroin, tobacco, cigarette, medicines, cannabis, inhalants and other unspecified substances. A lot of people have an addiction to alcohol which is one of the most common and difficult to overcome addiction. The Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study shows that an American developing an abuse or dependence disorder is 15 percent for alcohol and 6 percent for other drugs. People who drink lose the capacity to make sound decisions, their judgment gets affected, loss of memory and loss of control over body reflexes. It also affects the lives of those who live with these people. What to do if you have an alcoholic husband? Alcohol and drug abuse is something that people can recognize soon after the indulgence but there are some addictions that people develop gradually over time, and they do not realize their addiction for quite a long time. Such an addiction is caffeine addiction.  About 90% of the people over the world consume caffeine every day and they do not understand that they have become addicted to it till they stop consuming it.

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Another type of addiction is behavioral which includes eating, sex, pornography, social media, video games, working, exercising, religious devotion, seeking pain, shopping, gambling and so on. The examples of behavioral addictions are found around us all the time. There will be a shopaholic friend who cannot pass a day without buying something, a sibling who is obsessed with video games, a person who calls oneself foodie but may actually be suffering from an eating disorder. They do not have an addiction to an object instead they are impelled to behave in a certain way because it is enjoyable. One such addiction is gambling addiction.  A person who begins gambling continues to do it in greed. It gives them a feeling of power and excitement. The person feels an adrenaline rush while playing which motivates them to gamble more. The most common behavioral addiction these days is the social media addiction. Each and every one of us has access to social media no matter what the age or gender may be. Our lives are imprinted over the social media and we tend to believe that is not an addiction. However, it is kind of an addiction that slowly develops like a caffeine addiction.

Once a person becomes addicted to a substance or behavior it becomes difficult to get rid of it. Overcoming addiction is a long process which will require a strong will and a lot of efforts. But it is an essential process for leading a healthy and a positive life. Let us learn how to overcome addiction.

#1. Write Down The Harmful Effects

The process of overcoming an addiction will begin when you realize that the addiction has some harmful effects. Unless a person knows that the thing which gives them immense pleasure has side effects they will not take a step towards overcoming addiction. Write down the adverse consequences it may have on any person. Research about the addiction over the internet and you will be surprised to know things it can do. You will also find case studies which you should read because it will show you how the addiction has ruined people’s lives. Try to find the studies where people could beat the addiction. Their stories will inspire you to quit your addiction.

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#2. Observe How It Has Affected Your Life

After you have studied about the addiction’s side effects and the statistics, sit peacefully for some time and think about how the addiction has affected you. Addiction weakens a person’s control over their mind. It starts dominating them, and the person gives in to the addiction. They stop listening to what other people have to say about it because they start rationalizing their addiction for an object or something else. The close friends and family start avoiding such people and they become isolated. People lose their jobs and relationships because of the addiction. Try to analyze what your situation is and how you can reform it. A person you know may also have some addiction which can be difficult to handle. Your partner may be love addicted which can sometimes get on your nerves. How do you handle love addiction? Think how does their addiction affect you so that you can try to change it.

Click Here To Read More: How To Handle Love Addiction?

#3. List The Positive Changes You Wish For

You will not overcome an addiction just by knowing the side effects and how it has created hurdles in your life. Make a list of all the things you want to change in your life and stick it somewhere you can see it every day. These will be your goals that you have to achieve one by one. Just like we stick our short term and long term targets on the office wall, the same way apply the list of positive things you want in life. When you will see those things all the time, you will be motivated and reminded to quit your addiction. Stay motivated and positive because positivity attracts positivity. It will give birth to a strong will that you lost so that you can move ahead in your life again. You can suggest this tip to someone with sex addiction or any other addiction for that matter to help them overcome it.

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#4. Commit To Overcoming The Addiction

It is the time that you commit to yourself. The real deal is here and now. You need to be determined to change the way your life is and to do that you will have to take an oath. Abide by what you believe in and what you have decided for yourself. Work on your personality. Be strong-headed as that will help you stick to your decisions. Start reasoning and debating with yourself and every time a thought takes you in favor of the addiction, fight with yourself. Give yourself a good reason to overcome the addiction. The fight will be against yourself so be prepared. Your commitment will begin from the day you start arguing with yourself. Debate to win. Beat the addiction.

#5. Set A Deadline For Quitting

Set a deadline for yourself. You should know what is your level of addiction and how long it will take for you to give up on it. Do you think it will take a year to completely get over the addiction? Give yourself 8 to 10 months. Give yourself less time so that there is a pressure over your head to finish what you took on time. The longer time you give yourself, the longer you will procrastinate. It would be right to time yourself because that would make you punctual as well. Think about your goals whenever you feel like taking more time. Do you want to improve your relationships? Can you wait for a year to make things smooth? Do you want to start earning again? Can you wait for a year to start again? The answer would be no because you do not have the finances to wait for so long. If you want to bring a change then you will have to start working as soon as possible.

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#6. Do Not Withdraw Immediately

If you withdraw from your addiction instantly, then you will fail in your plan. Addiction will not leave you easily. You will have to start with pieces so that you can overcome the addiction gradually. If you are an alcohol addict then getting rid of alcohol completely will make you want to drink it more than usual. If you are a person who drinks five bottles each day, then you can begin by having four bottles a day, reducing one bottle each week. It will not make a huge impact suddenly on your body. When you leave alcohol altogether, it will be like living without oxygen, and your body will start panicking. It will ask for its food which is alcohol for you. You may even have to be hospitalized in that case or you will end up drinking more on the first day itself. The impact on your body will be huge. Therefore, it would be better if you start with chunks of change.

Read More: Why People Fail To Overcome Addiction?

#7. Get Rid Of The Triggers

There will be a lot of things in your environment that will attract you towards your addiction. Get rid of those objects that remind you of your addiction from your environment. Hide the bottles you might have hidden at home or in your car. Keep your surroundings clean so that nothing triggers you to get back to your addiction. Stay away from people who might provoke you or who might create your interest in any kind of addiction. Stay distracted by other things. Keep yourself busy and take care of your health. Begin with a healthy lifestyle. Start exercising because the addiction has possibly harmed your body internally. Try to connect spiritually which will help you stay away from addiction. Faith has the power to make a person achieve anything they want. Your faith in God or your religion will teach you a lot of lessons that will stay for your life.

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#8. Celebrate Your Achievement

It is very important to reinforce yourself towards the right thing. If you have made progress then celebrate it but do not celebrate by doing what you are trying to avoid. Find alternatives for your addiction but also do not get addicted to the substitute. Enjoy your achievements with the people you love who encourage you to become a better person. Be positive and be hopeful for future. Soon you would have overcome addiction. Consult doctors to keep your progress in check. Accomplish all the goals on the list, and then you will have a life just how you imagined.

Are you addicted? What is your addiction? How did you overcome addiction? Share your experience with us through the comments section below.  

(Image Courtesy: 1. Genetic Literacy, 2. Hills Center, 3. Laquits, 4. LifeHack,5.  Rapid Detox: Hypno Reveira(Featured Image Courtesy)
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