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Addiction is typically associated with alcohol, smoking, and drugs, but plenty of other addictions can have an unhealthy impact on life. For example, if you’re addicted to social media, you may spend less time in the real world and develop psychological issues, including anxiety and low self-esteem. Fortunately, there are ways to beat unhealthy addictions.

Have a Support Network

Overcoming an addiction isn’t easy, and you’ll likely need support from positive people including family and friends. Sometimes, you may need to reassess your relationships and make some changes. For example, if you’re addicted to drinking and spend a lot of time with people who enjoy going out for a drink, it’s best to reduce contact for a while. When quitting feels challenging, you can use your positive support network to keep you grounded. 

Understanding Triggers and Using Distractions 

Often, unhealthy addictions develop as a need to fill the void, and then spiral from there. After deciding to quit, one of the first steps is working out your triggers, which will let you try to avoid them. Whenever you slip into a trigger, distract your mind with engaging distractions like these:

  • Going for a walk
  • Reading a book
  • Writing in a journal
  • Exploring new hobby
  • Playing a game

This is just a small selection of distractions to use. To find out which works best for you, some trial and error will need to take place. If you need to leave your immediate area to avoid picking up your habit again, so be it. 

If you stay persistent with the distraction technique, you’ll eventually find that you’ve got a new habit. However, instead of making for an unhealthy lifestyle, it works in your favor. In some cases, like with alcohol and drug addiction, a swap for a healthy habit can mean a higher life expectancy. 

Set a Quit Date

After deciding to beat an addiction, you’ll likely find excuses to start. Therefore, we recommend setting a quit date that coincides with a positive event, like a birthday. Doing this will help you to put your energy into something else, like enjoying the day. 

Try Addiction Treatments

You may need additional support if you’re struggling with the habit and nothing appears to be working. Fortunately, it’s easy to explore addiction therapy, and many different types exist. For example, Cognitive Therapy in Addiction Rehab involves communicating with a professional to challenge habit-causing behaviors. Once the root cause has been identified, your CBT expert will guide you in reframing your mind. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy isn’t for everyone, but it’s proven effective. Alternative methods include:

  • Motivational enhancement therapy (MET). Helps to boost willingness to change and stay in treatment. 
  • Mindfulness therapy. Helps with identifying and dealing with triggers but is more accessible than CBT in (some cases).
  • Family therapy. Therapy designed for young adults and teens. 

Unhealthy addictions can rule your life, so now is the time to kick the habit. The abovementioned list isn’t extensive, but it provides an entry-level knowledge base. 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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