Many people addicted to negative behaviors find it hard to break off from such. They feel helpless in the face of addiction and ask themselves why they can’t quit.
This article discusses how to deal with addictive behaviors. Before we look at the steps, let’s discuss why quitting addictive behavior is difficult.
Why Is Quitting Addictive Behavior So Hard?
Addictive behaviors alter your brain’s reward system, impulse control and judgment and the frontal cortex of your brain that trigger craving or hunger for rewarding experiences, despite negative consequences.
These alterations and changes make addictive behavior hard to quit. This is not to say that they are not treatable. They are treatable and stoppable with the right plan, processes or steps.
The quitting process isn’t an easy one. You must deal with many factors encouraging such addictive behaviors; mental, emotional, biological and physical.
Examples of Addictive behaviors include gambling, internet obsession, lying, overeating, television compulsion, alcoholism, smoking, substance abuse, manipulations and so on.
How To Deal With Addictive Behaviors
Below are the ways to deal with addictive behavior.
Prepare To Quit
One of the most effective ways to deal with addictive behavior is to prepare to quit. Set a timeline for when you want to quit such behaviors. It can be a special date like a birthday, anniversary, college graduation or family reunion.
Fixing a date helps you to prepare your mind for the result, which is the mental preparation you need to successfully deal with addictive behaviors.
Change Your Environment
Changing your environment and getting rid of environmental and physical factors that remind you of the addiction is a potent way to deal with such addictions.
Changing your environment involves moving out from one geographical location to another, changing your daily routine (such as avoiding bars where you used to drink) and changing social patterns (such as avoiding people you used to do drugs with or gamble).
If you are trying to quit gambling, stay off scratch tickets, player cards, poker chips or any other things that remind you of gambling. For alcoholism, take off alcohol bottles, bottle openers, and corkscrews, and avoid movies that show drinking scenes.
Another way to deal with addictive behaviors is to talk to friends and family and build support groups.
There are support groups you can join online or within your neighborhood, such as therapy groups, where you get help to deal with your addictions. Pick up your phones and check for any support group nearby.
Finding distractions and staying busy is a helpful way to prevent addictive behaviors from relapsing. Simply look for healthier alternative behaviors you can adopt. It can be engaging in physical activities such as swimming, running, powerlifting, etc.
Also, it can be reading a book, going for a walk or hanging out with a clean friend. You can also get involved in your hobbies or go back to school. Ensure you never stay lonely or isolated during your recovery stage. You might fall back into the addictions.
If you have a drug or alcohol addiction, some medications can help you to quit such behaviors successfully. Consult your doctor on possible options.
In addition to medications, psychotherapy is effective in helping you overcome addictions. Psychotherapy comes in different types. It can be:
- Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT)
- Motivational enhancement therapy (MET)
- Family therapy
They are all effective and are administered based on the kind of addiction you are fighting and the degree of it.
Dealing with addictive behaviors requires you to prepare your mind to quit first. After that, other processes such as changing environments, seeking medication, seeking support groups and distracting yourself can be tried out. Never fight against addictions in isolation.