Addictions is the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance or activity. Most people who engage in addictive behaviors; and go on to develop an actual addiction find that overcoming it is more challenging than they expected.
Even though the difficulties people have with quitting addictions are well known; when people start using, they often feel that addiction is a myth and they can quit any time they want. Or they feel that they are an exception to the rule.
This is even more likely with non-substance, or behavioral; addictions involving activities such as excessive eating, sex, gambling, shopping, and exercise. What makes the situation even more complicated is that for every addictive behavior; some people can engage in the behavior without developing an addiction.
Most people think they are one of the lucky few who won’t get hooked, and unfortunately, don’t realize the truth until it is too late. By the time they recognize the need for change, they may not even want to. It can take years of being faced with the negative consequences of addiction before realizing that it is causing significant problems.
If you are facing challenges of quitting; here are tips on how to overcome addictions:
Making the Decision to Change
Most people who have addiction decide a change needs to happen. Once the decision is made, most people have a specific goal in mind. It might be to quit entirely, to quit some addictive behaviors or substances, to reduce the amount of time or money spent on addictive behaviors, or to reduce the harm of addictive behavior.
Although quitting entirely is the best path to wellness, reducing or eliminating the most harmful substance use is a huge improvement and will greatly reduce the harm caused. Getting clear on your goal before putting it into practice is helpful for success in changing addictive behavior.
Preparing to Change
Once you are clear on your goal, you may still need to prepare to change. Preparations include removing addictive substances from your home, as well as eliminating triggers in your life that may make you more likely to use those substances again.
Quitting is a different experience for everyone. Some find the process liberating and empowering, while others find it painful, difficult, and frustrating. Sometimes many give up before achieving their goal while others discover new sides to themselves during the quitting process. There is no ‘right way to feel while you are quitting. But if you are feeling depressed or find yourself constantly wanting to return to the addictive behavior, you should seek support or treatment.
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