Solution to Addiction Part II
October 16, 2015
These tips might sounds useless but they are very useful, if you want long term success.
1. Fix the root cause:
Your addiction might be just a symptom of another deeper problem. As I have already mentioned, how stress in life can increase the chance of addiction, there is a chance that your addiction might be just the symptom of another problem.
It is possible that you might be using addicting behavior to mask the deeper problems like stress or depression caused by loneliness, heart break, emotional or physical trauma or abuse in the past, living with the person who abuses you, doing things you don’t love to do or other psychological problems.
In his Book “Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs” Johann Hari says the solution to addiction is not neglect or punishment but human connection, love and support. Recently, I was just feeling low and lying in my bed, hanging on Facebook. I saw that my friends and relatives had wished me birthday couple of months ago. But I just saw it that day, I started replying and felt really good, my mood went up in seconds. It’s amazing, how just even small small wishes, gratitude, sympathy and compliment can bring a good feeling in us, eliminate stress and improve our mood.
Socializing, developing relation, human connection, learning new skills, taking regular break from work or doing things you love can help a lot in the process of beating addiction. Well I am not asking you to make a girlfriend or boyfriend, which might or might not help, but what I am trying to say is befriend with people who motivates and promotes you, who are free from addiction and live healthy happy life.
But if your emotional problem is severe like being raped or abused in the past, having experienced extreme violence, somekinds of phobia or having experienced childhood trauma, I recommend you to visit a psychologist or counselor. Or atleast do Google Search and read books and articles about it.
2. Visualize success:
Do you know when you imagine moving your right hand same part of your brain is activated when you actually move your right hand? Well visualizing of being success may sound new concept to you, but it isn’t. Since decades athletes have successfully improved their performance through visualization. Nowadays, even many self-help leaders and experts emphasizes on visualization.
Although, it is hard to say, how it works but it works. One concept says, our body and mind is interconnected and thoughts can bring change in our body. Anyway it works and I have personally used it to bring various changes in my life from breaking bad habits to forming good habits.
Good thing is, it’s easy to visualize, you just have to create clear mental picture of already achieving what you want to achieve. Just, create a target, close your eyes, imagine you already achieved it, imagine how it has positively impacted other aspects of life, how you carefully executed your each actions steps in order to achieve your goal, how happy you are… Just imagine as much precisely as you can.
Let’s take an example of how an addict smoker can visualize. I assume you are an addict smoker and your target is to go 100 days without smoking. Let’s begin; Imagine it’s day 100, you are very happy about it, things are getting better. Imagine your children, parents, spouses and all who cares about you are so happy and proud of you, picture their happy face. Your clothes, office, house and equipment no longer smells like cigarette. This is the life you had always wanted and you have finally got it. Imagine how other aspects of your life have improved like career, health, finance, relationship etc. Imagine how much opportunities and progress you will get if you just keep following this path. Now imagine, how you carefully and precisely executed those each action steps inorder to get rid of smoking habit, how you carefully debunked those false expectation brain had thrown over you, how you successfully avoided those triggering situations. Imagine how you started a healthy way to meet your needs and deal with the stress, how you successfully dealt with the relapse…… and so on.
In this way, visualize atleast once a day and if you can then you can visualize as much as you can, especially in the morning just after waking and at night before sleeping. And don’t forget to improve upon the way you visualize, I mean adding those things that helps you and cutting those things which you think isn’t helping.
Just “Fake It, Till You Make IT.” and don’t give up, sooner or later it works.
3. Get ready for relapse:
No one wakes up one day and becomes free from addiction. Your addiction didn’t developed within a single day, it have taken months or even years to become like this. So, it will requires months or even years to reverse the change it has made to your brain and body, so it is certain you will fail several times.
There is no any single person in the history, who has achieved something without couples of failed attempt. And I don’t think you will be exception.
It is certain that you will fail couple of times in the beginning, sometimes even after months or years. Recovering from addiction is slow process which can takes months. But everytime you fail and get back up, you are weakening the system that causes addiction and recovering yourself, becoming stronger. If you fail, figure out what went wrong, learn from it and keep moving. Recovering from addiction is a long-lasting process, it don’t have a certain end point, so even if you have stayed clean for years, you can still relapse. But it’s your choice to return back to your old life and become victim or you can stand back and move forward, improve your life and achieve the best things life can offer.
By the way, it’s always good to prepare action plan about how you will deal with your relapse, this makes recovering from relapse easy and fast. So, prepare a plan ahead, about how you will deal with the relapse.
i. Start cultivating other healthy habits, like meditating, running, exercising, improving relationship but don’t stress too much on accomplishing them as you need to save your will power for beating addiction. But keep your mind busy, doing things you love which can be playing sports, knitting, drawing, singing etc.
ii. Keep records of your struggle and success, this helps to get motivated and see how far you have gone. So, create journal.
iii. But if you are hardcore addict, who shakes or cannot perform or think without engaging in addiction then I recommend you to get some help from professionals.
iv. It’s better to get help from the people who cares and love you, so tell them you are addicted and you need help. Sometimes they may get disappointed and it’s usual because you have broken their trusts. But after you explain everything to them they will understand and will be happy to help you.
v. In the beginning, it’s normal you may suffer from insomnia, mood change, lack of focus, little depression but also don’t give up. After some time, when your body is adapted to new way of life, things will get more better.
vi. Many addict turns into spiritual people in order to deal with the pain of withdrawal and surrender to higher power. It can help one’s to improve his confidence and belief to beat addiction during stressful situations. By the way belief is very strong thing and surrendering to the higher power give you some strength.
vii. Instead of completely stopping to get involved in addictive behavior many tries to slowly reduce their involvement addicting behavior but there is a chance of chaser effect and hence relapse. So do it in your own risk.
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