Addiction is a complex topic that goes beyond substance abuse like alcohol or drugs. It includes a wide range of behaviors and habits that can have a negative impact on our lives. From excessive drinking of coffee, gaming or social media to unhealthy eating habits, smoking or toxic relationships. Most of the time, we don’t even recognize them as an addiction. Which in fact is the most crucial thing, in order to lead a healthier and happier life. In this article, we will focus on understanding addiction and give you practical strategies on how to conquer your temptations.
WHAT IS ADDICTION?
An addiction is a compulsive engagement in a behavior or substance that leads to negative consequences, despite your desire to stop or reduce it. We can see that a lot with smoking – even though you want to stop, you are not able to, because the motive of a cigarette is to keep you addicted. Most likely, the same applies for social media. The algorithms want you to stay engaged and online. Thus, most importantly, try to develop self-awareness. Take some time to reflect on your behaviors and identify patterns that may cause your addiction.
WHAT IS YOUR GOAL?
Once you’ve become more self-aware, try to establish clear and achievable goals. Break down your ultimate objective into smaller, manageable steps. It’s called micro-improvement: Try to limit your social media time to fewer hours or drink only two coffees per day. Progress will keep you going and don’t forget to celebrate your achievements along the way.
WHAT IS YOUR ALTERNATIVE?
Often, we engage in addictive behavior because we cannot see other options. Find healthy alternatives and engage in activities that bring you joy, such as new hobbies, exercise (in a balanced way, if you are not a professional athlete) or creative work. Instead of giving in to the addiction, replace it with another thing (that is of course healthier). Moreover, it will foster your personal growth as well.
WHO ARE YOU DOING IT FOR?
Other people tell us all the time what we should or should not do. But probably, we will not change a thing if we don’t believe it ourselves. Many people only change when the pain is big enough. In order to avoid reaching this point, engage in self-care. Incorporate practices into your routine where you reflect on yourself. Be it meditation, yoga, journaling, sports or anything that reduces stress and enhances the connection with yourself.
WHAT IF NOTHING WORKS?
Sometimes we have to accept that being vulnerable is the strongest thing we can do. Reaching out for support is invaluable to conquer any addiction, but especially long-lasting ones. Share your struggle with trusted friends and family or experts and therapists who specialize in addiction recovery. Always the first step is the hardest, but once you did it, you will immediately feel better. The work has to be done by ourselves, but there are a lot of people out there who can support you on your way.
At Women World we offer a strong network of experts and coaches that help you unblock the obstacles in front of you. Contact us if you need advice and we try to find the coach that suits your goals the best.
Christina Mathis is a copywriter and blog curator at Women World.