According to Wikipedia, addiction is a biopsychosocial disorder characterized by repeated use of drugs, or repetitive engagement in a behavior such as gambling, despite harm to self and others.
Biopsychosocial means concerned or pertaining to the biological, psychological and social aspect of a behavior in contrast to only having just one of out of the three.
When we hear the word “addiction”, most people only think about things like alcohol, drugs, Indian hemp, marijuana, etc. But they’re several other addictions that most people have without realizing and even some you probably didn’t know existed. So before we move on, here are..
..Some common examples of addictions you may or may not know of .
2. Drugs (cocaine, tobacco, marijuana, heroine, Indian hemp, sedatives, painkillers etc)
3. Food addiction (more commonly-sugar/junk food)
4. Sex addiction (Promiscuousness/inability to control one’s sexual urges)
5. Addiction to Phone/ other electronic gadgets.
6. Internet/Social Media addiction
7. Cosmetic addiction (addiction to wearing makeup, excessive artificial accessories and surgeries)
8. Working out (doing extreme fitness activities that can cause damage instead of good)
9. Shopping/Spending addiction (or in better terms- “Extravagance”)
10. Gambling addiction
11. Work addiction
(Read more about different types of addictions, their side effects and solutions here)
(Feel free to leave more if you have them in the comments)
7 steps to help you retake control of your actions
1. Admit that you have an addiction problem
The first step to solving a problem is acknowledging or figuring out what the problem is and the same logic applies to bad habits. You cannot get rid of an addiction/bad habit if you don’t admit to having one first.
You cannot fix a problem you don’t know exists.
It’s as simple as that!
It’s easy and even a bit self soothing to keep denying and putting off our bad habits especially when it’s brought to us by other people. Human beings don’t like to be criticized and ignorance is bliss after all.
But when it reaches a stage whereby we can clearly see the consequences of our poor habits and bad decisions, living in self denial just won’t solve anything, so the earlier you admit having an addiction, the earlier you can get rid of it.
You cannot escape a prison if you do not know that you’re in one.
2. Identify the root cause of the problem
Admitting to having an addiction is a small part of the process. The major being identifying the origin of your addiction i.e how it came about.
Ask yourself questions like; Why you do it? When did you start doing it? how does it make you feel? What are some instances where/when you feel like doing it, etc.
As usual, my top advice would be to write it out on a piece of paper preferably a journal just to really decipher the root of the problem and to keep yourself accountable.
Example, it’s easy to binge eat or reach for your phone when you’re really bored and have nothing better to do. Some poor diet choices can often be as a result of emotional trauma or stress in which cases, the victims tend to use food as an emotional support. The same goes for alcohol and drug addictions.
Also, psychological disorders such as dysmorphia can make one develop an unhealthy relationship with physical fitness, while many if not most people have a social media addiction (especially teens!)
3. Write out some of the negative impacts of your addiction.
What better thing to fuel a resolution than fear? (Lol…I’m just kidding, most times fear does more harm than good when tackling an issue).
However, knowing some of the detriments of your bad addiction might make you rethink those habits if you pay close attention.
Example, you’re less likely to take another cigarette if you see a picture of a burnt lungs (just to be clear, that’s what the lungs of a hemp addict looks like) and you may think twice about getting the fourth cosmetic surgery if you are deeply informed of the long term damages it caused to your skin.
4. List out some positive things that can happen when you quit your addiction.
Some time ago, I watched a Ted talk on how promoting the benefits of abstaining from a bad habit will do a better job at keeping people away from it than only emphasizing its disadvantages.
For instance, telling a student he could be great if he worked harder will do better at making him/her study harder than telling them they would fail if they didn’t.
This claim also applies in our daily lives even without us realising. Example, when I quit nail biting, I was motivated to do so because I wanted my nails to look pretty and well cared for and not because I was scared of getting an infection. Similarly, most people tend to go the gym and do diets because they want to be more healthy and fit not necessarily due to the fear of obesity.
You get my point?
So providing yourself with good incentives that come with quitting a bad habit is way better than a threat. Just beside all the negative impacts of your addiction should be the positive.
Example, if you’re addicted to alcohol, write out some of the good things that can come with quitting alcohol misuse such as; no hangovers, less migraines, more productivity and just a better quality of life on general.
5. Make little changes.
Rome wasn’t built in a day!
So your habit may not come off easily too. Some people say it takes about 21 days to build a habit, which may seem like eternity when one is enslaved by your addiction. Making little changes will make it less daunting.
A very common example is trying to quit alcohol. You can start by consuming just a glass everyday (instead of an entire bottle!). Healthy substitutions are also great helpers. For instance, chewing gum is said to help smokers be less addicted to cigarettes.
6. Be More Active- Keep Yourself Distracted from Your Addiction.
Another way to get rid of an addiction is to distract yourself from it.
Of course this may only be possible if you’re not stuck in a place that fuels it.
They’re certain changes you can make in your life that can keep yo away from bad habits such as finding better activities to do, staying away from triggering environments and avoiding people who tend to fuel your addiction even if it’s rather unwittingly.
Example, somebody who is trying to quit alcohol should not to be in places where it of high consumption such as bars and clubs. Reading a book, engaging in more social activities and getting new hobbies can also keep you distracted from staring at your phone screen 24/7.
7. Seek help if you need it.
Last but not least is to seek professional help if you find yourself struggling.
I know a lot of people always have double minds about asking for help because of fear of being judged, but there’s nothing wrong with doing so no matter what because we all need a little help sometimes.
Addictions can be a terrible thing so it’s not weird that you may not be able to rid it completely all your own.
Ask for help if you need it. It must not even be professional, you can seek counseling from close ones, family members, spiritual leaders, mentors and good friends (emphasis on the good).
That’s it for this article, I hope you found these tips useful.
Q– Have you ever had an Addiction? If you have, how did you get rid of it?
Drop your comments below!
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Stay Safe, Stay Happy