Addictions do not appear out of nowhere, we create them acting on our free will and it takes time before they take root in our body. Unfortunately, addictions have negative impact on our health, mood, lifestyle, and they tend to control us to some degree. There are many reasons why we get addicted in the first place: peer pressure, a bad period in our lives, boredom, curiosity etc.

However, we should always strive to improve, and breaking a bad habit is a huge step in terms of self-improvement. So, here are the four most common addictions that ruin lives, and some suggestions on how to overcome them.

1. Alcohol addiction

As we grow up, we become drawn to liquor, since it is advertised to us on so many levels. First of all it is forbidden, so when we enter the rebellious phase of our life, we try to establish our own identities by breaking the rules. Second, if our parents love to drink we tend to mimic this behavior. We are puzzled by the fact that alcohol is forbidden to us, yet they seem to have a really good time while drinking.

Third, every teenage TV show includes scenes with booze, so we are really tempted to give it a try at some point. Of course, you won’t become an addict if you drink once a week with your friends, or only during special occasions, but if you develop alcohol addiction there are a lot of dire consequences.

Alcoholism is incredibly destructive. It’s not only bad for one’s health, but it breaks families, causes people to lose their jobs, and it can cause various accidents when people drive intoxicated. It is imperative that anyone with alcohol addiction take the steps necessary to overcome it. In order to be successful at this attempt, you need a plan.

So, compile a list of all the positive stuff that will happen to you after you quit drinking and always keep it neat to use it as a reminder. Create your drinking goals, or strategy for quitting, by setting the limits of how many glasses you are allowed to drink during the week.

Find a hobby that will help you channel your frustration. You can immerse yourself in an online video game, or start reading books, basically anything that keeps your mind fully occupied, but doesn’t stimulate it to think about alcohol.

2. Tobacco addiction

Unlike alcoholism, addiction to cigarettes is not that destructive. It is extremely harmful for your health and good looks, but it certainly won’t make you behave irrationally. Still, smokers tend to have a lot of stress going through life, constantly coughing, having damaged lungs, their teeth and fingers have different color, they become older at a faster pace etc.

It is never easy to quit, since smokers tend to increase the number of cigarettes they smoke on a daily basis, as the addiction grows stronger, meaning that the longer you smoke, the harder it will be to quit. Luckily, many people were able to quit or significantly reduce their cigarette intake. Much like with alcoholism you need a good strategy. It’s best to go at it slowly and gradually reduce your nicotine intake over the course of a month, until you can finally quit altogether.

One of the main motivators here is usually money, since the moment you stop spending cash on cigarettes, you’ll notice a significant spike in your budget. You should also try to engage in some form of cardio exercise, as exhausting your body and muscles makes them crave more oxygen, so the need to light up a cigarette is strongly reduced during and after workout, plus you’ll get sleepy and you can’t smoke while sleeping.

It would also be wise to avoid areas where smoking isn’t prohibited, because even smell and seeing someone with a cigar will incite the need for you to smoke. Finally, you can use the same tactic as mentioned above, find a hobby that will occupy your thoughts, and set a limit for how many cigarettes you are allowed to smoke on a daily basis, if you can’t quit cold turkey.

3. Food addiction

Unlike the previous two addictions, food is a necessity and because we do not have enough time on our hands, we tend to eat out rather than prepare our own meals. Since we eat junk food all the time, we became more and more addicted to it.

Fizzy drinks and sweets are also incredibly addictive substances, due to their high sugar content that causes our bodies to release feel-good hormones. It’s easy to start eating snacks whenever you need a quick boost of happiness, and that leads to unhealthy eating habits. These addictions lead to obesity, and obesity leads to depression, which again makes you eat the same food that got you into that mess. In a way it creates a perpetual cycle, and it is really bad for both your health and self-confidence.

The best way to break from this addiction is to exercise and work on your figure. If you are fully invested, and if you manage to get positive results, you will be fully motivated to continue. First you’ll need a healthy diet, since you are less likely to eat sweets and fast food if you are not hungry. Second, you’ll need a good program for exercise. If you’re not much of a runner and don’t want to hit the gym, there are great yoga poses designed to reduce belly fat, as well as body weight exercise programs that you can do at home without any special equipment.

That being said, it’s best to have a personal trainer, someone to monitor your workouts, keep you motivated, and prevent you from getting hurt. The hardest part is going to be that you’ll have to eat less, so until your stomach adjusts to the new regime, you are going to be really stressed out and hungry. To sum up, if you work on your looks and realize how much good dieting and working out has done for you, there is a good chance you won’t let it go to waste by falling back into old habits.

4. Drug addiction

This one is probably the worst of all the addictions, since it is both illegal and highly destructive. It also creates the worst kind of dependence, so it’s quite difficult to escape it. Very often, when trying to break from this addiction people choose a lesser evil, i.e. they get addicted to something else, like alcohol.

This is usually done to help people deal with the shock that occurs as a result of withdrawal. Clearly, it is not an efficient way to tackle the issue, but it will at least create problems that are, for the most part, legal. It’s important to know that if you want to break free from drug addiction, you need to have a strong resolve and desire to change – doing it because you made a promise to someone else usually doesn’t work out. You will also need a lot of support and good friends who will keep you motivated.

Another thing to remember is that there is no universal treatment for drug addiction – the treatment needs to be customized to fit your needs. Because drug abuse is something that occurs as a result of a deeper underlying problem, you’ll need to treat the cause of your addiction at the same time. When you have an efficient treatment program it’s imperative that you stay committed to it and even seek out professional help.

Addictions can be truly sinister, and unless we start to perceive them as a problem, we will never make an effort to stop. The best way to deal with any addiction is determination to prove to yourself and everyone around you that you are strong enough.

Do not try to find justification, or excuses to give in to the internal pressure. The moment you do that, call it what it truly is. It is your weakness and inability to efficiently deal with problems, and if you do not want to be that kind of person, then do not give in.

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