Addiction is one of the most common issues of the average person these days, but few realize they are struggling with it, admit having a problem with something, and rarely anyone takes action to get back on track and take control of their life.
In the age when purchasing a thing from overseas is just one click and talking to another person is one swipe right , aquiring new objects or experiences can be addictive like anything else.
That doesn’t need to be you. You can stop your addition to ‘the next thing’ starting today. And yes, there will always be this next thing if you don’t take a conscious decision to get your life back together and be the one in charge.
So, let’s see what the steps are to overcoming your biggest weakness and to finally live freely and happily:
1. Define where you are in your life right now
Sit down today or tomorrow and start thinking about your current lifestyle and the person you are at this stage.
That may sound like an easy exercise, but truly admitting what you aren’t satisfied with in yourself and around you might be difficult.
Honestly and mindfulness are stepping stones to understanding addiction, and eventually not just overcoming it, but making sure you’ll never get addicted to anything else again.
2. Decide that you want to change, and clearly state why
Clear reasons why you want to do something about your addictive nature will help you out a lot in the future.
The decision you take should happen without letting any outer factor affect it. It’s just you and your mind and soul and you want to free these.
The ‘whys’ behind your desire to deal with the addiction may be many and different—from finally reaching a goal you’ve always had, to improving your relationship with a loved one or becoming a better version of yourself so that you can meet nice people and form deeper connections.
3. Set realistic goals
Now’s the time to go back to the past for a while and think about previous attempts to deal with getting addicted to something, be it a bad habit, overeating, another person, material objects, or even something so harmful that your life was in danger.
What ways did you try? What in your environment helped you make a change, and which factors only made it worse to do something about it?
Write down all these. Then, set goals that are more realistic this time.
You’ll want to start small and give this transformation time. You don’t want to get overwhelmed and give up too soon.
4. Be present
It’s important to practice mindfulness during the whole process of stopping the addiction to ‘the next thing.’
That’s because once you start doing things unconsciously, you might end up going back to old habits, and triggering bad behaviours or mental patterns you thought you had overcome.
To fight addiction, you should be mindful of what’s going on around you, but also in your head, at any moment of the day. This way you’ll firmly say ‘no’ to negative thoughts and influences, and choose peace and change instead.
5. Optimize your environment
Your environment can make or break the success of your mission.
Spending time with people who indulge in unhealthy behaviors, for instance, will surely make you weak in the face of temptations and give in easily.
You don’t want that. Instead, either directly tell these people you’re trying to overcome addiction and can’t spend as much time with them anymore, or simply ignore them for a while.
To have the opposite effect, find the ones that are mentally strong, who inspire you, who’ve already fought addiction and now live a happy, fulfilling life.
Just seeing their successful recovery will let you keep hope alive.
What’s more, you’re more likely to take action and stay strong and consistent when you’re around them.
Plus, feedback always comes in handy. Ask them for advice, listen to their words of encouragement, and make sure you don’t repeat their mistakes.
6. Be accountable
Here’s the time to include another person in your journey that will make sure you’re always doing the right thing and not showing any signs of addiction.
It might be a parent, partner, friend, mentor, or even someone you hire for that kind of a job.
Either have daily calls in the beginning, or just keep in touch all the time and share your results, ask for support when you feel weak, etc.
7. Understand addiction
Do your research and even keep reading about addiction, what causes it, how others have overcome it (meaning success stories on the web of people who are now over that), and how the mind works when it’s addicted to something (and other basic psychology principles).
Understanding something is half the battle.
8. Keep yourself busy
If you have too much time on your hands, and get bored often, your mind will eventually start indulging in old habits again. So engage it in something different and interesting.
Start a new hobby. Learn a new skill. Take up a sport. Begin researching and brainstorming an online business idea.
There are many things you can be doing with your time when you’re not working or doing anything else. Be productive. This will increase your self-esteem too and you’ll feel good about yourself.
9. Prepare for failure
Another useful thing to do in advance is to plan the potential times of the day, or situations in daily life, which might make you do what you’re not supposed to be doing.
Write these down and watch out for them.
10. Enjoy life without addiction
Stop every day for a while to appreciate the clear mind you have now, the change you’re going through that makes you stronger each new day, and the opportunities that lie in store if you keep staying on the right path.
That will encourage you to keep going and will make you happier.
11. Write it out
Have a journal. Write down anything related to the addiction there, be it one from the past you want to completely overcome, or a potential one you want to stop.
For instance, have the habit of putting pen to paper each morning and saying why today you’ll stay strong. Then, track things throughout the day. And in the evening, review your day, how you did, and what you can do better the next one.
When going back to old journal entries you’ll be able to actually see and feel your progress as every step of the way will be there.
12. Challenge yourself often
Why not make the whole ‘no more addiction’ thing a game? Set milestones, small and realistic ones, give each a deadline, and go accomplish it.
Then, feel good about your achievements, motivated to get even further, and also reward yourself each time you get to the next level.
Even if you haven’t been addicted to anything before, you’re as much likely to experience that in the future as anyone else.
Following the tips above will prevent you from ever losing control over your life, and is a sure way to only move forward and improve yourself and your lifestyle.