Find the reason behind the addiction
When you understand what causes you to engage in a behavior you can better understand how to address it. For instance, if you have an alcohol addiction you may be drinking to deal with anxiety. With this information you can think about how to treat the underlying anxiety in a different way.
Recognize and identify triggers
The need to feed an addiction can often be brought on by specific sensory triggers, i.e. wanting to smoke in the car or while taking the dog for a walk. Knowing when and what these triggers are can help you further recognize how to avoid the temptation of using.
Build a support system
No matter what the addiction is, a support system is an invaluable tool to overcoming it. They will be your cheerleaders while also holding you accountable for your actions. A support system can include friends, family, mentors, therapist, addiction counselors or even the individuals at meetings.
Alter your routine
Shaking up your routine by incorporating mindfulness can help you break the cycle of addiction. Avoiding negative activities and replacing them with new, healthy alternatives can help keep you on track.
This is an often overlooked step in breaking the addiction, and one that will help reinforce the healthy choices being made. When you make positive choices, make a point to give yourself something you have been wanting (such as a massage or a dessert). By rewarding yourself, you are training your brain to continue making positive choices to receive the rewards that you are getting.
Breaking an addiction can be extremely difficult, but it is not something you should do alone. The therapists at Philadelphia MFT can help you through the recovery process.
This Topic of the Week was brought to you by Danielle Adinolfi, MFT