Anybody can be affected by addiction as its causes are not just because of illegal drugs or chemical addiction, but it also covers behavioral addiction as well. Anyone can be addicted to something. Addiction is a compulsion toward any substance, whether it’s food, alcohol, drugs, among others.
How addiction works
Addiction operates via the pleasure nucleus of the brain, which is the mesolimbic pathway. This creates a self-perpetuating cycle that reinforces and rewards chemical patterns that produce euphoria. If a person cannot break out from this cycle, and this part of the brain does not rest, the addicted person is on a constant loop of pain. It can be equated to the consumption or behavior that leads to euphoria, which then leads to pain when there is a lack of it. To remove discomfort, the addicted person then goes back to consumption then euphoria then pain. This is how the brain of an addict works in a loop.
Tools to overcome addiction
However, addiction can be defeated. First and foremost, the person must be ready, honest, and be courageous to accept that one can recover from their addiction. There are many ways to overcome addiction. Some tools can be used to kick out that habit. Let’s further explore this with the things that you or an addicted person can do for fighting addiction.
Make a commitment
You should commit and pledge that you will stop your addiction once and for all. It would be best if you said it out, aloud, that you are committed to removing your compulsion. You can also write it down and even sign it as if it is a contract.
Meditate for a stronger mind and will
Meditation is an excellent tool that will give you a sense of peace and calm during the process of fighting your addiction. Meditation is a practice that utilizes a technique to achieve mental clarity and a state that is emotionally calm and stable. But you may wonder, can meditation help with addiction? Well, this process is powerful enough to help increase levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is found in the brain. Studies have shown that low levels of GABA are associated with anxiety.
Additionally, high levels of GABA results in low levels of dopamine, the brain’s “feel-good” chemical, that is associated with cocaine addiction. Thus, increasing GABA through meditation will eliminate stress and reduce dopamine to assist in recovering from drug addiction. Not to mention, the calm state and mental clarity brought upon by meditation can provide a clearer perspective of life.
Meditation will incite and instruct your brain to be happy and be “naturally high” without using any addictive substance to feel good. It supercharges the mind and body with endorphins, which is a super-pleasurable natural brain chemical resulting in what is called a “meditator’s high.” Also, meditation does not suppress but instead, allows the mind to step aside from addictive thoughts of “urge surfing”. Meditative breathing acts as the metaphorical surfboard that lets the meditator (addict) to just ride on top of the urge (wave) and observe it without being sucked in. Through constant meditation, resisting urges will become easier, in a very unemotional and detached way, until the urges are denigrated to just another thought, power to control you in any way.
It is impossible to change your behavior without altering your situation. Thus, you must remove things or stay away from people who will trigger your desire to go back to your addiction. For instance, quitting a cigarette addiction would be more difficult if you are with a company of people who smoke. Although some people respect your desire to stop smoking and may even be helpful in your mission by agreeing to smoke somewhere else.
To change your environment, you must also be intrepid and accept the reality that to stay away from triggers, you may have to limit or stop hanging out with your usual group of friends. This could be until you have overcome your addiction and have a stronger sense of making decisions.
Renewing your habits
It would be best if you eradicated your harmful habits by looking for alternatives. You can change your negative habit to positive and more desirable practice. For example, you wanted to lose a few pounds, but your problem is that you have a habit of munching and eating unhealthy snacks now and then. To address this, try to nibble on healthier options or replace the act of eating by doing some exercise. If you want to keep your hands busy, you can try to paint your fingernails, give yourself a pedicure, play cards, play a mobile game, play darts, and others. This will be tough at the beginning, but consistency is the key.
Plan for hurdles
You must be ready for any unexpected events as you go through the process of eliminating addiction. You should be aware of people and events that may trigger your addiction. You should decide beforehand how you will handle such obstacles that will make your commitment difficult. You can write your plan and then visualize this plan. Visualization is an important technique that is used not only in addiction removal, but also by people in various professions. By mentally and visually rehearsing yourself being successful in facing tough incidents, there is an increased chance that you will become successful when you are already facing such challenges in real life.
Support from family and friends
No man is an island, even an addict who wants to rehabilitate needs company. You should ask the people that are surrounding you to give you support regarding your decision to remove your addiction. Invite them to help you achieve your goal and choose the positive individuals that will encourage you during times when you feel you cannot accomplish your plan. You should be ready, honest, and courageous to ask other people for help because you cannot do it alone.
Overcoming addiction is indeed a difficult task. However, you can overcome this by searching for strength. Strength comes from one’s self beginning when you decide to be ready, honest, and courageous in facing your addiction. It is a powerful thing to commit to a plan and to stick with it to remove the dependency. Strengthening your mind and body also comes to meditation, which helps in facing hurdles and in eliminating the people and things that will pull you back to your addiction. Moreover, the support and care from your family and friends is undoubtedly a powerful force to say farewell to an addiction!