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When the word “addiction” comes up, what is the first thing that comes to mind? I’d imagine that the first image or thought is someone using drugs or alcohol. The second thought you may have is someone with a gambling addiction.
However, it is important to note that addiction can take on many other forms that you may not realize. Practically speaking, anything can be considered an addiction.
What Is An Addiction?
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine means the following:
Addiction is a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences.
I’ll admit I am not fully trained to identify addictions. However, I will use my own definition that I believe . I believe that if you cannot go 30 days without something or it is causing a disruption to your life then you can consider that thing to be an addiction. For example, many people (myself included) could possibly say that we have an addiction to social media. Maybe there are certain foods that you use as a vice. Porn addiction is real and many people suffer from that. Even being a “work-aholic” can be one as well.
Essentially, if you find a certain activity or action to cause issues with being a functioning and productive person then you might have an addiction.
What can you do if you find yourself going down the path? Let’s look at eight things you can do to help yourself. This advice is by no means a substitute of going to counseling if you’re addicted to any substances or have a severe addiction. My goal is to provide some guidelines to help you live a healthy and well-balanced life when it comes to everyday activities.
What You Can Do?
Recognize The Addiction
The first step to fixing a problem is admitting that there is one. To overcome your addiction, you must be honest with yourself that a certain behavior is becoming problematic.
This is not a time to make an excuse for your behavior or justify why it is okay. In the same token, letting yourself know that its okay to not be okay but you have a plan to help yourself.
Talk With A Trusted Person
Next, it will be important to let someone know that you have a problem. I am a BIG believer in open communication with trusted people in your life. You are more likely to achieve ANY goal if you talk with someone else about it (including ways to overcome your addiction).
My suggestion would be to find 3 people who will help hold you accountable during this time. Be sure to check-in with these people periodically and update them about your progress.
Make A Goal
Thirdly, I will suggest making a goal. I am not suggesting that you have to cut out the activity out of your life completely (some things you may want to consider depending on what it is, severity, etc.). What I will suggest is to find a goal that you believe is manageable so there isn’t any negative impacts on your life. For example, you may want to consider limiting how much you shop. Maybe you might want to put a limit on what you spend such as getting a secured credit card or having someone come with you.
Set Boundaries For Yourself
Similar to the previous example, setting boundaries is paramount to achieving your goal of overcoming your addiction. Setting limits and coaching yourself up in the event you reach that limit is very important prior to facing the situation. As strange as it may sound, you must practice in your head on what you are going to do.
Once you are in the moment, it is time to stick to the plan that you have made. If you fail the first or second time, it is okay but continue coaching yourself through each situation.
Reflect On Your Progress
Periodically, you are going to want to reflect on your journey. Ask yourself what is helping you be successful? What is causing you to fail? Is someone actively encouraging you to fail? Do you want to make tweaks to your plan?
You must continue to actively take a hard look in the mirror and reassess your situation. There are things you may not take into consideration that you once did at the beginning.
Celebrate Your Successes
Without a doubt, you must celebrate the times you were able to overcome the urge to feed your addiction. Whether it is a small thing like telling yourself good job or doing something big, I believe it is important to reward yourself. You definitely deserve it!
An example of this is the time that I was helping a family member get through their addiction. During their third month of success, I took them to Pittsburgh to tour Heinz Field since they were a Steelers fan. I could see how proud they were of themselves and I wanted to continue to encourage their success.
Practicing self-care is ULTRA important while overcoming an addiction. You will likely want to come up with a self-care plan to help you in your journey.
Lucky for you, I have a self-care course and a 30-Day Self-Care Challenge created to help you with that. While my primary target audience is men, women can also benefit from these offerings as well.
If you need any further convincing about the importance of self-care, check out this article here.
Seek Professional Help For Your Addiction
If all the above fails or you are suffering from a severe addiction such as gambling or drug abuse, please seek out professional help. A therapist is specially trained using different counseling theories (such as CBT) that will help with your journey.
I have created mental health resources that a person can utilize in a time of need with a severe addiction. You can access this list here.
In conclusion, finding ways to overcome issues with everyday activities is critical to limit any disruptions to your life. These addictions can start out small and manifest themselves into a bigger issue. For your success, it is important to catch addictions early and recognize the potential damage they can cause.
Be sure to try out some of the strategies I have listed above. There also could be strategies that I did not list. What are some suggestions that you have for others?
Comment down below and let’s learn from one another.
Cameron is the creator of Supportive Fathers. He created Supportive Fathers as a way to help explore topics other dads encounter in everyday life. Cameron is very passionate about being a father to 2 year old daughter as well as being the husband possible to his wife. To read more of his story, please click here.