Addiction is a persistent, strong, and alluring craving to do something or take in something. Addiction is really not bad in itself but what we are addicted to. One can be addicted to a good or worthy cause like work, a healthy diet, exercise, etc. Or addicted to a bad or unworthy cause like drugs, alcohol, gambling, and so on. We term addiction as good or bad due to their consequences.
When one takes or engages in something pleasurable, his or her brain releases dopamine. Addiction starts when the brain responds to the gratifying or pleasurable substance or activity by releasing a large amount of dopamine. The reward circuit in your brain then stores these satisfying or pleasurable memories, making you crave more.
No one was born with any addiction; therefore, any addiction can be overcome. It takes discipline though but it can be overcome.
Below are 5 simple but powerful ways to overcome addiction.
- Seek alternative sources of pleasure
An aphorism has it that “one fights fire with fire”. So is the case of addiction. If you want to overcome a bad addiction, you fight it with a positive addiction. Good thing is that our brain can’t differentiate negative addiction from positive ones. Once it recognizes pleasure, be it positive or negative, it just releases dopamine to make us feel satisfied or happy. Therefore, we should substitute negative addiction with positive ones. We all know the things that have positive consequences that make us happy or that we derive pleasure from. We should use them to fight our negative addictions.
- Practice Meditation
Meditation is an intelligent act of consciously and carefully processing thoughts. The benefit of meditation to man is as vast as the universe. Meditation makes you identify yourself. It makes you prudent–having the ability to judge soundly. That is, weighing ideas to ascertain for sure which has more advantages or disadvantages. It is via meditation that one really gets a conviction to let go of a bad habit. After you must have gotten conviction to stop a bad addiction, the next thing to do is to be disciplined. It is one thing to have conviction and drive to stop a bad habit and another to really put in the effort to stop it.
- Talk with a confidant who had undergone your addiction
Talking with someone you trust and also had passed through what addition you are passing through is really a big way to helping you overcome your own addiction. He or she gets to tell you how they overcame and make you feel you are not alone and also encourage you that change for the better is possible and within grasp. Nothing liberates man like knowing he or she is not ‘in hell’ alone. Knowing there are people facing the same addiction as you are a relief and knowing they overcame is a ‘full stadium’ to overcoming yours.
- Distant yourself from people who encourage addiction
It is impossible for someone struggling with alcoholism to overcome his or her addiction in a family or company of alcoholics. A dog that has made up its mind not to ever eat feces again, must not sniff it. Do not aid your temptation. Flee! Make friends with people with positive addiction you want to substitute the bad one with.
- Believe in yourself
Many people don’t have faith in their ability to overcome challenges. They always shy away from their challenges instead of facing them head-on. If you don’t change this mindset, you can’t accomplish anything in life because life is full of challenges in which addiction is one.
You have to trust yourself that you can beat your addiction and come out at the other end strong. Look up to the benefits that await you if you overcome for strength.
All the aforementioned ways to overcome addiction can not yield any result if you lack discipline. Adopt these ways today and above all be disciplined and I assure you, you will come out strong at the other end of the tunnel.