You’ve taken the first step. You’ve recognized that something in your life just isn’t right and you need to make a change. So once you’ve made the decision to kick your addiction to the curb, you need to know how to beat addiction once and for all!
Here’s the good news, you made the choice to quit that addiction. But how do you make sure you maintain this lifestyle choice? Let’s be honest, there are many factors that make it hard to stop an addictive behavior, but lucky for you, there are many great actions you can take to say goodbye to addiction for good.
1. Make Lists
Once you make the decision to walk away from addiction, it’s all about looking ahead. One great way to ensure you continue to move forward in your recovery is to make lists of different things in your life. These can range from the top three things addiction could cause you to lose to the top three things you can gain by kicking it to the curb.
Each morning before you start your day, write down a few goals you’d like to achieve before your head hits the pillow that night. This will put things into perspective and allow you to feel a sense of accomplishment each time you check a goal off your list.
2. Stay Accountable
It’s important to know that you don’t have to go through the recovery process alone. Find someone you can talk to, be honest with, and who can keep you responsible in your recovery walk. When you have someone holding you accountable, you’re more likely to stay motivated than if you tried to do it by yourself.
Just like any recovery process, having a mentor or accountability partner is a great resource to encourage you as you make important life changes. They can also offer advice for the times you feel like you’re moving backward.
3. Find Distractions
One of the first lists you can make during your recovery is one that includes distractions to take your mind off the addiction. This can include things you might think are simple like puzzles, mind games, or reading a good book.
You can also use this time to get big things checked off your to-do list like decluttering your house or running those errands you’ve been putting off. When you make it a priority to stay busy, it will give you less time to allow the addiction to take control of your day.
4. Prepare Your Environment
If you return to a home that’s filled with things that remind you of your addiction, it will be difficult for you to move past it. This is why it’s important to completely prepare your living and work environments to match your new reality.
This might be enlisting the help of your support system to hold you accountable or come alongside you to help any way they can. It might also mean giving up things that were once important in order to make a much-needed change. Holding onto your past can make it difficult to move forward into your new future.
5. Work It Out
Believe it or not, going to the gym and getting your sweat on is a great way to combat the feelings of addiction. It might be the endorphins playing a factor, but there’s something that dramatically changes the way you feel after getting a great workout in.
Regular exercise helps promote changes in the brain that plays a role in stress and anxiety. It helps to reduce those feelings and instead replaces them with positive feelings. No matter if you opt for a slow yoga flow or a high-intensity workout, any type of physical activity has been shown to improve your overall mood.
6. Recognize Trigger Areas
It could be a person, a familiar place, or even something small that triggers you when it comes to your addiction. These are external and internal cues that cause you to crave the exact thing you’re trying to rid yourself of. It might even cause you to relapse.
If you are a long-term addict, your brain has created connections between the things you do in your daily life and your addiction experiences. Being aware of those things in your life that remind you of your life during addiction can help you avoid relapse, thus increases the chances of a sober life.
7. Celebrate Small Wins
Recovery isn’t going to happen overnight, so it’s important to celebrate the small victories that help you progress on your road forward. It will take daily action on your part to make changes to the way you live your everyday life, but the path to recovery is also the path to a happier, healthier life.
One of the best ways to celebrate your recovery is to maintain it. This is most effectively done by maintaining your treatment. Whether that is medication or counseling, or both. Another great way to celebrate is to recognize that each passing day is another day of recovery. Why wait until 3 months or 6 months to celebrate?
Recovery is a process that takes time. Be intentional about celebrating and recognizing the successes in your life that have brought you to where you are today. No step is too small to deserve a celebration!
How to Beat Addiction and Take Control of Your Life
There’s no straightforward or easy route on how to beat addiction, but even when you’re discouraged, know that it can and has been done! Having the knowledge and resources to face addiction head-on is the first step in pursuing and maintaining a recovery lifestyle.
Recognizing that you will most likely be in recovery for the rest of your life will help you create boundaries and limits to maintain this new lifestyle. While things will have to change in order for you to move forward, it will open up exciting new doors and possibilities that you wouldn’t have experienced before.
Learn more here about different techniques that are beneficial to your mental health and can be used throughout your recovery.