Addictions

Posted 6:54 PM by Mezhal Ulao in Labels:

Vices, bad habits, repetitive behaviors, obsessive compulsive nature - so many things that definitely points to one thing: Addictions. The dictionary describes it this way:
compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin,nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly: persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful

Over time people go through this with out or little self awareness about how destructive these things have become over time. Mostly addictions are formed because of the need to cope up with stressful situations and the inability to handle it normally.

Addictive behavior starts out as quick fix that provides those that get hooked on it with a momentary pleasurable escape which eventually become routinely practiced and is formed into a habit. As the old saying goes "Old habits are hard to break" so are addictions hard to overcome. Good new however is that it isnt entirely hopeless. Here are some tips to help us all out in this (I mean it when I say all of us - I myself have an addictive behavior and that's my little secret;)).

1. Regain self control - often times addictions occur and remain with us because we have accepted is a part of our lives and that is only natural of us to do so. A huge myth that I have to admit I have fallen for. We have a choice and we know for a fact that a quick fix is never the right move to resolve our issues. Learning to cope with what we have to face without the need for an unhealthy alternative is possible if we learn to focus our attention on the problem at hand and one of them are the things we get hooked on.

2. Finding something to believe in - Faith in God or a Higher Power more than just boosts your chances of going to heaven or nirvana but it also provides us with the inner strength and courage knowing that we arent alone in this struggle to regain ourselves from the deadly twang and cravings that rage our heads.

3. Making a stand - Making a choice to take a firm decision and abide by it is the first step to gaining control. Unless we finally say its time and to say that it takes place today, not tomorrow (sigh I have got to do this) is the road to recovery. Delaying the time to initiate change only creates a diversion for more excuses to be made.

4. Clean house - Taking out the trash, destroying all the things that are triggers for our vices and the sight of them not only physically removes the dirt from the outside but also helps us clean up the dirt we've formed on the inside. Picking up a new constructive habit such as writing about it helps us create an outlet for the emotional pangs that would normally entice us to pick up the stick yet again (stick cause my addiction is smoking).

5. Admiting you need help - whew! Ego, everyone has a strong ego and it will fight back with denial at first then probably build itself up with lies that it wont hurt me, am alright, am used to it and worse am immune to it's effects. Realize these things and accept the fact that somehow somewhere along the line you dug a deep hole and now its time to get someone to throw you down a rope (me included). Find support groups among friends, ask them to be considerate if they have the same vices, try and help them get out of it eventually it would be great to save your friend's life and in return save yours.

6. Family involvement - Hard to admit to my own family but they have to help out too. They have to be strong enough to get past that hard head of people going through addictions and help monitor any possibility of relapses. (I had a major relapse - quite smoking for 3 months but now am back again). They need not only to nag, which by the way aggrevates the issue, instead they should take action sometimes even with force.

7. Understand your emotions - Addictions occur because of one's inability to cope with something emotionally. It has always been this case, our mechanism to fight or flight has triggered us to get so stressed we struggle to gain control and maintain emotional balance. Learning to understand the way our own brain thinks, how we feel and what what triggers them provides us with the power to overcome the need or urge to follow our addictions. Identifying all the situations and creating alternative positive behavior to replace our negative habits would be best for the short run, however eventually we have to learn to grow up and learn to deal with it logically.

8. Alternative Help - Massage therapy, acupuncture, homeopathy the list of possible alternative medical help is available now for all of us. It may cost us an arm and a leg sometimes but if it means saving our lives then I personally believe it is worth its price.

I have to personally admit, I am an addict at least when it comes to smoking, and I need help. It is true that giving advice is easy and one can point out the best logical path to take to self healing. Taking one's own advice is however a difficult matter and fighting with our own self is the greatest challenge each one of us has to face. At least I know I am not alone in this, hopefully you find that truth as well.

Video Courtesy of http://www.youtube.com/user/theastronom

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