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Many of us, at some point or another are addicted to something -
something that distracts us from the mundane,
helps us escape from the things that get us down,
or even just helps us focus or get off our lazy butts.
This is especially true for creative types.
Some people even think that we're
But having a crutch to lean on can become tiresome,
unhealthy and expensive. If you are like me,
and you know when too much of something is
no longer a good thing, then you are a step ahead.
I've had a few addictions in my life
but I have been able to overcome them
with some basic tools and rules.
Truth be told, I have never stuck a needle in my arm
or smoked a crack pipe but
here are some of the addictions
that I have fought and won:
Starbucks. Starbucks is evil and might as well be crack.
Neuro Passion energy drinks - do not try. You have been warned.
Sugar-free Red Bull. You crash hard when those
stupid wings wear off.
Pepsi. The soft drink, not the booger sugar.
So maybe the nail biting was more of a bad habit
rather than an addiction but it was definitely a side affect
of being so caffeinated that I would chew my nails
in a nervous fit until the jitters stopped.
Thankfully, I've stopped biting my nails. Obviously my drug of choice is caffeine and ok,
maybe it's not the most hardcore habit to kick,
but I have had experience with and seen many
suffer from (and overcome) worse things.
No matter what your addiction is; whether it be caffeine, junk food, drugs, or even a person -
here are six simple tips that will help get you to that
crutch-free promise land:
1. Decide you want to stop. Seems easy right? Not really. You have to really REALLY want to stop, not because someone else wants you to, but because YOU want to. Sometimes making that decision takes time but if you know you don't want to do what you're doing forever, that's a start. Remembering the long-term consequences of your addiction will motivate you.
2. Pick a significant date to stop your addiction and start a new clear path. Many people do this when starting a new exercise program and like the new year, starting on the 1st will give you an easy reference to track your progress - but the 1st of any month can work. Or maybe you will quit your habit in honor of someone else, pick a birthday of someone you love.
3. Remove yourself from the possibility of failing by staying away from
people or places that encourage you to slip.
I once quit coffee all together and was on a solid one year streak when I was on a mini vacation with friends.. "you have to try this amazing latte" they said. "You will die unhappy if you don't" they said. I'm still drinking coffee two years later.
Don't put yourself in danger and stay away from people and places that don't support your decision, especially in the beginning when you are at your weakest.
4. Replace your bad habit with a good new one. Go running. Join a gym. Try creative projects that you've been putting off. You will need to replace the old buzz with a new one and what better way to reward yourself than by doing something that makes you feel good, confident and accomplished.
5. Do a cleanse. Starting on a clean slate gives you a feeling of a fresh start, especially with your body. Do a 3, 5, or 7 day cleanse to clear your mind and launch yourself into a healthier way of thinking and feeling.
6. Finally, block out the addiction. This might sound simple, but it has been my most helpful rule. When the urge comes to do the bad habit "one more time", and that urge will come..(for me it's that smell wafting from a local Starbucks) say no. Be prepared for it and be ready to not give one second of time to that urge - change your mind. Block it out as soon as it enters your mind. Do something else, distract yourself.. if you can do this for the first few weeks, you will be well on your way to saying goodbye to your bad habit forever.
Hopefully, if you are struggling with an addiction these tips can help you say adios to what's holding back and hello to a new, more powerful you.
*This post is of opinion only and not meant as medical help*