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Addictions and Habits

How To Break Or Moderate A Habit or Addiction

Addictions are powerful habits. Some addictions have a physiological component as well, such as the nicotine in cigarettes, or ethanol in alcoholic drinks,  however, any addiction is a powerful habit. For example, people often go back to smoking weeks or even years after quitting, even though their are no longer any withdrawal affects from the nicotine. Marijuana is apparently not physiologically addictive at all, but can be very hard to give up. In gambling , sex addiction, compulsive risk taking; for example,  shop lifting or driving cars at excessive speeds, there is no external chemical substance involved at all.
All addictive drugs release dopamine - the "craving neurochemical" - to stimulate the pleasure reward centre. So does gambling, overeating and other seemingly unrelated activities. Shopping, Smoking a Cigarette, Computer Games, Arguing, Physical Fighting, Heroin, Orgasm, Bungee Jumping, and any other activity that causes high levels of stimulation. They all work differently on the brain, but all raise dopamine, and gives us pleasurable feelings of excitement, which is addictive.

Habits and thoughts are connected, thoughts CONTROL EMOTIONS, and then affect behaviour, which in turn, becomes a habit. CHANGING THOUGHTS, THEN MAKING A PLAN, IS THE KEY. One very powerful barrier to change, is a habitual thought. In a given circumstance, a thought pops into your head, emotion follows, then habitual behaviour.

​​What You Can Do About It
Work out what triggers your habit , and you will find invariable thoughts associated with your habit, that is, specific actions and emotions. You will track down the triggers that activate these thoughts. After this, YOU can be in control. When you are your own observer, the emotions are not as powerful. 
HABITS FILL A VOID.  To get rid of a habit, replace it with something else. Part of the habit of smoking is having a rest from activity. Find another way to rest or relax.  
FORMULATE A PLAN. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Ask yourself - "When my triggers occur what are my thoughts going to be? What can they be replaced with? How am I going to satisfy my emotions and needs? "

Above all, BE KIND TO YOURSELF. A habit is very hard to break. When you have succeeded for once, pat yourself on the back, reward yourself with something. If you slip back that's okay, you'll do better next time. Work out what got in the way, and modify your approach. However, remember to break a habit you have to be willing to work very hard.











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