People often start abusing substances because they can’t manage stress. People with substance use disorders also often can’t manage the people, events, feelings, or even thoughts that trigger their desire to use substances to cope. Because so many people struggle to manage stress and addiction triggers, they often find themselves exhibiting addictive behaviors. This includes abusing alcohol or drugs. Ultimately, if people want to overcome their substance addictions, they need to learn how to stop addictive behavior. This means learning how to manage stress and addiction triggers. To help you overcome your addictive behaviors, we are providing you with a step-by-step how-to guide on how to stop an addiction behavior.
How to Stop an Addiction Behavior
Addictive behaviors are the actual actions that you take that cause your addiction. For example, addictive behavior can be drinking alcohol. Drinking alcohol is particularly an addictive behavior for an alcoholic. Essentially though, any behavior that exhibits addictive tendencies is addictive.
For example, common addictive behaviors include drinking alcohol, using substances, and constantly having access to the internet. Other common addictive behaviors include having sex to replace intimacy, self-medicating oneself through drugs, excessively shopping, and not believing that one is capable of stopping using drugs.
Stopping an addiction behavior is difficult to do. The only way to effectively stop an addictive behavior is to consistently make efforts to do so over time. To stop an addiction behavior, you also need to first learn how to manage stress and your addiction triggers. The actual steps to stopping an addiction behavior are given below.
1. Identify Your Addiction Triggers
The first step to learning how to overcome addictive behavior is to identify your addiction triggers. Your addiction triggers are the people, places, things, or events that cause you to want to exhibit addictive behaviors.
Common addiction triggers are particular days of the week or particular times of the day. For example, the beginning of a stressful workweek can trigger some people to want to use substances. On the other hand, the freedom of the weekend may trigger other people to want to use substances. This is because a person’s brain may start to associate certain times of the week or day with using substances.
Even particular seasons of the year can act as addiction triggers. For example, cold and dark winters can act as addiction triggers for some people.
Other common addiction triggers are what a person sees and hears in TV shows or movies. What a person consumes through reading books or listening to music or podcasts can also act as addiction triggers. This is because what people consume through entertainment often affects how they behave and view life themselves.
An addiction trigger is essentially anything that makes people want to use substances to cope. Once you’ve identified your addiction triggers, it’s time to learn how to not let them cause you to turn to substance use to cope with them.
2. Disrupt Your Addiction Triggers
The second step to learning how to stop an addiction behavior is to disrupt addiction triggers. By disrupting we mean to minimize the number of times that a person encounters his or her addiction triggers. The phrase disrupting addiction triggers also refers to making it so that a person’s addiction triggers no longer have the power to cause that person to turn to substance use to cope.
People can disrupt their addiction triggers by minimizing how often they encounter their addiction triggers. For example, if being around other people that are partying and getting drunk triggers a person with a drinking problem to want to consume alcohol, that person can disrupt this addiction trigger by not going out to clubs or bars.
Another way to disrupt an addiction trigger is through the use of healthy coping mechanisms. There are many different types of coping mechanisms for addiction triggers. For example, meditating and deep breathing are two ways that some people can healthily cope with their addiction triggers.
3. Disrupt Any Negative Thoughts or Emotions That Are Attached to Your Addiction Triggers
Oftentimes after people encounter their addiction triggers they start to spiral down into a world that’s filled with negative thoughts and emotions. These negative thoughts and emotions then often cause people to want to abuse substances to cope. For example, a person may encounter an addiction trigger of a job loss. This addiction trigger can then cause that person to spiral down into negative thoughts that he or she always tells him or herself when something bad occurs in his or her life.
Some of the negative thoughts that a person may have after experiencing the addiction trigger of a job loss include that he or she is worthless or that he or she will never be successful again. These continued negative thoughts may then turn into the negative emotions of sadness and anger. Over time, feeling sad, angry, and worthless may cause a person to turn to substance use to cope.
To ensure that a person’s negative thoughts or emotions about an addiction trigger don’t cause the person to turn to substance use to cope, he or she must make a conscious effort to think more positively.
By focusing on the positive rather than the negative, a person can alter his or her negative emotions. This will then alter a person’s behavior to use substances to cope. Getting to the point where a person believes the positive thoughts that he or she is thinking takes time though. The best way to get oneself to believe positive thoughts after encountering an addiction trigger is through a conscious repeated effort to do so.
4. Identify Your Addiction Behaviors
Prior to learning how to stop an addiction behavior, you must identify an addiction behavior. There are many different types of addictive behaviors. The main type of addictive behavior when it comes to substance addictions is abusing alcohol or using drugs.
5. Learn Other Ways to Fulfill Your Needs
When learning how to stop an addiction behavior, you must learn other ways to fulfill emotional and mental needs. For example, to fulfill the emotional need of mourning a job loss, a person can learn how to perform a new hobby. By taking up a new hobby, that person can then rebuild his or her confidence.
To fulfill the possible need of being mentally stimulated and increasing a person’s mood after a job loss, a person could also start exercising. Exercising can improve a person’s mood and mental well-being by getting his or her brain to release endorphins.
Fulfilling the mental and emotional needs that a person has right before and after he or she encounters an addiction trigger can help a person better manage his or her addiction triggers. Fulfilling one’s mental and emotional needs also helps people not feel the need to exhibit negative behaviors.
6. Learn How to Better Manage Stress
The final step to learning how to stop an addiction behavior is to learn how to better manage stress. More often than not people start abusing substances to cope with life’s stresses and the addiction triggers that they create. Thus, to sustain no longer exhibiting addictive behaviors, a person must proactively try to manage life’s stresses better.
To do this individuals can regularly practice coping mechanisms even when they haven’t encountered their addiction triggers. That way they are mentally prepared to take on their addiction triggers at any given time.
Learn How to Stop an Addiction Behavior in Addiction Treatment at Grace Land Recovery
The best place to learn how to stop an addictive behavior is at a rehab facility such as Grace Land Recovery. Here at Grace Land Recovery, we offer a wide variety of addiction treatment programs and therapies. Through these programs and therapies, rehab patients learn how to both identify and manage their addiction triggers. Through our treatment programs and addiction therapies, rehab patients will also learn proper coping mechanisms to help them manage their addiction triggers.
One of the primary forms of addiction therapy that Grace Land Recovery offers is cognitive-behavioral therapy. Through our cognitive-behavioral therapy, our rehab patients can learn how to change their negative thoughts, emotions, and behaviors into positive ones. This, in turn, will help our patients stop exhibiting their addictive behaviors.
We here at Grace Land also offer our patients many unique clinical services such as HIV education and nutrition and spirituality services. Through these services, our rehab patients will be able to make a smooth transition back into the real world after they complete their treatment. Ultimately, through all of the addiction treatment programs, therapies, and services that we offer here at Grace Land Recovery, rehab patients will be able to both achieve recovery and stop exhibiting their addictive behaviors.
To learn more about Grace Land Recovery and the different addiction treatment programs, therapies, and services that we offer, contact us today. Our phone lines are open 24/7 and our office hours are Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm.