Friday, June 21, 2019

Identifying and Overcoming a Bad Habit Before It Ruins You

There’s a very fine line between what could be considered a bad habit and an addiction. Bad habits often develop for a number of reasons such as the temporary relief or reward they give, and this is no different to why an addiction develops.

Fortunately, there are ways for you to self-identify when a bad habit or passion for something is getting out of hand, and also ways to overcome it before it has a chance to do any damage to your health or even your career. Addictions can ruin your life by causing job loss, mental or physical health damage or even disrupting the relationships you have with other people. As a result, it’s vital that you learn to identify addiction and how to overcome it, and in this post, we’re going to do just that.

Understand what causes an addiction

There are many different factors that could cause an addiction, but the most common reason stems from a source issue that is deep within your psyche. Perhaps you have a tendency to follow what your peers do, hence why you drink excessive amounts at a bar when you’re with friends, thus leading to a drinking issue. Maybe you’re in a workplace surrounded by smokers and, just to fit in, you’ve decided to pick up smoking as well.

It could also be deeply-rooted in a mental health issue that is causing your addictive personality in the first place. Research has shown that anyone can be addicted to anything. From chocolate to video games or even running, an unhealthy obsession with something is what triggers a bad habit or addiction and it’s usually not related to the activity at all. Some exceptions can be made for certain drugs because they’re inherently addictive due to the compounds they’re made of, but there are people in the world that are addicted to seemingly healthy things like exercise and it can still cause damage to their health because they’re overdoing it.

In other words, addictions happen because of two reasons:

  • Reward - Some addictions such as drugs or video games develop because of the reward they give you. Certain drugs can give you a euphoric feeling and video games can offer escapism and menial rewards that could improve your mental state and offer a bit of temporary relief from a stressful life.
  • Coping - Addictions can also develop as a coping mechanism that helps you deal with a stressful life. This can include drinking to help you forget a stressful day and put it behind you, or it could be fast food because it helps remind you of the past when life was simpler and less stressful.

There are many different reasons as to why addiction can happen and there’s plenty of research to suggest that we can be addicted to virtually anything if the conditions are right. But it all comes down to one simple factor; we need to identify the source problem that causes the addiction in the first place.

This takes a lot of self-reflection and it can be difficult especially if you know you have mental health problems. A lot of people find it difficult to self-criticize themselves and will even ignore close friends and family members who are attempting to help. It can be seen as judgemental when someone else tries to give you advice or attempts to critique your lifestyle, but a lot of that information can be helpful in identifying why you’ve been developing bad habits or addiction.

As such, speaking to people even if they’re not a medical professional can help you identify what the source of your addiction is. If you’re having trouble with this, then speaking to a therapist or a doctor can help you better identify why you might have developed an addictive personality and also offer you ways to find relief.

Self-care tips to help you cope with your addictions

We know just how difficult it can be to cope with an addiction, so we’ve put together a list of tips that will help you cope with your bad habits and slowly find a way to distance yourself.

  • Find a replacement - A replacement for a bad habit is something that can just take your mind off it. It’s something that takes a higher priority because you’re more passionate about it or because it’s healthier. For instance, you could consider looking at the best vape flavors and switching to e-cigarettes instead of relying on regular smoking that is a lot more damaging to your health and appearance. Alternatively, you can find a new hobby to replace your addictions because it allows you to be more creative and it takes your mind off stressful or depressing thoughts.
  • Understand what your bad habit does to you - From the increased risk of getting sick from biting your nails to the poor health benefits of fast food, you need to understand what your bad habits are doing to you in order to truly realize what they’re called “bad” habits. Although they can provide you with a coping mechanism or temporary joy, they ultimately damage your health in a variety of ways and it’s vital that you embrace that reality to have a better chance of distancing yourself from it. Realize that you can’t just go cold turkey in some cases - Simply just going cold turkey when it comes to alcohol and drugs (or anything that alters your body in some way) does not work. This is because our bodies can eventually develop a dependency on those substances and it requires serious medical intervention in order to deal with it.
  • Surround yourself with positive people - We’re easily influenced by those around us, so make sure you’re surrounded by positive friends and family members that can not only help you forget about your bad habits but can also help you cope with any stressful situations or problems in your life. This can greatly help to reduce the chances of you developing an addiction in the first place.

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