The basic principal is to replace one behaviour with another. This is obviously easier if you're trying to replace eating fruit instead of potato chips, then trying to blow bubbles instead of shooting herion.
What you use to replace it with is typically decided by your personality and your obsession/addiction.
people use many many ways of controlling anxiety--some appropriate, some innappropriate. someone drinks, under eats, overeats, does drugs etc. in an attempt to control something when other things in their life are out of control--it is not about booze, food drugs or whatever--it just masks the issue they are not dealing with. not to say that if someone engages in extreme behavior on occassion that this is the case--it is the degree of impairment that engaging in the behavior causes in the individuals life. yoga is a great mind clearing practice and can bring about a great deal of peace if practiced regularly. people get nutty about a lot of things--i can obsess about germs, however it does not impair my daily functioning. dont know if that helps at all. i tend to blabber!!!
I have a obsessive personality and getting out of the ruts has become one of my daily chores
. I can stay in the drug store and read labels of EVERYTHING for 2 hours until I want to scream. I am with krista in that you have to *force* yourself to switch behavior patterns once you spot them. I find one mouse is busy building cages and the other mouse is yearning for freedom and is busy smashing "cages"-----they both live in me. Well, I am doomed but I accepted and just try to feed the "freemouse" better so that it will have more energy to smash
Yeah, I agree with everyone else. I think it's about learning 'functional' ways of handling stress and dealing with our every day fears of success/failure/life. Replacing those compulsive, disfunctional behaviors with healthy functional ones. To me it's not enough to replace one unhealthy behavior with another perhaps not so harmful more benign but just as unhealthy behavior. I think you're not free and clear of the problem until you really learn what's wrong....what you can do, and really put those new healther behaviors into place...every day. At first it will feel like nails on a chalkboard, doing those things will feel THAT wrong. I know it did with me. Communicating my true feelings instead of what I thought folks wanted to hear...that was hard. But I kept doing it...and all the other things that felt wrong. It's still a struggle sometimes, but I'm the healthiest I've been in my life so far. So it's day to day, but I know I'm definitely getting somewhere.
I don't know if I agree with that. I quit smoking after 20+ years going on 8 months ago. I don't need the cigarettes per say however, this weekend I had the urge to smoke one for some reason. I didn't though because I don't want to go through the withdrawl process again.
With any addiction ultimately, in order to maintain and control, the mind must be stronger than said addiction. Once you mind starts reasoning why you should give in to the addiction rather than why you shouldn't, you're self is once again in a battle with the addiction. That's why addicition recovery is an on going process in my opinion. There really isn't a 'cure'.
I consider myself a recovering sugar addict. I used to "need" to eat large amounts of sugar every day. The only way I have found to get over this is to completely cut sugar (refined sugar) out of my diet. When I'm not eating it at all, I don't crave it. I sort of pretend that cake/cookies/chocolate/candy, etc. don't exist, or that if I eat them I'll immediately die (which isn't true of course). Now I can be at a party with people eating chocolate cake right under my nose and I don't want any. If you have a good imagination you can fool yourself into not wanting what you used to crave. That works for me anyway. I've never been able to just eat a little sugar--it's all or nothing for me, and I choose nothing.
I got over my smoking addiction by NOT replacing one habit with another.
To me, that's just keeping the addiction alive--but just in another form.
You have to change the *thinking* behind the behaviors. Or else you end up what AA calls a "dry drunk".
I had to convince myself that I was only hurting myself by smoking. That all the "reasons" I had for smoking (coolness, sophistication, stress relief, etc) were total and utter B.S. That they were never true in the first place. I had to break through that very thick and complicated web of rationalizations & denials I had created in order to "justify" my smoking and see the lies I had been telling myself for what they were.
Once I was able to cut them down, I was able to begin to finally feel free.
Then it was just a matter of doing that over and over again, every day.
I'm 'letting go' of coffee this week (caffeine). Today was my first day and it was HELL. It really made me think about my habit. I mean I do one double latte a day. I don't drink soda...though I do sometimes drink hot caffeinated tea which may add to the problem. But I've gradually cut down over the past weeks and decided when my coffee ran out that would be it. Man, it was hell. I felt sick and awful (can't imagine what coming off the hard stuff must be like, I mean letting go of alcohol wasn't this bad). But made it through the day. And I know I'm going to be a healthier person on the other end. Hopefully I'll feel normal again by the end of the week.
Day 2 begins. I actually felt good today knowing I don't 'have' to have the coffee in the morning. I actually make my own lattes so this takes a chunk of my time...and with summer coming who wants to drink hot coffee...and I'm just not a big fan of iced. My eyes are still puffy though.
Wow, good luck Bethanie. Caffeine is my last addiction that I haven't given up yet. Please keep us up to date on all the specifics and what, if anything, helped you get through it. I'm a 4-5 cup a day drinker by the way. Ugh!
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