Quitting the Addictions

I Tried to Quit & It’s Too Hard! : zenhabits: By Leo Babauta
zenhabits : breathe
"I Tried to Quit & It’s Too Hard!
" . . . Have you tried giving up alcohol? Marijuana? Biting your nails? Complaining? Cigarettes? Junk food? . . .  The Physical Addiction - The suffering of withdrawing from physical addiction really only lasts a few days. I’ve seen it with alcohol and drug addiction (in others close to me) and I’ve gone through it with cigarettes. It’s a tough time. . . . Hard things aren’t things to be dreaded. We can make it through them, and be stronger and better off having done it.Some tips to get you through a hard few days of overcoming physical addiction:
Be accountable. Tell others you’re doing it, and ask them to hold you accountable. Just telling them won’t get you through it, but knowing they’re watching and checking on you and encouraging you will.
Have support. Ask a few close friends to support you. Call on them when you get strong urges. Ask for their help. Lean on them.
Distract yourself. Keep yourself busy. Don’t dwell on the suffering. Do stuff.
Create your environment. Get rid of the cigarettes or sugar. Don’t go out with friends if you’re trying to quit alcohol or cigarettes or junk food — just for a few days. Stock up on healthy stuff. Make your environment friendly to your change.
Get good at getting through an urge. An urge isn’t an absolute command. It’s an itch. You can overcome it. Watch the urge, let it rise, and know that it will pass in a minute. Get through it. Then you’re good.

"Find the strategies that work for you, but you can do it.
Your Coping Mechanism
One of the biggest problems with quitting an addiction is that you use it to cope with real problems. When you are stressed, or sick, or sad, or depressed, or going through a crisis, or lonely, or need to socialize in an uncomfortable situation … you use the addiction to cope.
But it’s only a crutch. You can cope without it. You just need to find new strategies.
A few strategies for coping that might help:
Stress: I’ve learned to use exercise, meditation, and simplifying as ways to cope with stress. Going for a run or a walk have helped me tremendously. Talking to other people about your stressful problems also help. So does a mindful cup of tea.
Sad: When I’m sad, I find things in my life to be grateful for. I connect with loved ones. I acknowledge my feelings and realize that it’s OK to be sad sometimes — it reminds you that you’re human. Then I take action and find something I’m passionate about.
Lonely: Actually, while most people would seek the company of others (which isn’t a bad idea), I like to learn to keep myself company. I’m great company when I want to be — I play, I imagine, I write and read and meditate and learn.
Crisis: When there’s a crisis, does leaning on an unhealthy addiction actually make it better? Only in that it gives you a temporary reprieve (going out to have a smoke or a drink) or temporary pleasure (having a cupcake or soda). They don’t take care of the problem, and can actually make it worse (try solving a crisis while inebriated). Instead, allow yourself the reprieve without the addiction — take a walk or meditate. Getting away from the crisis, even for a few minutes, can give you a breather and some perspective. Then figure out what you can do, let go of what you can’t control, and take one action.
Need to socialize: Often we use smoking or drinking or eating as ways to lubricate awkward social situations. But they’re just crutches — you can actually do without them and get stronger without them. You can socialize without these things — try it once and see. You’ll get better at socializing if you do without the crutches. Sick: Unhealthy addictions don’t help you when you’re sick. Shoveling junk food into your face when you’re sick (I’ve done it many times) might make you feel comforted, but you aren’t doing your health any favors. Instead, nurture yourself. Give yourself some healthier food to fuel the healing process. Give yourself a rest, and a hug. . . . Quitting something can be hard, it’s true. But not quitting them is harder — you have to live with health problems (or other problems) for the rest of your life. That’s years of pain vs. a few days or weeks of struggle. To me, the choice is clear — choose yourself. (read more at links above)"

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