What are Five Steps to Change Addictive Behaviors?
There are similarities experienced with addicts who have changed their addictive behaviors and have sustained periods of abstinence. A few of these suggestions are listed here.
1. The addict wanted to change. Any addict that has stopped drinking or using drugs had a desire to do so. Whatever the circumstances are that motivated the addict to stop, is what worked. Stay focused on this motivation and think about the consequences of relapse.
2. Finding what is important to you beyond the addiction. There are things in the life of an addict that had meaning prior to the addiction. These can include work, health, family, or religion. Whatever was important to you, needs to become important to you again in recovery. These areas of your life that need nurturing post-addiction will need to be rediscovered. Spend some time thinking about what was important to you and think about how you can incorporate these areas of your life in recovery.
3. Improving skills and confidence. During recovery, see yourself as a competent person able to do what you set out to do. If you had a particular skill pre-addiction, you can re-invent this skill during recovery. Becoming good at something can help you focus in recovery and can also boost your confidence. You can also gain confidence in dealing with problems that arise. The ability to handle problems effectively, can help to increase confidence and help you to feel proud of what you do.
4. Invest in the building blocks of your life. The building blocks of your recovery are friends, family, hobbies, and personal and professional development. These investments provide a source of strength and can provide motivation to continue on the path to recovery. Recovery is about investing in yourself. Find the foundation of what brings you happiness and invest in it.
5. Establish a sense of belonging. Having a supportive social group that encompass the same values as you can influence your recovery in positive ways. This social group should not include, for obvious reasons, those that you associated with while you were using drugs or drinking alcohol. A positive social group can also provide strength during rough days and provide resources to help you get back on track if needed.