Positive Ways to Deal with Addiction
There are many challenges in life, addiction is just one of the challenges that some of us need to overcome. Regardless of your past and what led to your addiction, what matters today is that you have decided to quit your addiction, and what matters most is how you deal with your addiction and recover.
There are many unhealthy and negative ways people deal with their addiction, from denial and avoidance to displacement, procrastination, rationalisation, trivialisation and even a passive-aggressive stance. These are destructive ways to deal with your addiction, which need to be replaced with more healthy and positive coping mechanisms.
Here are six positive ways to deal with your addiction. Not all of them may appeal to you, but if you can find just one that works for you, the results can life changing.
1. Write your thoughts in a journal
Not everyone likes to write their thoughts on paper, but you could use a computer journal! Many therapists believe that the act of writing down your thoughts and feelings, both positive and negative, helps you to understand yourself more and can give you valuable insights into your motivations. It can also prevent you from bottling up negative feelings, something that helps everyone, not just someone who is recovering from an addiction.
2. Start an exercise plan
Regular exercise can help you to feel better, not just because you become fitter and lose weight, but because you actually feel happier about yourself. Whether you want to attend a gym, grab your bike or take up running, exercise can reduce anxiety and depression, boost your self-confidence and reduce stress.
3. Practice meditation
Not everyone’s cup of tea, but there is a lot to be said for sitting quietly and focusing on your breathing. This is good way to help you relax, reduce any stress and anxiety you may be feeling at that moment and is also an effective strategy to overcome anger or frustration. Focus on taking deep breaths and exhaling slowly and you should quickly find that your thoughts are more positive and calmer.
4. Try floating
Sometimes, simply taking timeout and recharging your mind and body can go a long way to helping tackle your addiction. Floatation therapy allows a deep level of relaxation and pain relief, inside a pod filled with magnesium salts and water, closed off from the outside environment. “Floating allows for some reflective time with one’s own thoughts and feelings to come to the surface and be better understood and felt”, says owner of Water Temple Mychelle Whitewood. Research shows it can significantly improve your mood and offer a sense of calmness.
5. Find a confidante
Talking to someone you trust and who doesn’t judge you can help you to overcome feelings of frustration and anger, as well as any negative and unhealthy feelings you hold about yourself. There’s a lot to be said for having a friend who is a good listener and one who is willing to listen when you need to talk through your problems and feelings. This is a very effective strategy that can help you deal with negative feelings in a safe and loving environment.
6. Focus on the positive things in your life
One of the best balms to your negative thoughts is to focus on all the good things in your life. When you can’t stop thinking about all the negatives, you can quickly loose traction and fall headfirst into a relapse, so you need to change tack and think about all the positives instead. This might not be easy and you might have to dig deep, but even if the only positive you can think of is that the sun is shining, hang on to that thought and start searching for more.
Replacing your negative and unhealthy thoughts with these and other healthy coping strategies, can help you to focus on your recovery and start to live your best life.