There are many different things to get addicted to – we all have our weaknesses and areas where we are vulnerable. It doesn’t take much for what began as an interest, or just having a go, to grab hold of us and consume us and not let us go. An addiction is something that controls us – our desire, our life and our aims instead of us doing the choosing we become influenced and controlled by the thing we are addicted to. We start off enjoying the high and the thrill it gives us and then get sucked so far in that we can’t walk away because the addiction now has us, our body needs the high to feel normal, it craves the experience which helps us to cope with a life that seems uninteresting and pointless without it.

It would be great to chat with you about things that will help you to beat your addiction.

We are all more than just a physical body, we also have feelings, emotions and a spiritual side to us. We really need to think about how to help the whole of us and not just our physical bodies. Here are some suggestions people have found helpful…

Why do you have an addiction? 

It is good to think about why we do it and why we want to stop doing it. Also try and think back to what made you start to do the thing you are now addicted to and what it was that began to make you do it more and more? Was there something that was causing you to be dissatisfied with the life you had? Also we need to be clear about why we want to stop – what is motivating you to want to break free? Motivation is important in breaking free from any addiction – why do you want to be free? Are you just wanting to stop for you? For someone else? For God? The stronger our motivation, and the more it isn’t just about us the greater the power it has.

How? Where? When?

Think about how and where you most often take part in the addiction – do you set out on purpose to do it or do you just suddenly, out of the blue, feel the need?

Think about when? Is there a certain time of day when you really want and need this experience? When you are alone in your room? When you are with a particular group of friends? Notice when it is and do all that you can to avoid these times and situations, sometimes we need to be very radical and cut ourselves off from friends or activities – it might seem hard and painful to begin with but it is worthwhile in the long run to set yourself free from the habit.

Choose a trusted friend or relative

Is there someone you trust who would like to help you stop being addicted? Maybe a friend or a relative has been encouraging you to break free? Agree to tell this person where you are regularly throughout the day and when you use are having to go to places where you often feel more tempted – having someone to be accountable to can be a great motivation to keep away from things we are addicted to.

Think about the spiritual you

Do you believe there is a God? Have you ever spent time trying to learn about who Jesus is, what he did and why he did it?

When people believe that Jesus loves them and is interested in them it gives them a bigger picture of the world around them and of what life is all about. It gives them a new hope and a new focus outside of themselves. The more you get to know Jesus the more you will want to please Him and that will also become a great motivation to saying no to this temptation – Find out about Jesus.

Give yourself a new focus

Find something new to fill your free time, spend time with other people, start a new hobby, keep yourself busy, volunteer at something. Find new, rewarding things to do and people to make a difference to – the more the focus is away from you and onto others or God the better. The less “spare” time you have the less opportunities you will have to continue with your addiction.

Positive rewards

Set yourself small step goals – 24 hrs free, 48hrs, 3 days, 1 week. Keep something that you enjoy to do, read or eat and when you reach these targets give yourself the reward! Positive motivation is so important in wining the battle to say no to your addiction.