Habits of thought and action have a profound impact on our lives. We repeat the same pattern without choosing to repeat it. Some of our patterns are not helping us. People who struggle with addiction often have very strong habits of thought and action that hold them back from reaching a better life. Addicts can learn to be aware of their patterns of thought and replace harmful habits with helpful healthy ones. Let’s take a closer look and consider seven self-destructive habits to break for successful recovery from addiction.
Disengaging & Disassociating
Life is hard sometimes. Addicts numb the pain of living with their addiction and forget how to address their problems, grapple with their emotions or take pleasure in other things. Even when an addict is clean in the moment, they may be mentally and emotionally detaching from the people around them, their own lives, and the consequences of their actions. Strong emotions can be difficult. You can learn to calmly experience, acknowledge, and accept them, and they will pass. Hiding from yourself in your own mind is no way to live. Re-engaging is hard at first, but there are going to be times when it feels really good to let yourself feel again too, and it gets easier and easier.
Acting Out Trauma
When people experience severe trauma, they will have complex and painful feelings and memories to process. Until this trauma is confronted, the poorly understood suffering may manifest in strange ways. People may in some sense re-enact the trauma that they experienced, acting either as the victim or the perpetrator. Some psychologists believe this is an attempt to normalize the behavior and suppress the pain. With therapy, you can learn to work through trauma and recognize when you may be acting out.
Scarcity Mindset or Magical Thinking
When you are afraid there is not enough, not enough work, not enough security, not enough love, you can get stuck in a fearful and competitive mindset. Many addicts over-estimate how difficult things are to do, underestimate the value of what they have, and remain paralyzed with fear. On the other hand, addicts may also engage in magical thinking, under-estimating the difficulty of future plans and dwelling on an unrealistic future instead of taking a step in the present.
Warden And Prisoner
Playing warden and prisoner allows a procrastinating addict to avoid confronting the flaws in their magical thinking, or put off anything else. Our choices are very much our own, and other people have very limited control over us ultimately. When we are in the grasp of addiction, we learn to rationalize our self-limiting choices by casting ourselves as the prisoner and blaming an external warden who we claim controls us. This is rarely true. Own your choices and make them wisely.
Negative Self Talk
When addicts learn to hear themselves think with cognitive behavioral therapy and meditation, LINKS, they start to realize how often they limit themselves. “I can’t” or “I’m not good enough” or “I don’t deserve it.” You can, you are, and you do. A good rehab program teaches addicts to answer negative self-talk with fair assessments.
Self-Destructive Action As Emotion Regulation
People who don’t learn to process emotions in a healthy way sometimes harm themselves in an effort to ease the stress of experiencing emotions. Self-inflicted pain increases the flow of endorphins in the brain, relieving the feelings of stress to some degree. Compulsive sex, gambling, and other forms of addiction are all self-destructive and act as a substitute for healthy processing of emotions. There is a better way. Addicts can learn to process their emotions like anyone else. It just takes work and good guidance.
Putting Your Life On Hold
This bad habit is often combined with warden and prisoner and magical thinking. An addict may think, well I obviously don’t want to live my life like this, but I have a magical plan for the future. And as soon as my evil warden lets me go, I can live that life that I know I want. Don’t wait. Make a realistic plan and start going where you know you want to go.
Learn More About Our Addiction Recovery Program
Seasons Bali offers support for people struggling with all types of addiction. You are here reading this, so it is probably time for you or someone you care about to take the first step towards a much better life. It takes work but you can leave the unfulfilling cycle and the suffering behind.
If someone you care about has a problem with drugs or alcohol or any other form of addiction, talk to someone who understands. We are here to help. Call one of our experts today at (toll-free Australia) 1800 288 348 +61 398045757 or email us at [email protected] and we will call you.