4 Ways to End an Addiction

1. Let Friends and Family Know What You’re Doing

Having a good support system is essential when fighting off an addiction. Addictions can be mental, physical or both and their hold over you can be incredibly strong. Coping with withdrawal symptoms and cravings is hard to do on your own, especially in the early days of ending your addiction. While some people find they can quit an addiction cold turkey, with no help, these people are rare. For most, outside help is needed. Having family and friends who know about your struggle and who are willing to be there to talk to you, spend time with you and help you through the tough times of your ordeal is invaluable in breaking your addiction.

2. Attend Support Group Meetings

There is a support group for virtually any addiction. Whether your issue is alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling or a co-dependent relationship, you can usually find a group of people with the same problem. Attending meetings of your chosen group on a regular basis is helpful in fighting off an addiction in many different ways. For one, it provides you with accountability, since falling off the wagon will mean you’ll have to explain the reason why to the group. A support group also allows you to see the addiction from the perspective of others who are suffering from it and to learn from their stories of fighting and overcoming it. Finally, a support group provides you with objective outside observers who can give you a clearer perspective on your own situation, a picture that your family and friends, who are emotionally invested in you, cannot provide.

3. Try Meditation

Having something to focus on besides yourself is important in helping you to overcome your addiction. Meditation allows you to focus on any point in the universe, turning your mind and your thought toward it again and again until everything else fades into the background. Regular meditation practice is not only relaxing, it gives you the skills you need to turn your attention to your meditative point at a moment’s notice whenever you feel your old addiction pulling at you. Typical mediation practice involves sitting quietly for 20 minutes to half an hour in a spot where you will not be disturbed. Think of any image that brings you comfort and joy and think only of that image. Breathe in and out slowly and if your mind wanders, do not judge yourself, but gently bring your attention back to your meditative point. Eventually, you should be able to keep your attention on your meditative point for the full half an hour without difficulty.

4. Stay Healthy With HALT

Maintaining good physical and mental health will keep you strong and let you focus your energy on fighting your addiction. Getting regular exercise and following a healthy diet are essential, of course, but you should also monitor your mental state with the HALT acronym. Never allow yourself to get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired, since these states weaken your will and threaten your recovery. Preventing these emotional and physical symptoms will help you prevent a relapse.