How to Break the Unhealthy Habits that Lead to Addiction

breaking bad habits
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When you’re in treatment center in Arizona, you will work on many things, including how to break bad habits. Not only can unhealthy habits lead to addiction, but also they can interfere with a healthy recovery. In rehab, you will learn how to identify the behaviors that lead to addiction and replace them with positive behaviors. 

Each person is unique, so you can expect to receive your own specialized treatment plan, along with the habits and behaviors you need to work on. Let’s learn more about some common habits that people with addiction often struggle with and tips for breaking free. 

Bad Habits that are Common in Addiction

Everyone has bad habits they wish they could get rid of, but it’s not that easy. If it were, we wouldn’t have these habits to worry about! Habits arise through repetition either unintentionally or intentionally. Things like brushing your teeth and showering in the morning are habits you don’t think much about because you’ve been doing them for so long.

Other habits you pick up over time, usually due to some cue or trigger. For example, when you’re bored, you might scroll through social media. The reward you get from social media is what makes the behavior stick, as you’re escaping boredom and raising dopamine in the brain. As you repeat this behavior, your brain learns to rely on social media to ease boredom. 

Some other common habits that can lead to addiction are: 

  • Smoking regularly
  • Binge drinking 
  • Binge eating 
  • Irregular sleep 
  • Negative self-talk 
  • Misusing prescription medication 
  • Codependent relationships 

Tips on Breaking Bad Habits 

One of the first things you should do is define the habits you want to break and why. You might want to stop drinking alcohol so that you can live longer. Or you might want to stop negative thinking so that you raise your self-esteem. Once you know what you want to work on, you can start taking the appropriate steps: 

Track your behavior. 

You can prevent unwanted habits by tracking your behavior. Let’s say you put the kids to bed and then wander over to your computer to check your emails. When you’re reminded of the work you have to do, you get stressed. Stress can cause relapse. 

Replace bad habits with good ones. 

By identifying which habits contribute to your substance use problems, you can start replacing them with good habits. Using the example above, establish a time when you shut off your computer. Rather than checking emails, use this time for something positive such as reading a book, journaling or meditating. 

Tell your loved ones about your goals. 

Having supportive friends and family makes it easier to develop new, healthy habits. Let your friends and family know of your goals so that they can support you. Some might even decide to change some of the same habits themselves! 

Leave yourself reminders. 

Sometimes, it can be helpful to leave yourself gentle reminders about the habits you want to change. You can leave post-its around your house or set reminders on your phone. Other healthy practices to try include saying positive affirmations, reframing negative self-talk and setting boundaries

Reward yourself. 

Stopping bad habits isn’t easy, so reward yourself when you make progress. Success doesn’t happen in a straight line, so you can’t expect to eliminate your bad habits overnight. It will take time, so treat yourself when you make progress in the right direction. 

You are not alone in your journey to recovery. Wolf Creek Recovery in Prescott AZ will help you establish a healthier routine that provides the foundation for good habits. We also encourage our clients to participate in therapy and find new hobbies through outdoor therapy. Contact our admissions department to learn more.