How to Identify and Overcome Addictions

By: Helene Rothschild

 They make us feel better for a short period of time but then we soon need another "fix", because we still have the pain from the underlying negative feelings.

Ironically, our addictions cause us even more problems and result in additional pain. For example, an alcoholic often loses his or her job, has unsuccessful relationships, and suffers from physical problems brought on by the alcohol. The workaholic finds their loved ones complaining that they are never around. They may make more money but probably spend more for medical problems because of their self-induced stress.

The first helpful thing to do to overcome your addictions is to be honest with yourself and recognize your extreme behaviors. The following questionnaire will help you to identify your unhealthy habits.

Put a check next to the description of your behavior.

A. I eat or drink in excess:

1.

Food

2. Alcohol

3. Coffee

4. Carbonated beverages

5. Chocolate

6. Ice cream

7. Candy

8. Pastry

9. Bread

10. Other

B. I feel a compulsion (not in control of myself) to do a lot of:

1. Work

2. Running/Sports

3. Shopping

4. Yelling

5. Creating

6. Smoking

7. Gambling

8. Drugs

9. Cleaning/organizing

10. Other

C. I feel no matter how much I have, I always want more:

1. Money

3. Affection

4. Cars

5. Clothes

6. Material things

7. Attention

8. Machines/Tools (including computers)

9. Power

10. Other

D. I spend a lot of time:

1. Playing

2. Reading

3. Writing

4. Watching television/movies

5. Collecting things

6. At the computer

7. Complaining

8. Fixing things

9. Joking

10. Other

To further understand yourself, fill in the following statements:

E. When I am upset I:

1. ______________________________________________________

2. ______________________________________________________

3. ______________________________________________________

F. I have a habit of:

1. ______________________________________________________

2. ______________________________________________________

3. ______________________________________________________

G. I am addicted to:

1. ______________________________________________________

2. ______________________________________________________

3. ______________________________________________________

H. I wish that I could stop (a behavior):

1. ______________________________________________________

2. ______________________________________________________

3. ______________________________________________________

Positive Behavior

Now that you understand your avoidance habits, write a check next to the following things that appeal to you to help you overcome your addictions.

When I am aware of my habit controlling me, I can do the following:

1. Take at least ten slow, deep breaths (count to six on the inhale and exhale).

2. Ask myself, "What negative thought am I thinking?" Then imagine that I am burning it away and replacing it with a positive thought.

3. Listen to a self-help tape.

4. Read a self-help book.

5. Drink water with or without lemon.

6. Eat a low calorie vegetable.

7. Take a walk.

8. Call someone I trust and share my feelings with them.

9. Take a class to raise my self-esteem.

Congratulate yourself for being willing to identify and overcome your addictions, choose healthier habitsFree Reprint Articles, and take control of your life.

Addictions
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