Genetics isn’t the only road that leads to addiction. There are many studies today showing that stress has a way of altering your brain which also results in addictive behavior. Regardless, the stressors we face each day (e.g., work, family, money) can continue to mount. We need to find healthy ways of dealing with things. Unfortunately, this is also an area that many people are struggling with. It’s also why there’s an evergrowing number of people who are addicted to various substances.
You don’t have to have issues with drugs and alcohol to say that you have an addiction. There are many other types of addiction that people face today including food, sex/pornography, smoking, sugar, shopping, the internet, and even caffeine. Our culture has made it permissible to use some of these things to help us escape from the anxiety in our lives. Each of us has a trigger that leads to us using these escape routes, but it’s time to put an end to these addictions. Fortunately, this is something you can empower yourself to do.
Make sure you have the tools you need for combatting stress in your life.
There are many ways to deal with these overwhelming feelings. Take some time to discover what works best for you. Some of the things you can turn to instead of addictive behaviors and substances include:
- Exercise, to help burn off cortisol hormones which will leave you feeling less stressed.
- Proper nutrition. This means including plenty of whole foods in your diet. These are foods that are full of vitamins and minerals.
- Practice good sleep hygiene. This means getting off of your electronic devices (e.g., phone, TV, video games) at least an hour before going to sleep. It’s also important to make sure that you get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
- Journaling is a great way to process your thoughts and feelings. If you want some extra accountability, you could try blogging. You’ll have readers who will count on hearing from you each week.
- Find a counselor, coach, or therapist to help you work these thoughts or any stressors or triggers that have accumulated over time.
- Attend a support group on a regular basis so you can verbally express your thoughts and feelings to people who empathize with you. This is also a great way to form new friendships with people who can relate to you and your struggles.
- Take a moment to write down some relaxing activities you can engage in when you start to feel stress in your life. Your list may include things like yoga, listening to music, taking a hot bath, reading a good book, calling a trusted friend, or going out to take a walk in nature. This is your list and it can evolve over time. You should decide what will help you steer clear of whatever it is you’re addicted to.
Take steps today to ensure a healthier tomorrow.
Life is full of stress. Taking drugs or turning to other unhealthy behaviors to help you cope with it only makes things worse. However, when you learn to deal with things without turning to drugs, alcohol or behavioral addictions, you’ll grow stronger and more resilient. Before you know it, you’ll be prepared to handle anything that life throws your way.
So, if stress has led to addiction in your life, it’s time to get help. Whether you’re in Dayton, OH, or somewhere else around the world, Mission Addiction is here to support you. We invite you to join us for one of our support group meetings, participate in our MAP for healing and recovery program, and speak to us about our coaching and mentoring services. We’re here to help you in any way we can and look forward to speaking with you soon about it.
Copyright © 2022, Edward Livesay, Mission Addiction