Vices and habits tend to become harder to break because they are deeply wired to constant repetition in your brain. When you add the element of pleasure to any vice like alcohol, porn, or drugs, for example, the pleasure centers of your midbrain fire up as well. Note that they continue to fire up long after you stop your habit, which creates the cravings most people struggle with. Below are 3 important ways to stop your vices.
1. Identify The Usual Triggers
The humming of your refrigerator could possibly be one of the main triggers that will make you go for a beer the moment you walk into the front door of your home. It is similar to seeing and reaching out for the junk food you kept on the counter top the moment you feel bored. It may also be a bad case of social anxiety, which causes you to drink even more when you imagine your discomfort at an upcoming event having more than three people. Identifying the specific triggers for your vices allows you to push back while preventing the autopilot from kicking in.
However, some people find it rather difficult to identify specific triggers. If this happens to you or you cannot figure , for instance, when you crave a drink and slow down. Use your individual awareness of the behaviors as trigger signals and ask yourself this – what is going on emotionally?
If you wish to learn how to stop drinking alcohol forever, then you must learn to be persistent and patient. Realize that it might take you some time to kick your old habits. Do not beat yourself for the slip-ups that occur. Take it one day at a time.
2. Deal With Triggers
Since your goal is to break the patterns and deal with the triggers, you should strive to do something about anything that triggers your bad habits. For instance, you may proactively get a beer or junk food out of your house, or when you suddenly notice that while driving back home, you get stressed, you can deliberately sit in your car for a while and listen to soothing music that you enjoy. You may also perform some deep breathing exercises to help you relax, instead of marching straight into the kitchen.
3. Create a Substitute Plan
Breaking your bad habit isn’t about quitting, but substituting it with something else. Here you can formulate a plan that involves managing any party or social event without drinking any form of alcohol. For instance, you could get a soft drink and hang out with some of your good friends instead of grabbing a drink and hanging out with a bunch of complete strangers.
Breaking or stopping vices takes effort and time, but it’ll require your own perseverance for you to pull through. Most of the people who have successfully stopped their bad habits have tried and failed multiple times before they eventually succeed at breaking away from the vices. While you may not have the success you need right away, it doesn’t imply you cannot have it all.