Overcoming an addiction is largely learning how to control the behavior itself. However further recovery consists of changing ineffective interpersonal patterns. This list addresses these commonly overlooked, yet important skills.
1. Listen to others.
When dealing with an addictive behavior, it can be difficult to keep yourself from getting defensive when others give you feedback. If you get defensive, you are likely wondering if part of what others are saying is true. You don’t have to absorb the truth in its entirety, but determine what parts might be accurate for self-improvement.
2. Understand the stories of others.
You don’t have to have the same experience as someone else to benefit from his/her story. Identify what pieces of the circumstance that you understand, and what parts you want to avoid, to help you in your recovery.
3. Help others.
Incorporating a change of behavior is best applied to your life when you give yourself the opportunity to practice what you have learned by helping others through similar situations.
4. Learn the power of relaxation.
It can be a challenge to allow yourself the time to relax. Practicing relaxation techniques as well as breathing techniques can also help you to perfect this art.
5. Learn rational thinking skills.
Being able to process through anxious and depressive thoughts will help you accept the mistakes that you have made, and give up control.
6. Look inward.
You can use many types of therapy and support systems, but none of them will be effective if you don’t figure out how they apply to your life. This takes some serious introspection, and personal responsibility.
7. Redefine fun.
Genuine fun doesn’t have to include an addictive behavior. People benefit from having a variety of hobbies to fulfill the need for fun. Look to your past to uncover things that you have forgotten that you once enjoyed. Entertain the things that you always wanted to try, but never did.
8. Laugh at yourself.
Taking everything too seriously can be tiresome. Recognize and accept that you are an imperfect being. Welcome the imperfection as an opportunity to learn.
9. Increase physical activity.
Exercise is a natural stress reliever. Also, you can use this as yet another hobby to draw positive energy from, and it can provide you with an opportunity to meet others.
10. (Re)connect with Friends.
Making new, healthy friendships, along with rekindling old healthy friendships can be extremely beneficial. However, you have to seek these people out. They will not connect with you without effort and some vulnerability on your part.
11. Avoid relationships until you have a solid grasp of 1-11.
Intimate, sexual relationships are the “grand slam” of personal relationships. Although they can be extremely fulfilling, they are extremely complex. You don’t want to use them as a substitute for any of the previously listed, important skills.