Making changes is not easy. It’s not easy to stop habits such as eating or drinking too much, smoking or doing anything in utter excess. But, how can we stop the ups and downs of the addiction see-saw?
When I was younger and at university, our professors taught us that the only way to kick a bad habit was to quit it ‘cold turkey.’ This method works, but you need to have willpower and discipline. I have this…if I set my mind to do something- I will do it! (That’s self-affirmation by the way!) You need to be willing to work through the fear and like Nike’s slogan boasts – just do it!
However, I am sitting here drinking my second cup of coffee wondering if I poured myself a third cup would I be classified in the DSM-V as having ‘three out of five symptoms’ of having a coffee addiction. I think that sometimes quitting cold turkey isn’t always easy as it sounds.
If cutting an excessive habit ‘cold turkey’ were easy, everyone would do it. And, if obtaining balance of eating and drinking were easy there would be no diets, no Facebook quotes on how to obtain a balanced diet, and I wouldn’t be sitting here reflecting on how to obtain balance in the crazy world of eating, drinking and partying.
But how do we obtain balance in our life? How do we kick the bad habits, move forward, and become healthier, stronger, and happier?
Start by de-cluttering your life. De-clutter your mind, your room, your house, your friends, and/or whatever it is you think you need to de-clutter in order to take the next step of moving forward with your life.
You’ve read about toxic people – get rid of them. You are a hoarder and you have too much dusty ornaments- clear it out – take that bric-a-brac to your local charity. Just do it! You want to quit smoking – clear out everything in the house that reminds you of smoking. You think you drink too much – don’t have booze in the house. Crisps are your Achilles tendon – don’t buy them.
You will be amazed at how de-cluttering will help you make those life changes you want to make.
If these tasks seem too simple, then you need to take it to the next level…finding out what makes you have these addictions. Are you filling a void in your life? Are you depressed? Are you lonely? Did you have a difficult childhood? Do you suffer from anxiety? Are you stuck in the cycle of addiction? Do you have a rubber arm (my friends say this about me)? Whatever your ‘baggage’ is, there is a solution. Every cycle can be broken. It is up to you to start the process.
Jessica Valentine is a Chartered Counselling Psychologist who supports people within the local community and worldwide online. She offers online Skype therapy and face-to-face counselling in East Sussex, Brighton-Hove.
follow her on Twitter, FB and IG: @getwellbrighton