One of the most beneficial tools of modern times and, much like a vehicle, can take you to where you should be or lead to wasted resources, is the internet. There are countless addictive habits that you can fall into and ways to tweak your daily routine to eliminate them.
According to the Dana Foundation, neuroscientists have discovered that addiction hijacks the brain. This concept helps readers understand how someone can go from simply liking a behavior to being addicted to it. The cause of addictive habits is the pleasure principle, which means that your brain starts associating that behavior with a feeling of pleasure. Since your brain has learned to release dopamine, a feel-good hormone, every time the behavior takes place, the habit will continue until you replace it with another behavior that gives you the same feel-good effect.
Think about how you feel right before engaging in the addictive habit. Some common negative and positive feelings that may cause you to grab your smartphone and use technology to take time away from healthier routines, including the following:
- Need for escape
- A need to reward yourself (feeling like you deserve this)
Triggers are one of the four causes of behavior. You should also be mindful of the final causes, or what the addictive behavior helps you accomplish.
Ask Friends and Family for Help
Once you have identified your addictive habit triggers, think about ways to invite help from those around you to keep you on track. According to the Transformations Treatment Center, it’s crucial to find support in order to avoid a relapse, especially when certain triggers like stress can easily be remedied. Also, think about how friends and family can help you carve out some time in your day to go get some help.
How to Replace Current Habits
Now, it’s time to plan the same routine, but with different, more beneficial habits that make you feel good. You need to get your brain to release that dopamine, so take a few minutes to list all the behaviors that make you feel good to do. Keep in mind that these should be habits you can easily include in your daily routine in the exact place of the destructive habit.
Some behaviors that will give you a feeling of pleasure may be:
To eliminate addictive behaviors, it is important to have a plan that includes: Learning how repetitive behavior affects your brain chemistry, taking steps to replace these behaviors, recognizing the feelings that trigger certain behaviors, and welcoming help from those around you to successfully eliminate an addictive habit.
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