Aware and Alert: Five Top Tips for Preventing Addiction

in General 01 January 1999

We all have different ways of blowing off steam at the end of the day, and many of us look forward to leaving our job to indulge in our pastime. The activity could be heading out to a bar with a partner, hitting the mall, or even a friendly game of poker with friends. In moderation these activities are perfectly safe and enjoyable, but certain factors such as stress or depression can lead to us devoting increasing amounts of time and money to our pastime. Addiction can develop at any time, and everyone is susceptible to addictive behavior. However, there are certain factors that increase the risk of developing addiction, and identifying them early on will decrease your chance of getting caught in a downward spiral.

Know Your Family History

Studies have shown that children of addicts are 8 times more likely to develop an addiction. If your parents struggled with addiction, then the behavior is already hardwired into your own psychology, so you will need to be extra vigilant when participating in any activity that could possibly become addictive.

Reduce Your Stress Levels

Stress is a reaction to certain events or stimuli that we are unable to cope with in a calm and rational manner, and it can manifest in a variety of ways such as insomnia, anxiety, heart palpitations, or depression. Finding ways to cope with stress in a healthy way is essential for modern day life, and there are many different methods that can provide effective relief. Acupuncture, yoga, aromatherapy, and physical exercise provide safe and healthy ways to reduce stress.

Seek Therapy If Things Get Too Much

Talking things through is a fantastic way to cope with problems or events in your life that are difficult to deal with, and a trained therapist can teach you many different coping strategies to help you through stressful periods in your life. Medications do not treat the cause of psychological disorders as they simply suppress the symptoms, so regular therapy is always preferable to anxiety or depression pills that can easily become addictive. Try a biophysical detox and study up on what you are going through, there is no harm in finding out how others pushed through the same barriers.

Find Something You Care About

It could be your family, friends, job, hobby, or some form of volunteer work, and having something in your life that brings you joy will greatly reduce your chances of addiction. Many people descend into addiction when they feel hopeless or that their life is without purpose, so be sure to engage your mind in positive activities that will challenge and inspire you.

Balance the Mind, Body, and Spirit

A healthy body requires a healthy mind and vice versa, but there is a third element to the equation. Whether or not you believe in the soul, medical science has proven beyond a doubt that those who nourish their spiritual health through yoga, meditation, and other spiritual practices experience less stress and anxiety and are less susceptible to sickness and disease.

The most important thing you can do to avoid addiction is to be aware of any behavior that has the potential to get out of control. Avoid social circles where drugs or alcohol play a prominent role in the regular activities, and be wary of bad influences and enablers who can easily set you on the wrong track.

Albert Stayton is an addictive behavior researcher. He often writes for addiction and intervention blogs to help people better understand and respond to addiction.

The British Wheel of Yoga