When you are feeling stressed, it can be easy to come home from work or school and go straight to the fridge for your glass of wine or beer, or food and pop and forget all about your troubles for a while.
Keeping your food, pop, or alcohol intake within reasonable limits can easily be forgotten. Suppressing emotions rather than dealing with them can make your stress worse.
You may be experiencing greater reactions to the stressors in your life because over time the thing you are becoming addicted to reduces the pleasure chemical in your brain and you actually need more of it to achieve the same effect.
Are you developing an addiction problem?
Stress makes you vulnerable to all types of addiction: drugs (prescribed or not) or gambling or gaming because you are failing to deal with the causes of your stress and are masking them with substances or activities that give you pleasure.
- Do you find it difficult to stop your addictive behaviour once you have started?
- When other people comment on your behaviour do you become angry or defensive?
- Do you hide your addictive behaviour from those around you?
- Do you feel guilty about your addictive behaviour?
- Would a ‘dry spell’ be difficult for you?
- Do you worry about your addiction?
- Do you have poor coping skills and problem-solving skills?
Want to get started on making changes?
- ell friends and family about your addiction and that you want to stop – it’s the hardest step but the one which will give you a chance to begin the change process.
- Socialise in a different way. Don’t seek out people who have the same addiction as you, find different people to be with.
- Avoid temptation by identifying the triggers for your addictive behaviour
- Remind yourself of the benefits of not behaving in an addictive manner
- Reward yourself for your achievements
Addictive habits can be changed over time and cognitive behavioural therapy is a good place to start that change. Call me to find out more.