Five Tools for Addiction

Dealing with Addiction: 5 Essential Tools

Dealing with addiction isn’t easy but it can be done. Here are five tools that can make the experience less of a nightmare and help return you to sanity.

Diet

Diet: Addiction Tool

Sure it sounds simple, but changing your diet can have a huge impact on your anxiety levels.  Be conscious of consuming more foods high in antioxidants like acai and blueberries. They help raise raise mood levels and lower the hormones that contribute to stress.  Foods high in Vitamins D, B, and E (eggs, almonds, and salmon) and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (walnuts and flax seeds). As far as foods that cause anxiety limit or reduce your consumption of caffeine, alcohol, and sugar and starches.  The rise and fall or blood sugar from eating foods high in caffeine, sugar, or starches can lead to emotional strain and stress.

Exercise

Exercise: Addiction Tool

Studies show that regular exercise relieves symptoms of anxiety and helps treat anxiety disorders. Furthermore, it improves your sense of wellbeing for hours after you’ve completed an activity.  Cardio, like running or biking, along with weight training all help reduce anxiety. I recommend you consider giving yoga a shot. It’s a relaxing, relatively easy alternative to traditional forms of exercise.  If not, something as simple as taking a 30 minute walk each day can pay dividends in regard to boosting your mental health.

Meditation

Meditation: Addiction Tool

Meditation has been a lifesaver for me.  Breathing exercises, breathing slowly and deep, will almost instantly decrease your level of stress.  The shallow, chest breathing, most people practice during the day causes our heart rate to rise rapidly.  Especially when we’re feeling stressed, this causes us to stress out even more! The better alternative is to pretend you’re filling a balloon in your belly.  Breathe slowly and deeply in through the nose and out through the mouth. Take four seconds to breath in, hold the breath for three seconds, then spend four seconds to exhale the breath.  Repeat four times and feel the anxiety melt away.

A Consistent Sleep Schedule

Sleeping: Addiction Tool

Seven to nine hours is the ideal.  Get enough sleep. Not enough can leave you feeling worn out, and it magnifies the problems with people suffering from anxiety.  Too much can leave you feeling drowsy and make you anxious as well. My advice would be to try going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.  This helps to regulate a sleep cycle, helping you get a better night’s sleep. Stay away from your phone, using your laptop, or television the hour before you go to bed.  They can prevent healthy sleep because of the lights they put off.

Journal

Journaling: Addiction Tool

One of the most important tools in dealing with addiction is Journaling. This is because of the value you get when you track what gives you anxiety.  It’s important to recognize what triggers anxiety so you can determine what you can and what you cannot control over these triggers.  Confront the sources of anxiety you can control. For example if you’re struggling financially maybe you need to look for a new job or should consider cutting some of your expenses.  Avoid the sources of anxiety you can’t control. For example my step dad doesn’t fly anymore because planes give him anxiety.

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