A recent study conducted by Ostafin, Kassman, and Wessel (2016) posits that with addiction, stimuli with strong affective valence capture attention. This means that the object of one’s addiction builds a positive reward system in a person’s brain, leading them to want to continue their addiction. When this happens, it may become difficult for a person to self-regulate their impulses. When someone becomes pre-occupied with a tempting stimulus such as alcohol, drugs, or whatever the addiction – the negative cycle perpetuates and increases the likelihood that a person will approach and engage in the addiction. The study argues that mindfulness and executive control reduce the link between automatic affective responses to consumption. To build one’s mindfulness and executive control to recover and break the cycle of addiction, several things must occur:
- You must be willing to admit that you suffer from addiction. This can be a hard first step, because this means that we must face our harsh reality. However, once we can recognize where we are at, we can more easily take steps to combatting our addiction.
- You must explore just how hard you are willing to work towards overcoming your addiction. This is a test of pure will and determination – are you willing to stop seeing certain friends that promote this addiction? Are you willing to seek help? These are just a couple of actions that are necessary to overcoming addiction, and you must be ready for them.
- You must believe that you can truly overcome this. You can, and you will. Simple as that. Have faith that you can overcome your challenges and place yourself back on a road towards healthier living – believe in that. Live by that. Accept nothing less, and be ready to work harder than you ever have before.
- Seek out support. Find a treatment center, therapist, recovery group – find a person who is currently where you want to be in life. Find someone who has gone through addiction and has made huge strides to overcome it – someone whom you can look up to and rely on for support. Oftentimes, this is a sponsor for groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) but a doctor or person in treatment might be able to recommend you to someone as well.
- Take your time, do what you must do, and celebrate small wins. Recovery is a lifelong process, but slow and steady wins the race. Take everything step by step, day by day. Dr. David Susman, health advocate and psychologist, states that small steps can give you momentum to work towards your bigger goal.
These may seem like small steps, but they are powerful steps. You are a strong and capable human being, and you can push through your barriers. You have a beautiful mind, strong heart, and a fulfilling life to live. Act today and take control of your life.
Recovery is yours when you start to do the work. At a treatment facility in the New Vista Behavioral Health family, you will be supported with staff and programming held to higher standards, providing exceptional care for better outcomes. Life is yours for living. Start making a change today by calling: 888-316-3665