Taking Small Steps to Break Habits

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Relieve stress with meditation

There are ways we can “re-train” our brains to break habits. Your brain develops habits based on mental or physical needs. If your brain becomes used to satisfying its needs by your use of drugs, it will continually crave them. This is why it is important to create healthy habits. It may seem next to impossible to break habits you may have been repeating for years, but there are a few easy steps you can take on your own.

Three Easy Steps to Get Started

Replace old habits with new ones. If your habits are caused by stress, practice mindfulness instead. It’s as easy as doing breathing exercises or meditating. While traditional meditation may be hard in the middle of cravings, you don’t necessarily have to close your eyes and sit still to meditate. If you take a walk through a park, do some gardening, or simple tasks around the house, these can all be a meditation if you contemplate while you’re doing it. Ask what you really need at that moment. Do you need to destress, or give in to bad habits? 

Self-care can also be a part of breaking habits. If you neglected yourself while using, practicing self-care may help avoid a trigger. Feeling the same way you did while using, whether mentally or physically may cue the habit. Instead of using, take a bubble bath or shower, start an exercise routine, or even give yourself a manicure. Once again, ask yourself what you really need at that moment; comfort or bad habits?

You can take small steps in pursuit of breaking habits. Consider that it takes about 66 days of the same behavior to create a habit. It may take at least that long to break one. Gradually cut back on the habit until you are no longer repeating the behavior. Finding new hobbies or other interests during this time can be beneficial. On the days that you are abstaining, find something else to do. You can paint, write, exercise, or practice self-care. You may also choose to rekindle relationships with people who support you. Any healthy action that you can take that will distract you from picking up that substance is an ally in your journey to recovery.

Breaking old habits can be daunting and cause a lot of unwanted stress. It’s important to remember that all progress is good and not to be hard on yourself. The task you are taking on is of great importance because it is the task of becoming healthy again. At Avalon Malibu, we understand that you may need support along the way. We offer a wide variety of treatment options in an effort to provide each person with a personalized rehabilitation experience designed to meet their unique needs. We want you to be an active participant in your recovery. Our expert staff will provide you with the tools and guidance you need on your journey to recovery. Located in beautiful Malibu, California, we specialize in working with individuals experiencing co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or mental health issues, please call us today at (844) 857-5992.

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