The Science of Breaking Habits

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Sometimes, toxic habits turn into addictions. Casual, social drinking may turn to drinking daily by yourself. Using substances to self-medicate can quickly turn into an addiction. Using drugs floods the brain with dopamine, causing the brain to seek ways to find that feeling again. When this occurs, someone may continuously seek out substances. The brain tells an individual it needs more dopamine, resulting in regular substance use to feel high. The habit provides a physical or emotional function, eventually resulting in addiction.

There are ways to retrain our brains not to be compelled to use. However, it is not an immediate outcome. A person must take small steps to create patterns. It takes an average of 66 days of repeating the same behavior to make a habit. Therefore, it may take around 66 days to break that habit. A person must identify their triggers to avoid them. Recognizing these cues is the first step in breaking addictions. Keeping a journal of your cues and learning what triggers which cravings may help break the habit cycle. 

Replace old habits with new ones. If you have a habit of using because you are stressed, practice mindfulness instead. Mindfulness is as easy as practicing breathing exercises or meditating. Meditation may be challenging to practice in the middle of a craving. However, you don’t have to close your eyes and sit still to meditate. Taking a walk through the park or around your neighborhood are effective ways to meditate. Ask yourself what you need at that moment. Do you need to destress, or do you need to use? 


Breaking habits may seem harder to accomplish than it is to create them, but that is because we are not conscious of the process of forming habits. We must be aware of our addictions to break them. However, sometimes we are not mindful of them until they are causing us harm in some way. It is crucial to allow yourself time to work on your habits without feeling like you’re not succeeding fast enough. At Avalon Malibu, we are dedicated to helping our clients live a better quality of life. We provide treatments that will help you identify and break the habits that no longer benefit your life. Our staff is dedicated to giving you the tools to succeed in your pursuit of health and wellness. If you or someone you love is struggling with unhealthy habits, call us today at (844) 857-5992. You deserve to live your best life.

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