Self-help

5 Ways To Break An Addiction

photo credit: Ian Sane via photopin cc

photo credit: Ian Sane via photopin cc

Here’s something that’s been buzzing the news lately, with front cover stories and social media out roar: beloved comedian and actor, Robin Williams passed away on August 11. Williams starred in many comedic movies, such as Mrs. Doubtfire and won the hearts of numerous fans.

Now I’m sure you’ve already heard about how Williams died and how he killed himself. But here’s a brief reminder: Williams was battling from severe depression and also made a few trips to rehab for drug and alcohol abuse. With great sadness to Willams’ family, friends and fans, he was found in his bedroom (in a seated position) with a leather belt around his neck. Basically Williams had hung himself…

I’m not here to talk about this unfortunate and saddening event and upset you all over again. Because you’ve probably heard it all already. But rather, I’m here to talk about what one can do to cope with an addition, such as Williams’. And yes, I’m no doctor so you’re probably a bit skeptical about the advice I’m going to give you. But I think you’ll trust the advice of Dr. Phil, the well-renowned television personality, author and psychologist.

  1.  Acknowledge what your addition is and the purpose for breaking it.

Before going through the process of breaking an addition, however, you have to be able to fully give it your all and understand that you have an addition.  Because you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. Before

2.   Stop being in denial, and instead start thinking rationally.

So now you acknowledge that you have an addiction and understand that it is unhealthy for you, yet you still can’t get through your day without a pack of cigarettes or some vodka, for example; that’s you being in denial. You already know you have a problem, so why be in denial and minimize the severity of your addiction by adding fuel to the fire? You may need to start counting on yourself and others to help you think more rationally about the choices you make.

  1. Try using alternative coping skills for your addiction, such as (what I like to call) reward therapy.

Let’s face it; most of us like to work toward something expecting some sort of reward at the end. Whether it’s money, power, love or even just self-improvement, these are all types of rewards. So set some rewards for yourself, that way you have something to work toward when breaking your addition.

  1. Know what your danger zones are.

Figure out when and why you get the urge to fall into your addiction. People who suffer from an addiction have danger zones in which something triggers them to indulge in their bad habit. So figure out what your danger zones are and replace them with something else. For example, you feel the need to light up a cigarette after an exhausting day at work; try replacing that habit with something else, like maybe breathing exercises or even yoga. People resort to their addictions when they don’t see another way out and when they want to hide away from the stress. Yoga is a proven method for stress reduction, and guess what…it’s a healthier method as well!

  1. Seriously take action and make lifestyle changes.

Let’s say you’re trying to stop smoking or drinking… try not to bring money for those toxic items. Frame your life so you won’t fall into your addiction. Because remember…help for your addition starts with YOU.

How To Be More Confident With Body Language

Amy Cuddy Photo credit: Ted.com

Amy Cuddy
Photo credit: Ted.com

Amy Cuddy, professor at Harvard Business School, explains in a TED Talk how the changes we make in our body, affect not only how others see you, but also how you see yourself. These changes you make in your body can drastically impact your career as well.

According to Cuddy, there are specific “power poses” that one can implement in order to immediately feel powerful and dominant. However, there are also certain “low-power poses” which can drastically hurt the way people perceive you. Moreover, these poses can negativity affect how you feel about yourself.

According to researchers and studies, a quick glimpse of a political candidate’s face and body language can enable people to predict or assume the winner of about 70% Senate and Gubernatorial races.

Cuddy already knew that our nonverbal behavior affects the way people see us. However, Cuddy questioned whether our nonverbals affect how we perceive ourselves; in other words, if our bodies can change our minds.

Therefore, Cuddy and her colleagues set out to find an answer. They devised an experiment in which people were asked to perform “high-power poses” for two minutes. After that, the other subjects were asked to perform “low-power poses” for two minutes. Finally, the subjects were tested on their risk tolerance and body chemistry. After the two-minute “high-power poses,” the subjects’ risk tolerance drastically inclined. However, after the two-minute “low-power poses,” the subjects’ risk tolerance sank.

According to the researchers of this experience, the results were the outcomes of a drastic change in body chemistry. The subjects whose risk levels were higher and who assumed the “high-power poses,” had an increase in testosterone after the two-minute “high-power pose.” Testosterone is considered a hormone that exerts dominance and confidence in a person. In comparison, the testosterone of the “low-power posers” fell by about 10%.

The results of Cuddy’s experiment proved that our nonverbal behavior can in fact change our minds. Furthermore, Cuddy suggests that power posing for a few minutes can change one’s life in a meaningful way. Even if you’re not feeling powerful, Cuddy advises her audience to “fake it till you make it.” More specifically, Cuddy suggests that people not only  “fake it till you make it,” but “fake it till you become it.”

However, that doesn’t mean that when you’re in an interview, you plop your feet on hirer’s desk, lean back and put your hands behind your head. The idea of power posing is for yourself and to change the way you think about yourself.  For example, before having your name called for an interview, you may be sitting outside the office in a “low-power pose,” hunching and make yourself smaller. When really, your body language should show confidence and power. Then maybe, your mind will feel that as well. (more…)

Stress A Little Less: It’s Time For Meditation

Image courtesy of [image creator name] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [image creator name] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Nowadays, with work, career and family becoming major priorities in life, many things can become overwhelmingly stressful. An abundance amount of stress is never good for anyone, let alone a busy person like you! It’s time you start taking initiative and turn this negative energy and stress, into relaxing positive energy.

Well, now you might be wondering how? Yoga has been practiced for many years now. In the efforts to meditate and connect with one’s spiritual self, people in the ancient times, and even now for that matter, regarded yoga as a natural means of relaxation.

Deepak Chopra, a physician, a holistic health/New Age guru and an alternative medicine practitioner, prioritizes yoga and meditation above all remedies in dealing with stress. “At the Chopra Center, we define stress as our response to what is happening. It’s not the overdue bill, traffic jam, or fight with our spouse that causes stress – it’s our thoughts and the story we tell ourselves about an event or circumstance that create the emotional upset, racing heart rate, shallow breathing, and other symptoms of the stress response,” states Deepak. Deepak Chopra’s analogy for stress clearly proves that stress is the result of the way our mind deals with a situation. The mind plays a crucial role in the dealings of stress. (more…)