Many of us have habits that we use to relieve stress, anxiety, and to otherwise alter our mood. Many of these habits can be healthy or at least neutral, but others will have profoundly bad impacts on our physical or mental health as time goes on. These include mental habits such as catastrophizing, physical habits such as substance abuse, or otherwise harmful activities like gambling or self-harm. In order to improve your mental health in the long term, it may be important to look at your habits, how their mechanisms work in daily life, and what you can do to replace them if they are harmful.
There are such things as fully physical addictions, of course, where the body is dependent on particular substances. However, the roots of our worst habits often belong to mental health issues, such as depression, stress, anxiety, and the like. While there are many methods of battling these habits, it’s important to address the root causes that often lie in mental health. For that reason, even as you’re trying to change your habits, it might be important to get in touch with a mental health counselor that can help you learn more about your own mind’s workings and the root causes you can work on.
One term that you might have heard in general use, especially online, is the word “trigger.” It is often derisively used as an insult against someone who is angry or otherwise emotional, but it has its roots in psychology. Psychological triggers are factors that can lead to a response. In this case, the response might be a craving for the habit you’re trying to change. There are many different kinds of triggers, some of them are environmental (such as being at a party,) some are interpersonal (being with certain people,) others are purely mental (high states of stress.) Most people with bad habits also have triggers that they can take the time to identify through techniques like mindfulness meditation. Not only can you learn to avoid triggers, but as you identify them, you can also begin adjusting your response to them so that you don’t automatically turn towards your habit when you are triggered.
There are some habits that people might be able to break on their own. It takes tremendous willpower, discipline, and the right circumstances. Not everyone has those circumstances and not all habits can be broken so easily, though. In the case of more serious dependencies, such as severe alcohol addiction, there are concerns such as withdrawal symptoms that can be a serious risk to your health. To that end, you need to make sure that your recovery is both safe and has the highest possible chance of lasting, so consider professional help.
People who have habitual personalities are likely to develop one habit or another. It’s part of why you hear so many stories of people who quit smoking start binge eating unhealthily. While addressing the behavioral triggers and psychological roots of these aspects of ourselves, it can also help to try replacing the bad with the good. Look at habits that you can start using instead, such as getting into physical activity, trying out the arts, or any other kind of hobby that can help you rewire your responses to stress and other triggers. It’s not easy to start replacing habits, but it can be easier than trying to recover with nothing to take the place of your old habit.
Anxiety and stress can be debilitating conditions that affect many people's lives. While prescription medications are often used to treat these conditions, they can often have harmful side effects. Kratom is a natural plant that has been shown to help manage anxiety and stress without the harmful side effects of prescription medications. Kratom is a plant that grows in Southeast Asia, it's also available in various different forms including powders and Kratom Gummies. The leaves of the kratom plant contain compounds that can help relieve anxiety and stress. These compounds work by affecting serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain. Serotonin and dopamine are neurotransmitters that play a role in mood and emotions.
Any step on the road to recovery is a fantastic one. If you haven’t touched the bottle in over a week and you’ve been getting to the root causes of your problem through counseling, that is real and significant progress. However, it’s important to know that the risk of relapse is an ever-present danger. As such, you shouldn’t push yourself to be “100% better” within any timeframe, because that is not how it works. It’s important to take every day as it comes, recognizing that you have to continually try to change the habits that you have been fighting against and living as a healthier, more well-rounded individual.
The above tips are just the beginning of what it takes to change your mental health habits and live a life without being controlled by your triggers. You need to go on and actually do the work to see long-term and sustainable change.
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