Are there ways to avoid addictions? Some say yes. Maybe we have a parent or family member with an addiction, and we don’t want to follow in their footsteps. Maybe we’ve seen those “tendencies” come up in our lives and we want to stop the cycle before it develops anymore. Maybe we hear about the growth of addictions in our country and we want to attempt to be proactive in not becoming part of those statistics.
Although we all have our roads to addiction (and recovery), there are a few things that may help us to try to prevent addictions in our lives.
Learn Your Family History
Many experts feel that addictions are genetic. They feel that it is “in our blood” to become addicted to a particular substance or habit. Or, even if it’s not entirely genetic, many believe that we do inherit the personality traits, habits, stress levels, and lifestyle of our parents. So, if they have traits, habits, or personalities that might lead them to an addiction, you may be at higher risk.
Learn your family history. Learn the types of lifestyles they’ve led. Learn if there is a history of certain types of addictions in your family’s past. If there is a history of depression in your family, work to avoid that in your life (or get help if you see it surfacing). If there are particular substance abuse issues, work hard to completely stay away from those particular substances.
Stress, depression, anxiety, etc are all potential causes of addiction. Many people with addictions turned to those substances or activities as coping mechanisms for the stresses or bad feelings they were experiencing in their lives. Sadness and hard times are a part of everyone’s lives. It’s important to have positive ways to deal with those negative emotions.
Being active can help you have positive experiences and emotions in your life. Be physically active. Just the endorphins your body will release can help! At your job, work hard. Develop a good work ethic. Find opportunities to serve. These things can all keep you busy, bring you success, and help you find fulfillment in your life.
We all need good friends. They can help us feel happy and fulfilled. They can help us stay busy. They can also point out to us if they see us developing problems or potentially problematic traits. All of these things could potentially help us avoid addictions in our lives.
Find good friends in your life. Work to develop these friendships. It all starts with being a good friend! Support your friends. Be there for them when they need you. Then, when you need them, they will be there to return the favor. They will become the support system that we all need.
If you don’t already have good friends, put some work in to find them. Get in touch with friends you haven’t spoken to in a while, and work to rebuild those friendships. Find community groups and activities that you enjoy. Find new hobbies and see if you can find friends with those same interests.