Learning Strategies Blog

Stopping an addiction; breaking a habit

by Paul Scheele

“Stopping an addiction is not an end point; it is an opportunity for a new beginning,” writes Brenda Schaeffer in Is It Love or Is It Addiction?  

“As a table is supported by four legs, so is an addiction-free lifestyle, called sobriety.

“To sustain the changes made to your life and to further your growth, it is important to stabilize and reinforce the four legs of your table: behavioral, mental, emotional, and spiritual. You now have the opportunity to direct the energy that had been tied up in the addiction. In fact, it is essential that you do so.”

Here are suggestions from our Break the Habit Paraliminal for directing your newly transformed energy toward the “four legs” whether you are stopping an addiction or breaking a habit. We also added key Learning Strategies programs you can use to further your progress in each area. These suggestions


  • Attend a support group.
  • Dig out lost passions.
  • Mentor someone who needs you.
  • Write, paint, dance, sing.
  • Try something entirely new.
  • Celebrate with a party.
  • Exercise your body.
  • Focus on your relationships.
  • Read books for fun and inspiration.
  • Go to places you never before had the time to visit.
  • Renew old friendships.

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  • Clean out the core beliefs that support the addiction.
  • Watch out for negative self-talk.
  • Replace the negative self-talk with affirming messages.
  • Attend lectures and workshops on positive change.
  • Listen to self-help recordings.
  • Let go of worry.
  • Keep an open mind.
  • Screen the messages that come your way.
  • Stop rationalizing, scrutinizing, and personalizing.
  • Stop analyzing, and trust intuitive insights that come to you.
  • Keep your mind active and interested in learning.

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  • Find a good therapist.
  • Look at what emotional needs the addiction was serving.
  • Find healthy replacements for those needs.
  • Go back to the day your addiction started and reclaim the years since then.
  • Learn to become your own best friend.
  • Use your emotions intelligently–tell others what you feel and what you want.
  • Display a picture of yourself as a child, and every day commit to its care.
  • Find a mentor who can hear you without judging you.
  • Laugh and play.
  • Weed out what you learned from your family, society, and friends–keeping only the supportive learning.
  • Let go of past traumas with a therapist.

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  • Define for yourself what “higher power” means.
  • Meditate or actively pray each day.
  • Practice harmlessness.
  • Define your high purpose.
  • Visualize yourself as you intend to be two years from now.
  • Wonder–instead of worry–as to how you will bring it about.
  • Work with the energy of love, not desire.
  • Act with ease, poise, grace, and serenity.
  • Give to others where it is not noticed.
  • Do a service project.
  • Develop a spiritual life that fits you.

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