Addictions are robotic habits that we have developed to self medicate and get out of stressful situations. Addictions are not just to alcohol or drugs, it can be to food, to sweets, to compulsive buying, or any other doing one has difficulty to control. It is easy to over work for example to escape a difficult relationship or a stressful environment at home. Our personality finds ways to make us feel better even though it is most likely detrimental to our life or well-being.
Once the instant gratification is experienced, often times all that is left is a feeling of guilt, regret or self-condemnation. We end up judging ourselves negatively, weakening our power and losing our self-esteem. So instead of succumbing to your addiction, when you feel the mounting desire, breathe deeply 10 times in a row, releasing your breath slowly. It will give time for your limbic system to undergo a shift and your craving will diminish. You will gain moments of clarity and recognize that those cravings are just distractions or defenses.
Develop a strategy of what to do instead, be prepared. Instead of self medicating, go take a walk, call a friend, sit on the ground and evaluate what emotions you are trying to cover up. Deliberately helping yourself will bring back a sense of empowerment. You will enjoy increasing freedom as you convert the habit into choice in the moment.