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Dealing with frustration from dropping bad habits.

Sagemoney

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Hey all,

I know this isn't the typical question for the forum but has anyone gone through this situation? I could use some help.

Quick background: for the last three years I've pretty much been addicted to video games, weed and fast food. Three weeks ago after reading TMF I dropped all 3 cold turkey. some say you should slowly "taper" but I know I would fall back into the rabbit hole. For the first two weeks Ive felt rather dull and numb and it's slowly transitioning into anger/frustration. I'm lashing out at people and my gf, completely out of character.

At this point I realize I've been physically addicted to these things and my body is responding adversely, Games fulfilled all.my masculine desires(competition, accomplishments, semi fame) weed for the escape and food for the dopamine. Now my brains been thrust into the real world and I have no idea what to do.

Ive started working out more but it's more of a temporary release and I soon feel that frustration mounting again.

Anyone have some tips or books that could hide me in the right direction? I'd really appreciate it.
 

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GoGetter24

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That's pretty normal, takes time to physiologically reset. Just have to ride it out.

So basically you need things to deal with the withdrawal symptoms until they fade. Anything from a punchbag, to meditation, to a hobby, to a pet. Depends on you.
 

ApparentHorizon

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I used to play MMOs 12 hours a day and waned off. Now I'm at 2-3 hours a week.

This one was a slow burn. Replacing it with reading and working out. When I felt the urge to play, I did.

It wasn't forced and every week it was 20 minutes less here, and 30 minutes less there. Mind you, I was extremely comfortable with life.

Cashflow was good. Bills were paid. No real motivation irl.

Replacing one addiction with another. Swapping out one dopamine rush for another. One that's productive.

Then there's the environment. Sitting down in a particular chair put me in a gaming mode. It triggered familiarity, and the brain says. Hey you've been doing this for ages now. And you got it good. Keep going. Doing something else requires extra energy and your brain doesn't like that.

So I got a standing desk. It was painful the first week. Quite literally.

Numbing the 2nd. And now you'd have to force me to sit.

(Side note. It's not the act of standing that's healthy. It's the additional micro movements of the body. Standing still all day is the same as sitting down.)

With substances, I quit cold turkey. Looking back, I don't see that it affected my work. But it was an addiction and I knew the long term effects were not good. Thankfully I caught it before it turned into anything destructive.

This was sheer will, and it worked well. Well...except when the people around me opened their mouths. And it wasn't friends. It was family, and "family only wants what's best". So I told these particular people to go pound sand, after a long internal struggle.

The problem with quitting cold turkey is that I get random cravings out of nowhere. It's controllable, but that same feeling doesn't manifest with Games. Maybe it's because I still play a bit.

I don't think I can help you with the fast food, but understanding your own brain and how your body chemically reacts usually helps most people.

Topics to research:
Brain: endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, cortisol
Body: gut bacteria, high intensity exercises

- Gut bacteria could go into the brain section. The amount of power your stomach has over you will blow your mind.

- Take inventory of the people around you. Let them know what you're going through. It may reveal some interesting facts about them.


You'll find that most people are addicts. Especially the likes of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos...

They just give into what most people consider positive.
 

WJK

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Hey all,

I know this isn't the typical question for the forum but has anyone gone through this situation? I could use some help.

Quick background: for the last three years I've pretty much been addicted to video games, weed and fast food. Three weeks ago after reading TMF I dropped all 3 cold turkey. some say you should slowly "taper" but I know I would fall back into the rabbit hole. For the first two weeks Ive felt rather dull and numb and it's slowly transitioning into anger/frustration. I'm lashing out at people and my gf, completely out of character.

At this point I realize I've been physically addicted to these things and my body is responding adversely, Games fulfilled all.my masculine desires(competition, accomplishments, semi fame) weed for the escape and food for the dopamine. Now my brains been thrust into the real world and I have no idea what to do.

Ive started working out more but it's more of a temporary release and I soon feel that frustration mounting again.

Anyone have some tips or books that could hide me in the right direction? I'd really appreciate it.
Work out more-- it's good for you.
Keep yourself busy with productive stuff, to the point where you are dead tired and you fall into bed. Sleeping people don't play games, eat junk food or smoke weed.
Put the money you were spending on weed into your savings account. Track your savings that can directly trace to being weed free.
Replace your old bad habits with new, better habits.
Keep a journal. Monitor your progress and how you feel about each and every step. It can also double as a food journal for eating healthier.
When you get a craving, take the time to examine it. Where did it come from? What triggered it?
Then put off giving into the craving. Tell yourself, you'll deal with it later -- but, in the meantime you'll spend this moment doing ______. Have a list of stuff to do in the "gap time" while you're delay acting on your craving. (Keep available whatever to takes to do your alternative activity.) Most of the time, by creating that delay, you won't give into the craving.
Change your routine, so you don't unknowingly trigger those cravings again.
Study behavioral science. See how it applies to you.
Good luck. You'll have good days and bad days. Keep on going. Change hurts, but it's worth it!
 

luniac

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its hard to just get rid of a habit.
Its easier to learn a new habit that supersedes the old one.

Dont wanna play games to feel manly competition? work out, play competitive sports, make games?
Dont wanna smoke weed to escape? learn meditation or something.
Dont wanna eat fast food? learn how to cook your own meals at home.
 

BradyH

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I think you need to go easy on yourself. 2 weeks isn't a long time. You're going to relapse, and that's fine. You gotta forgive yourself and move on. Just don't stop trying. Drink lots of water and go out for walks, or do some serious exercise if you think you're up for it.

I don't know how people can go cold turkey. I've been tapering off of sugar, especially soda. It's taken a lot of effort to reduce my consumption, but after a month it's a lot easier to say no. I'm taking the time to realize how good I feel without sugar, and it makes each subsequent temptation easier to overcome. I've lost 5 pounds in 1 month by replacing soda with water, and eating more salads and fruits.

Just say "sorry" when you snap at your girlfriend and tell her it's a side effect of improving yourself lol.

 

Bon Appetit

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The transition is too brutal, and your reaction is standard.
It's like people who want to lose weight and they start right away to decrease drastically their food income, or people who want to stop smoking 2 pack a day and go to zero cigarette the next day. First your body won't stand it, because he has an appetite for those things, second this kind of approach will inevitably deplete your will power, your motivation. You will be able to go like this for a few days, maybe couple weeks depending on how obstinate you are, but you will hardly keep going.

If I can give you a recommandation, is to take one problem at the time, they are big enough on their own. Let yourself go with video game and weed, but slowly transit to healthy diet. Learn about good diet, learn about calories, macro nutriments, avoid junk food, learn why they are junk and what is the impact on your body. Knowing that you feed yourself with bad stuff will decrease your appetite for those and in contrary, feeding yourself with good meal will make you more willing to go for those.

Process is long and not easy, breaking bad habits takes time, but the result definitely worth it. Keep in mind that it's psychologically is easier to break a problem into small tasks and focus on those than taking care of the whole problem in one hit. Small and steady progress will make you feel good about yourself and help you to stay consistent.
 

Thoelt53

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Find a support group. Friends, an online community, whatever. Just find one. Preferably one with people going through the same struggle.

The 'addiction' to video games and weed is caused by the release of dopamine and endorphins. What you are experiencing are emotional addiction withdrawals. If they were physical you would have physical withdrawal symptoms like those of an alcoholic or opiate addict.

Your withdrawal symptoms will reside with time as your brain recalibrates its release of dopamine and endorphins.

The best thing you can do is to keep busy.

Whenever you feel frustrated, sad or depressed, go for a walk, a run, lift weights, whatever.

"Idle hands are the Devil's playground" as they say. Exercise is the best activity for keeping busy, whether it be weight lifting, running, walking, yoga, pilates, sports... doesn't matter. All of these will release dopamine and endorphins in the brain in a healthy way. Don't be surprise if you get hooked on one of them!

I don't know if you're starting a business yet, but if you are, get addicted to helping people!

You're going to feel like a piece of shit for lashing out at your girlfriend. It's normal. Apologize and correct the behavior going forward. Be aware of your triggers.

If you 'relapse,' it's okay. Refocus ASAP and learn from the experience. What triggered your relapse? How/what were you feeling prior? Every person has their own definition of 'relapse' versus 'slip.' Typically a 'slip' is just that. You slipped up once and immediately realign yourself back on track. A 'relapse' is usually a full-blown downfall into previous behaviors.

Are there people or reasons bigger than yourself that you want to change your behavior? I'm sure there are, otherwise you wouldn't have made this post. But remember you're doing this for you first.

Think of these people and reasons everyday. Find ways to remind yourself of these people and reasons: post-its, phone backgrounds, images, or text taped to the wall or written on a white board. Remind yourself why you're doing this for you.

You've come far enough to quit cold turkey. You've got this. Just keep pushing one day at a time.

Post here if you need help, or PM me and I can give you my number for when you feel you're on the verge of a slip or relapse.
 

rogue synthetic

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The best replacement for old bad habits is new good habits.

Two helpful thoughts to keep in mind:

1. Habit has as much to do with environment and structure as it does with what's going on in your head. You might be surprised at just how much of the things you do regularly aren't so much because you want those things or have cravings for those things. Biology plays its part, but so do cues in the environment. Which includes people you're hanging around, who you're talking to, even where you're spending your time.

If someone says he can't lose weight, and you know you'd find cake in his kitchen any day of the week, you don't think he's serious. Temptation and routine beat "willpower" every time.

2. When you catch yourself slipping back into your old ways, ask yourself "is this really what I want to be?"

The dirty secret of behavior change is that you don't really get rid of bad behaviors. You can only find new things to do which take their place. What could you be doing instead of these vices you're trying to give up?

Don't think small. This is a hard choice.

What means the most to you?

a) Sitting around playing the vidya with a blunt and a double cheeseburger

b) Doing something with yourself and working for the goals you set

Pick one.

Don't try to fight your old ways. Find something more important to you which takes up your time and which matters to you more than the old ways.

Fighting bad habits leads to failure. Making them irrelevant... now there's a winner.
 

ch3wy

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Congrats on the great work! Denial is probably the hardest thing about stopping a bad habit, but you just dropped it cold turkey, so you've already made big strides! It's also great that you're working out to help you solve this problem. I find that that is really effective when bad habits kick in and you have to do something to take your mind off of it.

Regarding how I struggle with my bad habits, I began writing a little journal of my progress and incorporating some NLP in it. I've read some NLP stuff to see if it helps with my copywriting to be honest, I sometimes question whether it really works or not. However, I currently feel like it's having some effect on how I think and deal with obstacles. Anyways, what I got from reading about NLP is basically the mindset we have to approach this with. A lot of it has to do with the language that we use. Negative words like "don't" "can't" "quit" will affect the way we think about our addictions, even if we're using it in a positive way (ex. "I won't play video games") because our mind has already put a negative connotation on those words based on how they are used by other people (ex. "I can't do this" "I don't think it will work" "I want to quit"). Instead, certain words have a better effect (ex. "I will STOP playing video games" or "It is IMPOSSIBLE to put this hamburger in my mouth"). There's a saying that "the faintest pencil is better than the greatest memory." If you're anything like me in the past, you are drawn to your failures to overcome addiction like a fly is to a piece of crap and those are the only moments that you remember. However, when you are able to write out your achievements of how you overcame your addictions in a journal everyday, you are going to get to the point where you'll be reminded that these addictions will still bother you, but you have the mental and physical power to control it. And you never know, an idea might spark from your writing!

Anchoring is something else NLP books talk about and that's basically using your 5 senses to alter your mindset. For example, if you keep thinking about the weed, imagine smelling poop or inhaling the poop as you smoke; hearing a strong loud screeching noise when you want to play video games; seeing the hamburgers turn into poop as you bite into it (I swear i'm not into poop, but it's the only thing I can come up with that's displeasing).

Wouldn't you agree the mind is so dumb sometimes? We rely on it to hold onto information, yet sometimes it's the stuff we don't want or need to remember that stays while everything else goes. However, just know that you are taking a step in the right direction! Bad habits take a long time to break and your brain is going to fight you every step of the way! But just like how the underdog Buster Douglas kept holding on and fighting off Mike Tyson, eventually knocking him out and handing Tyson his first loss in pro boxing, your mind is going to give up. Keep up with that positive attitude and don't let your mind beat you to your goal! You always got a person you can reach out to! You have my promise that you won't be bombarded with messages as long as this if you do PM me!

Keep fighting the good fight! You're doing great!
 

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