Rewire Your Brain for Recovery With Addiction Specialist Erica Spiegelman originally appeared on the VeryWell Mind Podcast hosted by Amy Morin, LCSW on January 10, 2022.
Transcript of the podcast episode:
Welcome to the verywellmind podcast. I’m Amy Morin, the editor-in-chief of verywellmind. I’m also a psychotherapist and a best-selling author of four books on mental strength. Every Monday. I introduce you to a mentally strong person who story, and mental strength tip can inspire you to think feel and do your best in life. And the fun part is we record the show from a sailboat and a Florida, please don’t forget to subscribe to the show on your favorite platform. So you can get mental strength, tips deliver it to you every single week.
Now, let’s dive in today’s episode. You struggle with some type of addiction like substance abuse, gambling or social media. Have you tried giving up an addiction? But struggle to do so. Give a close friend or family member who struggles with their recovery. If you answered yes, to any of those questions, this episode is for you. It’s estimated that one in eight adults in America have a drug or alcohol addiction, but substances aren’t the only thing that people become addicted to their, plenty of Behavioral addictions to like, pornography shopping in the internet. It’s likely that most of us are addicted to something. It’s just that some addictions are clearly more harmful than others. Simply stopping an addiction though doesn’t mean that you’ve recovered.
We know plenty of people who stopped using drugs when they were in jail only to return to using the second. Do they get out recovery from an addiction is a process and to really recover, you need to learn new skills that change your brain. So you can function without being dependent on a substance or harmful Behavior. Today we’re talking about how to rewire your brain for Recovery.
My guest is Erica spiegelman. She’s an addiction and wellness specialist who provides a holistic approach to helping people overcome their struggles with addiction. She’s written several books, including “Rewired: A Bold New Approach to Addiction & Recovery.” Her book focuses on how people can rewire their brains change their behavior and create positive changes in their lives. Some of the things that she talks about today are the skills people need to stay in recovery. The steps that you can take to get help and what you can do, if you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one. Make sure to stick around until the end of the episode for the Therapist’s Take. It’s the part of the show where we all breakdown Erica’s strategies, talk about how you can apply them to your own line. So, here’s Erica spiegelman on how rewiring your brain for Recovery can help you grow mentally stronger. Erica spiegelman, Welcome to the VeryWell Mind podcast.
Thank you for having me. My my honor. I’m so excited to get to talk to you today.
Well, I’m excited to talk to you about your book rewired, a bold, new approach to addiction and Recovery before we dive in and talk about your book. Can you explain what you think some of the biggest misconceptions about addiction?
I think a misconception is that you can’t change; that your kind of destined to this like identity of being an addict and that’s not true. You know, our brain is very susceptible to change and we could create new pathways at any given point in time. It’s just depending on repetition and habits and creating new habits, and I think there’s hope for everybody. And that’s another thing that people don’t seem to get is that we all have the capability of changing the way. We think, our physical habits are emotional, kind of world. We’re allowed to kind of figure out ways of coping and how to handle things and looking back on her. How we dealt with stress before, and had to change. So I think that’s a misconception.
I know myself firsthand – I see myself as a healthy woman now. I’m not that person that has an addiction to alcohol anymore. So for me, I know on a personal level that we we definitely can change. And I think the more that we can, you know, use this concept in a positive language and being able to shift to yarn our values and you all of that kind of helps.
Do you think that we should treat behavioral addictions differently than we do drugs or alcohol? There’s so many conversations about the fact that when you, you’re addicted to a drug, you’re physically dependent on it, and that’s why you can’t stop. But we know when it comes to gambling or shopping, or pornography people. Keep going back to it. Even though there’s not that physical component. There’s the dopamine search just like it is when you’re about to do a drug. So I guess that’s the reason why it feels like I can’t stop, I can’t stop. There is an actual high that that does happen in our body. So that’s part of it. But yes, I think they should be considered the same thing because there’s an emotional and mental component to every addiction to it was like, how, you know, we think, you know, I can’t walk away from this table or else, I’m going to get a hand which is going to be a winning hand and, you know, it’s like some of my gambling gambling. Addiction clients have shared with me like these experiences to an end. The same with point to see my shopping list in with eating. Like, there’s, there’s an emotional component to that, you know, so I think it should all be treated the same from the outside when it comes to, especially a behavioral addiction. People have to say, “well just stop if it’s a problem.” But we know it’s not that simple.
What makes it so hard to give up an addiction. I mean, I think I think you know, we we we have a void of some kind of where we’re not, do you know, we’re not happy in some way or we’re not dealing with a certain trauma that happened and we feel that with the act, the act of the addiction, but I was I was taking drugs if it’s actually drinking if it’s actually going into stores and shopping or shopping online like the accident in and of itself is with excited which is the preparation of it. There’s part of that there is They’re actually doing it coming out of it.
So I think, you know, I think all of that, you know also has a pass to play until I just not being able to stop it. Like it’s the momentum is going now. And then also just like gambling, like you get into debt in like you think you could with the next time you’ll win or, you know, if you’re shopping, I do know this is a good deal after this, I won’t. We bargain with ourselves and so it’s the same thing as like, any other addiction.
One of the things I liked about your book rewired is that you tackle addiction from a different angle than most people do. The things that you discussed in your book. A lot of people would say, well those are symptoms of the problem. Once you get rid of the addiction, he won’t struggle with things like time management. Or once we start treating this, your time-management skills, will get better. You talk about, no, we should start treating these things as problems. And when you solve the problems around the addiction, than your addiction starts to get better. Either like you said, the chicken or the egg, whatever comes first of before it does. It’s basically the same know like if you put the, the drink down but the drugs have side. You know, most of my clients and most people, I know have been actively an addiction for a decade. Let’s just say that Whole Decade. They didn’t have good boundaries. They probably didn’t have a great time management. They probably didn’t see a doctor too often and they probably didn’t have self care practices in place. So we do have to then be like, okay. This is, you know, I see this is a lot of people, they put the drink down and then what the, what do I do with all the people that use in my life? What about the fact that I haven’t worked out or moved or my sleep has been horrible for a decade. How do I learn how to do, you know? We need to re-learn, but we live like, how do we, how do we set up a program for our lives? That’s what my, my hope is to to help people with some of those down to start with time management. Somebody that has an addiction that there, whatever they’re addicted to probably consume a large quantity of their time. That’s the definition of an addiction. Probably gets in the way of work. You can’t manage a relationship. How do you start learning time management? Skills are changing your time management strategies, if you have an active addiction, During your active addiction.
I wouldn’t say to start learning how to get a butt. After you. Let’s say, put down to the drink in your, in early recovery. Let’s call it early. You never recovered from your addiction. That’s what my book. Basically, speaks to his is to buy a planner. First of all, I just bought a new planner for 2022. Like I think that’s really just basic, kind of paper, buy a planner start to organize your day. Like, what time am I getting up? What time am I having lunch? I’m going to go to a yoga class. So I’m going to get to bed by this time. I’m going to go to the grocery store at 5 and cook dinner, try and like, schedule your day is as much as you can. Because also that helps people, you know, not saying you can have down time, but it helps people have something to look forward to it in their days. I also talked about a pie chart in my book to. I’ve just kind of like a way to kind of see where you, where you a lot, your time per day. What are your priorities? I tell people to make a priority list. Okay, a priority is a shower everyday. My priority is a walk every day, you know, and we have Create non-negotiables around those like a non-negotiable. I’m going to bed by 10 cuz I need eight hours of sleep. I’m getting up at 7 a.m., You know, and that’s what helped me recover. My life is to type put myself on a routine. It saved my life and I think routines are extremely important.
And one of those chapters that really stood out to me to is just chapter authenticity and how most people who are struggling with an addiction, don’t have authentic relationships. Can you speak a little bit about that?
I think when you’re in active addiction and you know, a lot of people aren’t They’re at their true selves. They’re doing things. They don’t believe in there, not proud of drugs and alcohol and and other addictions make you do things that you’re not, Maybe not, maybe proud. I’ve been. So again, there’s a lot of Shame and guilt around who you are. And so, you have to keep secrets at the high things and then that becomes another whole issue. And so, can we come, we’ve become really disconnected and far away from who we truly are the authenticity of the word itself. Means author of your own life. So when we get sober, we really have an opportunity to kind of write the book of your life. Now that create your own story, you have choices, you could choose whatever you want to do and you can also it helps people become more authentic. What a quote is to create a list of what your values are in my book. I have a list of 100 values that you could choose. From, in my book, The rewired life. There’s a whole chapter on that too and is easy to kind of start to see, like honesty is important to me, you know, health is important to me now. So those to say Cuz I’m going to let you know. I’m going to stick to, those are my values. And I’m going to speak my truth. I’m going to be honest with you, but people don’t like what I have to say that they can get out of my life anymore. I mean, I know, you know, a lot of people that started, you know, addictive behaviors, or are acting out in some ways, you know, I had to hide it. And so that’s a mask, you know, all these masks when we’re on a healthy Parts, when we’re in a hot and healthy like phase of our lives. So we have to kind of jet does mass in her great become one person. Got to be really tough to do for somebody coming out of an addiction. How many people know who they are outside of? There is no idea.
So I just tell them to start small. Who are you? Not, that’s a question I asked for us. Who are you not? Well, I’m not somebody that, you know, I’m a nice person and not somebody that mean to people. Okay. So you value compassion, right? As I got to compassion. Okay, but but again, that’s why we have books. That’s why we work books. And there’s a lot of help out there, but just trying to, like, be be kind to yourself. And, you know, try things in open heart, open mind, you know, make a list of things that bring you Joy, hobbies, that you like even things that you think you may not even be good at. But somewhat sound interesting to you just try and explore.
And that kind of leads to another chapter that you wrote about, Evolution. That when people are stuck in active, addiction to get stuck in a rut and they’re just trying to get through the moment. I can’t wait till they can do whatever it is, that feeds their addiction. They’re not really looking toward the future and I have interests Hobbies. How do you recommend that? People start to evolve so that they can find things are interested in? Let me know.
You do first abstinence, like being away from the drive where the the behavior like we were talking about. But also, you know asking yourselves like that does this does this Help me grow. Like if I am like stuck in this, like a relationship and I’m an end. This relationship isn’t healthy and I’m on walking on eggshells and it doesn’t feel right. And you know, it’s not really serving me in some ways. Like, how can I how can I figure out a plan to step out of that? Or if I’m in a job? And the job is just not brought me any Joy. I can’t stand going into work and I’ve had my I just had a client, we were just talking about this. She’s been a dog for 13 years. She has like, you know, just just every day, has not wanted to go into this job is like, but she’s stuck because she needs money. They know her, she’s easy. And, when I asked her, what’s wrong with Jarritos, like all we get stuck in these kind of like, dances with people. So again, it’s like, now, how do we push her to see? You know, we need to do something that feels authentic, that feels like we’re inspired to do something that makes you happy. Like, that’s, that’s kind of a way to to gauge. Whether things are helping you grow or not grow. And I think innately Amy, most people know, When something is not moving them forward, you know, we all can agree that being an addiction, you know, usually like impacts our relationships and affects our jobs, impacts our physical health, affect their mental health. So like we know that that’s what’s getting in the way, you know, and I think that’s one of the reasons why so many people get tired at some point in their addiction. They’re running on a hamster wheel. They’re not getting anywhere and no matter how fast they run, no matter what they do. I just can’t you just talk? And I jumped white people seem to realize that and you made that clear in your book to that people. Don’t necessarily reach. What we think is the stereotypical Rock Bottom. You don’t necessarily end up homeless living under a bridge, but instead you just reach a point where you don’t want to do it anymore. But yeah, the internal bottom I call that, you know, it is, it’s, it’s like, and I stayed in my clients, you know, a lot of people I have clients that are maybe not quite absent in yet or not, but they’re kind of You know deciding what to do with their substance abuse and you know, so again, it’s a good conversation, we have which is just like, you know. Like a spiritless nest. Do you feel like you lost yourself to feel like you lost the things you love to do or the people that you love. You know, cuz we kind of make an impact list of just like how has his addiction impacted you, so they can actually see it because sometimes like, you could talk yourself out of things. So easily like that relationship, but they weren’t a lot of things. So, again, making impact list. I didn’t really help you pause. Yeah, and just, you know, kind of understanding that, like, you don’t have to have a DUI. You don’t have to been in jail. So again, you’re comparing stories to other people. We’ve heard, it’s really easy for us to minimize our experience. Do you know? So again, it’s like we do for me. I just did and I was happy about my experience that when I stopped drinking 14 years ago. It wasn’t the anyting externally really happened. Except. Yeah. I was in horrible relationships. There was a lot of things are going on. But again, it was the spirit list. Like, I was in a dark hole. A hopeless hole. Like, I didn’t know how to get out of it. You didn’t know how to stop, and it was so depressing, and it was so demoralizing, and I was just like, I know I’m not meant for this. Like, I know I was supposed to have a different life. How do I get out of this? And again, that’s why I wrote this book is because I started to like retraining, my brain rewire myself get myself on a good routine. Obviously got helped actually stopped and went to a treatment center. So, again, I took all these steps but at the end of the day, it was that internal bottom that really pushed me to be like, God, help me know, please someone help me get out of this. I’m glad you talked about recognized, the impact. We know when it comes to addiction people’s motivation, waxes, and wanes. They have times where they really want to change times when they don’t. When you encounter clients who are waffling, maybe one week, there isn’t such a bad problem and 2 weeks later. They’re like, okay. I want to quit. How do you help people through that? Ambivalence? What we do with, what I do with my clients is we look back, like, we kind of keep a history of the pattern weeks ago. You called me in your like, Erica. This is that. Never again. I’m done. I’m done. I’m done. I’m done. And then 9 months later. You’re telling me, you know, what are their best? You could still write down? Those moments when you’re done, like, when you’re, you know, what you’re finished or or how its cause negative consequences in your life. Like what’s negative consequences? Never Thanksgiving. I got in a fight with my brother, and I was like, belligerent. I blacked out. Yeah, let’s remember. That is so easy to forget. It’s so easy to kind of like, you know, blame it on someone else or you don’t minimize it again. So I tell people to type, can I keep a journal of those things up there in like a sober, curious point in there, you know, drinking relationship with they are using in some way, is to keep a journal of all this, because that’s the only way that people can really like, remember to play the tapes for it is, when they can look back. I like that a lot. But I have a great. I think that works with a lot of our habits in life when we forget, this isn’t serving me. Well, now, there was other moments or attempted to get to give and we think it’s not that bad. We do minimize it. One of my favorite chapters in your book is also the one on gratitude and the power of how being grateful can change your life. Can you talk a bit about why that’s so important in recovery gratitude. No matter if he is a great practice to have. Because I mean they’ve done so many scientific studies on this when you can focus Focus mentally on your blessings and the the positive, you know what, the positive things that that you that you have going on in your life. It, it does start to create a feeling of overall, happiness. Enjoy, which chemically also leads us. The kind of change the pathways of our brain. One good chemicals are released. And so focusing on what you’re grateful for everyday, like we were talking about repetition to have a practice is what really helps change a brain? Like it’s not bad. If once a week you go over what you’re grateful for. But every day, if you can just for like 2 minutes a day or one minute a day or 30 seconds reflect on you know, thank thank thankful for my house. I’m thankful for the people that I love me. I’m thankful for the fact that I don’t have painted a, they do whatever it is to drop. In is really the key. It’s not just, you know, I’ve had people also said to me when we talked about doing a gratitude list. They said, Okay a list would be better for me. I think I’ll learn better that way and then that’s what I’ve done the list and it’s you do the same things that I’ve written every day and like I think that, so it’s dead. Let’s do five different things everyday. Let’s write five different things and then those five different things. Can you, you know, from there, right? Another like why you are? You know, it’s okay. I’m just getting into like, sometimes he was up to drop in a little further to actually feel the effects of that. But I think it’s the most important thing and it really helps people stand like a positive track. I love gratitude, underrated superpower that. We all have access to, it only takes a couple minutes a day it’s free. And it can be life-changing for a lot of people that like it with people. I get a special this holiday or just even family relationships, relationships in general or whatever it is. When I said to get annoyed by the old habits, like she’s always tell me what I should be doing and we talked about this phone. I was like, mommy told me, always what I should be doing. Please stop doing that. She doesn’t change to some people don’t change, but then she starts doing that. I start to feel like the aggravation coming up for the frustration. IPods for that moment. And I’m like, I’m so grateful. I have my mother. I am so grateful for her regardless of her behavior. What happens is, I could literally feel the pressure going down. And even in that Split Second, it just to tell the audience. This is a Shrek is just like in those moments. When you’re playing Super aggravated, try to go to gratitude cuz it really helps change your energy and the energy that your kind of picking up on. It does, doesn’t it? I think that’s such a good portent be. So thank you for that an addiction. We had different people on the show. Some people say, well, we all have some kind of addiction in life, weather predicted social media, the internet, something. You feel like a lot of us have some kind of addiction may. We don’t even recognize. It is obviously different kinds of addiction different levels of how big of a problem. It is. The word Addiction is kind of overused and it’s also you know, the running around so much and our society, but I would say dependencies better kind of like if you want like most people are Subconsciously dependent on things, you know, or mindlessly dependent. Like, you know, people that sit on Instagram for 35-40 minutes, don’t even realize that, you know, that time they could have done a workout, which they’ve been trying to do like, you know, again remind Leslie. Living we have to become more Mindful and I think, yeah, I think most people act out in some way, you know, whether that’s Organizing whether it’s just working out everyday. It doesn’t have to be something that causes a negative impact on your life. But I do think people do have a way of releasing coping acting out whatever you want to call it. Yeah, it just, you know, what, I would say to people say does it cause a negative consequences or not? You know, right? I got something. It isn’t a problem until it causes problems in your life right now. You start to experience problems because of it. That’s a red flag. Yeah, exactly. A lot of people listening to this are probably going to say that they were looking up content of they were interested in this because they have a loved one. Who has an addiction. How do you support someone when you know that there’s somebody in your life? Who is battling an addiction? What kind of strategies do you recommend for them? I always say to like use loving language. Number one. So we are going to confront somebody or you going to talk about it. Are you going to say like, yeah, my son doesn’t want me to mention, if he does want me to delete, it doesn’t matter, check in about it in a loving way. Hey, I noticed that you were a little bit, you know, low on energy lab. Are you okay? Well, how’s it going nuts? Are you using you know, it’s like you do try to say hey, I feel that you were a little bit low energy. I statements are very important when you’re going to be talking to somebody 2 in a loving way, show concern, express your love, you know, there’s a lot of programs that help Alan on that help, you know, the family members of of loved ones that are in active addiction and they don’t always have all the answers to. So, you know, some of them will say, don’t you don’t enable Your Love. Don’t give them anything. Don’t let them in your house. Let them go on this tree. That’s for every individual. Did the CERN liked it to make that decision yourself? Don’t listen to. I’ve what other people say, you know, you know, your loved one bass, you know the relationship you have. Yes don’t enable them and give them money for drugs. But again always offer treatment always offer help because I’ve had clients where you know, parents will say I’m done. I’m done. This is been the tenth time and to be had but guess what? I’ve seen client 11th time, they actually sent to their they get it and they get sober and I have a friend like that. The 16th time. He’s actually been sober for over 15 years and has a great life. So it’s again and don’t give up. Hope. I don’t stink. Like your loved one is hopeless, but that’s not true, you know again. And so you just have to be careful who you’re listening to. What do you think it is that treatment often doesn’t work? The first time around Because people are ready. I mean, you can’t be forced into treatment. Like, you can’t hear your mother. I can’t tell you to go to gym in your husband. Can’t tell you to go to treatment. You can’t, you can’t do it for someone else. You have to really be ready to do it for yourself. So I think that’s what happens. A lot of the times person. Just not ready yet. It’s not to say that they experienced. Did they give them, you know, some wisdom and give them to teach them anything? And I’m sure some of the time of did, you know, recovery at the end of the day is that they actually learned something. But you know, just because something here just because like you try to get on a diet one time and it doesn’t work cuz I’m eating right for somebody who may be, says, Okay. I I do have a problem and I want to get help. We recommend that they start at think. When you look online. It’s confusing. There’s On the websites about therapy. And then you see stuff about rehab or about getting impatient help vs. Outpatient Treatment. And people just think it overwhelms fairly easily. And then ads pop up, which sometimes is it helpful either? When you’re sorting through, and you’re really researching something, and you get a million ads about what you should be doing. Yeah, I think of someone needs to detox if there physically addicted to a substance and it’s dangerous for them to do this, on their own ship, to reach out to a detox center. Pretty much every detox. Center will take any kind of insurance and they will also take without insurance. So. Number one, I’m just putting out there just for safety purposes. Is that, you know, we can’t detox from certain drugs by ourselves in alcohol because you could die so good to go for detox. If your somebody that wants help a treatment center would be probably the best route. There is so many treatment centers but there’s also great online platforms that kind of ring treatment centers that you can also put in your insurance and see what treatment centers come up your insurance will pay for Books are really great. If you just want to like learn about what is this? What is this? Like feeling? I’m having that I may be dependent on something or maybe my drinking is becoming too. We are current and I just don’t want to do this every night. Like how can I learn more about a podcast survey books are great and then, you know, reaching out to people like me counselors and therapists in this field, somebody’s bound to be able to help you, you know, and I think we also could offer a lot more guidance depending on your individual situation. If you tell me, I don’t, you know. I live in the middle of nowhere. I live in a big city, or I can do know. I’m very connected with people from all over the country in this industry. So I would usually help my client figure out a pathway forward, you know, we know plenty of people do quit on their own through self-help strategies. They find books podcast, or they go to a support group meetings. Yeah, and they figure out okay. This is what my pastor healing but other people have things that need to be Underneath that an anxiety disorder or depression trauma. Things like that that they need more intensive treatment for right? Exactly. Exactly. And that’s why I think, you know, serapis probably the best route. And I know not everyone has access to, but listen like I I’m a hundred percent online these days all of my clients. I see through, Zoom, all of my clients. I see through FaceTime or phone session, and it’s very intimate and It works. So again, it’s like you don’t have to drive somewhere anymore. They’ve got a Telehealth is really like I think helped a lot of people with the therapist. I used to have the bias that seeing somebody online wasn’t going to be as effective as seeing people face-to-face and then I tested all bunch of online Therapy Services. And I thought, well, this is actually quite good for somebody, but there is no video chatting or four people that and just enjoy riding. If you can text or message as Erebus could be quite effective as well. I could see you. It’s not like you don’t have contact with that person. So I think it’s been at least for my clients. I’ve gotten a really lot of good feedback. Cuz it is especially evident Los angeles-based huge metropolitan area and 40 minutes outside of La. No one’s going to drive to come see me. The first step is usually the scariest where somebody says, okay, maybe I don’t have this, I need help. But how do you encourage them to stay at reach out to somebody and take that step. I mean, you know Albert Einstein said that the thinking that got you to the problem is not thinking that’s going to get you out of the problem. So we have to really like push ourselves have the courage to reach out to a counselor to therapist to a hotline to an AA Mia to support meeting, you know, just to show up somewhere because we all show up to a meeting Zoom Meetings online people during wired Zoom meetings other. There’s a rewired Community now that come from my books, in my, my program and somebody could show up there and there’s mazing people in these groups and all of them would help, you know, that literally, So just, just pushing yourselves to join and Community to connect and let people help you just open yourself up to that. I’m glad you brought that up to about. Can you tell us before we end about what services and things people can I learn for how they can learn more about you? Yeah. Yeah. So Jason is on Erica spiegelman.com. I have information, you know, for my books are my counseling. And then also what we have, I have a podcast called rewiring your life that airs every Wednesday and there’s you can always contact fill out a contact form to contact me. I’m happy to answer questions were people. I’m happy to do a 15-minute free consultation call and figure out what the best path would be for them. So I’m totally accessible. Yeah, that’s where is everything kind of a Center. Thank you. We’ll link to all of that in our show notes to so people can have a program. It’s got your own pace, but it’s 10 modules and it discusses authenticity, honesty, time, management, boundaries, all of it and teaches in his videos. And so it’s a really nice way for people to maybe if they don’t have access to treatment, they could kind of learn, but kind of a comprehensive amount of information at once. Great. So one last question for you for somebody who’s listening and they are battling an addiction of some sort. What would be your parting words of wisdom for them? But there’s hope that there’s hope that they are capable of change that they have the courage to do that, and then I know that they do and that, you know, it may feel a little lonely at times, but it will get better and better and better. Once we get on that path of recovery. Honestly. I’ve seen miracles happen. Thank you. Welcome to the therapist. Take, this is the part of the show where all breakdown, Erica’s, mental strength, building, strategies, and share, how you can apply them to your own line. Here are three of Erica strategies that I highly recommend. Number one, create an impact list. Erica suggested creating a list of all the ways in which your addiction or unhealthy habits are affecting you. Sing the negative consequences in one place. Might move your motivation needle, just a little bit more and I could inspire you to change. In addition to writing down the harmful side effects. It’s also helpful sometimes to write down what you get out of an unhealthy habit. Do you feel braver and social situations? Does it distract you from your loneliness? Does it help you feel happy? Clearly, you wouldn’t reach for an unhealthy habit, unless it serves some sort of purpose in your life. Knowing what it does. For you might help you find healthier Alternatives. You might discover going to the gym. Also boost your mood or spending time with friends. When You’re Sober can also help you feel happy, too. Confronting the costs and benefits of a habitat can be kind of scary. It’s tough to come to terms with what something is doing to your life. But it’s a powerful exercise that we often doing the therapy office. I’ll give it a try, get out of piece of paper and write down what you gained from a habit as well as what you’re losing. Number to become more mindful of your habits. Erica talks about how often are habits become so ingrained that we don’t even notice. We’re doing them becoming more mindful of what we’re doing. Can help us take better control over our time and our lives. This is important. I find a lot of people underestimate how much time they spend doing a certain habit. Just increasing their awareness is often enough to help them cut back. As part of a therapy assignment, I might ask someone to write down how many cigarettes a day. They smoke, we might take that number of cigarettes and figure out the number of minutes. They spent smoking will say 10 minutes for cigarette, then we do the math. To figure out how many hours each day is taken up with smoking. Someone might see that on paper and then think about what they’d rather be doing with those two hours everyday. It might help them see that. While they originally started, smoking to relieve their stress spending two hours per day smoking, makes it really hard to get anything done. And ultimately that increases their stress level. Try. This is an experiment, just keep track of how many times or how many minutes do you engage in something that you might be addicted to and see what happens? The actor tracking, it might be enough to change your behavior. And number three, consume information that you find helpful. Erica talked about several different strategies that you can use to learn and grow. Their lots of ways to recover from an addiction therapy, rehab and medication. Help, some people other people do quit without any formal treatment. You might find a support group online or you might find informal conversations with people on an app. Like Reddit helps you connect with others who understand your struggles. You can read books, listen to podcast, hire a coach and discover websites that helps you. But you won’t know what works for you until you try experiment with different strategies to discover what helps you become the best version of yourself. So those are three of Erica strategies that I highly recommend create an impact list, become more mindful of your habits and consume information in a way that you find helpful. Do you want to learn more of Erica’s tips? Check out her book rewired. It’s filled with lots of useful strategies that can help you throughout your process of recovery. If you know someone who could benefit from hearing this message, share it with them, simply sharing a link to, this episode could help someone feel better and grow stronger. And if you like the show, make sure to subscribe to us on your favorite platform. Do you want free access to my online? Mental strength, score? It’s called 10, mental, strength exercises, that will help you reach your greatest potential, to get your free pass. All you have to do is leave us a review on Apple podcast. Take a screenshot of your review and email it to us. Our address is podcast at verywell.com will reply with your all-access pass to the course. Thank you for hanging out with me today, and we’re listening to the verywellmind podcast. And as always be thinking of my Show’s producer who figures out, how to get lightning fast internet in a floating podcast. Do you need Nick Valentine? In case you haven’t heard my first ever mental strength book for kids is now on sale. It’s called 13 things. Drawn kids do in every chapter is filled with actionable strategies that will help kids, build the mental strength. They need to think, big feel good and act Brave. It’s available at Amazon, target.com and everywhere books are sold.