INTERNET REHAB: How To Break Your Addictive Patterns

posted by Dr. Sheri   | 3 Comment(s)

heart in stethoscopeDr. Sheri’s Tips for Cutting Down the Clicks

Recovering from an Internet addiction is just like recovering from any other addiction. In addition to committing to Internet “rehab”, you’ll need to address the underlying problems that led to your becoming susceptible to it in the first place, such as boredom, anxiety and depression.

Tip #1: Build up your “real life” social network. Quality real life relationships can lessen your need for online relationships.  Set aside time daily to spend totally UNPLUGGED with friends and family. 

Tip #2: Set use goals and stick to them. Limit the amount of time you spend online with the help of a timer. Commit to turning off your computer, tablet or smartphone after a certain hour in the evenings and spend that time with your family instead.

Tip #3: Treat the Internet as a tool, not as a best friend.  Technology has become an indispensible pipeline of information  and interaction and thus, is hard, if not impossible to give it up entirely. Be mindful of the exact reason you’re getting online and stick to that reason. Don’t let a check of the weekend weather turn into a two-hour stint following threads on Facebook.

Tip #4: Alter your routine, break your usage patterns.  Take note of the times of day you’re most vulnerable to mindlessly surfing the Internet and then take action to disrupt those habits with alternative behavior: take a walk, call a friend, play with your kids or pets, or run an errand. 

Just like any other addiction, there will be withdrawal symptoms when you take away the drug of choice—in this case, the dopamine hit you get from Internet use. You’ll look for ways to justify going back to it, and you’ll have slip ups every now and then. The key is to not let small setbacks lead to a major failure. Be compassionate with yourself and ask for help when you need it. Take it one day at a time. Eventually, you’ll find yourself able to enjoy the Internet and social media for what it was intended to be—a tool that adds fun and interest to everyday life—and not something that it was never intended to be—an escape from everyday life.

Do you have any advice for overcoming addiction?

This article was written by Dr. Sheri Meyers, America’s leading love and intimacy expert, and published on the Katie Show.  To see the ORIGINAL post please click here.

 

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3 Responses to INTERNET REHAB: How To Break Your Addictive Patterns

  1. Erica says:

    What a great list! Between online dating, working from home, shopping online, and keeping up with friends on Facebook, it seems that everything that I do lately is online. I grew up camping and hiking and I couldn’t tell you for the life of me that last time I had on a good pair of boots and was away from the internet for an entire weekend. It’s a tough habit to break.

    • queenbee says:

      I grew up exactly the same way and so did my husband. About a year ago we decided to put an end to it and picked up mountain biking. It has seriously changed our entire lives. Not only how we spend our time but also how we interact with each other. Before we would just spend hours on the computer every night before limping off to bed. Needless to say it’s a lot better now =)

  2. becky says:

    its crazy how much of an issue this has become lately. it used to be that people would just go outside or go to their neighbors house for updates on the neighborhood gossip, now everyone just looks online for everything. I wish we could return to the days before the internet when everyone actually talked to each other! wouldn’t that be strange? I would miss being able to check my facebook though.

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