Want to kick a habit? Five alternatives to going cold turkey.

It can sometimes be quite alarming at how quickly something you like can change into a habit and then an addiction, one which is seemingly impossible to shrug off. The classic strategy of ‘going cold turkey’ – giving up your vice completely  – is one that is difficult to achieve. It might even make addictions worse according to research from Canada publicized in the Daily Mail, showing total withdrawal causes changes to the brain that actually encourage addictive personalities.

Alternative approaches exist – here are five of the best.


The word hypnosis once projected images of quack doctors and cabaret, but millions around the world believe it can help. The New York Post reports that celebrities such as Geri Halliwell, Lily Allen and Olivia Munn are endorsers of the technique, which can apparently help with anything from weight loss and quitting smoking to phobias and an addiction to pulling one’s hair out.


It’s another lifestyle change, but this one can be learned and then administered as self-help by the person who desires to change. Meditation is a state of mind that builds concentration, emotional positivity and clarity of thought. Harvard University scholars have found that meditation can help the brain rebuild and remodel itself, with effects of less than half an hour each morning lasting throughout the day – and can be used to combat addictions.


While nicotine patches and gums have shown mixed results for those trying to quit tobacco, one of the newest forms of battling cigarettes may prove to be more effective. E-cigarettes and their various components can be a worthy substitute; Phoenix e-cig atomizers, cases, and e-liquids are all part of that road towards a cheaper and possibly healthier option. There are substitutes for steak, alcohol, coffee and many other of facets of life that might not quite form an addiction, but are consumed more than is healthy.

Gradual withdrawal

Rather than just cutting things out of your life, gradually lessening the volume of your addiction might at least help your health even if you never actually make it to the point of zero. The problem with this approach is that addictions are usually formed somewhere along the line on pleasure, and giving up on something addictive causes displeasure, cravings and sometimes even pain. Caffeine withdrawal, for example, can lead to symptoms of headaches, sleepiness, muscle pain and other issues.

Using technology

The newest addiction that many people struggle with is an inability to live without social media. Every selfie must be tweeted, every meal must be ‘Instagrammed’, everything that happens in one’s life should become a status. Cold turkey – in other words deleting the app from one’s mobile phone – may work, but the problem is that a user might miss out on pieces of news that are important.

Ironically, one of the best ways of combating the lure of incessant usage or monitoring of social media is to physically download other apps – including the Cold Turkey app itself, which blocks Facebook so that you can concentrate on studying. Other tools block the usage of social media while drunk – thereby preventing the usage of one addiction after battling the possible grip of another. Possibly a wise move.

How did you kick the habit?

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Hey there, I’m Tiffany! I’m a work-at-home mom of two rambunctious children (Jasmine, 9 + Sean II, 5) and recently widowed at just 35 years old. I've remarried and currently live right outside of Baton Rouge in Denham Springs, Louisiana with two adoring cats and a dog. Let's connect on Twitter @fabulousmomblog.

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