Treating codependent behaviors

How can you stop obsessive thoughts and worrying? Learn how to treat codependent behaviors step-by-step here.

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How to stop obsessive thoughts and worrying

Do you want to stop obsessive worrying and start to live free of co-addiction? Are you ready to let go of an addict and start living your own life?  We offer a few suggestions on how to get started in co-addiction recovery, and then invite your questions or comments at the end.

The pattern of codependent behavior

Obsession, excessive concern and worry are just some of the emotions and fixations a co-addict will experience in a co-addictive relationship. There are many ways to deal with these feelings of intensity. First, a co-addict must recognize that their current methods of dealing with the addict are not working. Actions are ideas, thoughts or feelings that are executed in some way. The obsessive behaviors are unhealthy actions or reactions to an addict’s conduct. These actions may beharmful to you, your family members, or the addict. Even if you leave the addictive relationship, you can take these patterns with you for the rest of your life. Dealing with obsessive behavior is essential in breaking co-addictive patterns.

How to stop codependent behaviors

Start by taking away one negative behavior, just one. For example, have the addict change a password to some online bills you normally check. When you feel the urge, even if you try to look at a cell phone or credit card record, you will be forced to do something else. Behavioral change can come with repetition. In time, if you take something away, you will learn to live without it. One at a time, start eliminating destructive patterns.

Small steps: Envision a plan

Do not expect that you will have the self-control, right away, to stop all patterns instantly. Instead, be realistic and take small steps. At a time where you would normally be consumed with thoughts or worry, instead sit down and write a plan. Create an end goal of what you would like to do when dealing with the addict. Envision how you would like to feel or handle a future situation or incident. Design a plan where youbreak things into smaller steps.

Visualize actions you can take to stop the routine you go into when the addict upsets you. The next time you can see or feel yourself to go into your normal pattern, push yourself to stop, breath, and preoccupy yourself with something on your list. For example, if the addict confronts you with an argument and yournormal response is to scream, cry and fight back, take a different approach. Tell the addict, you are sorry, but you cannot entertain this right now, you have a more pressing issue, and then walk away.

You will feel the satisfaction of diverting crisis mode. You will be able to fill the time you almost spent being upset or fixated on disaster, instead, with something positive. You will be encouraged to keep acting or reacting this way. In time you will be effectively breaking patterns and changing negative and obsessive actions. Your new, positive, behaviors will promote a more healthy and sustainable you and the ability to move on to healthier relationships with others.

About the author
Amanda Andruzzi, MPH, AADP, CHES, is a Certified Health Coach, founder of Symptom-Free Wellness, and the author of Hope Street. Her first book, Hope Street memoir is an inspirational story of one woman's frightening journey of co-addiction that led her to uncover courage, unbelievable strength and overcome great adversity. She resides with her daughter, husband, and two sons in Florida.
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