Everyone knows breaking bad habits can be hard; be it puffing at a cigar, procrastinating, getting late to events or even work, or  the most minute habits such poking your nose. Addiction is not left out either. It could be drinking alcohol, cravings for in-between meals, unnecessary shopping, sex, hoarding, kleptomania, gambling and a lot more. Research shows that having an urge disorder triggers the release of extra dopamine, which causes feelings of pleasure. It creates the likelihood that one might be go back to an old habit.

I know you have probably undergone therapy, seminar, counselling sessions and rehabilitation. Did the outcome become better? Sometimes, yes and other times, no.

I am about to blow a secret, I have an addiction too. I am addicted to caffeinated drinks – Coca Cola, Pepsi and Coffee. Late last year, I gave this a thought and came up with an approach of dealing with it. So, each time, I have a craving for these drinks, I use the money meant to purchase them for fruits. It is not just something I came up with it. It has a term and it is called Positive Reinforcement.

Positive reinforcement is the process whereby desirable behavior is encouraged by presenting a reward at the time of occurrence of such behavior. It its an effective approach in psychology to deal with addictions. Its a perfect fix for behavioural addiction. Positive reinforcement is not just management or cutting off addictions, it also helps to introduce new and improved behaviours. It can be enforced in different spheres work, home, business, churches, mosques, support groups and parenting.

This could be giving yourself or others gifts, complimenting or being less rigid with the like or comment button on social media-It is a powerful tool.


A real woman’s attitude is to love, improve herself,  to nurture, to care, to be sensitive and to support.

-Dr. Mary Erameh


Have it in mind that there are factors that determine if positive reinforcement is going to be effective;


  • Timing is golden- When a longer gap sets in between a good behaviour and its reward, it breaks the likelihood of the repetition of that behaviour.


  • Positive communication must be imbibed.


  • Motivation builds one’s confidence on the premise that they are taking the right path.


  • Consistency is an essential. Something that is considered a good behavior today, should not be labeled otherwise tomorrow as this will breed counter-productivity or continuity of the already imbibed good behaviour.

Breaking bad habits and addictions just got easier!



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