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Caffeine Addiction: Keep Your Plan to Quit Simple

Aug 28, 2008
Caffeine is a potentially addictive substance. For this reason, users often experience emotional and physical withdrawal symptoms when quitting.

While not as dangerous as drugs like alcohol and opiates, caffeine can cause serious problems when used excessively. Issues ranging from irritability and insomnia to stomach ulcers and heart disease have been linked to caffeine addiction by numerous independent studies and medical examinations.

While plenty of motivation to quit exists, caffeine users are often shocked by just how difficult it can be to break this habit. The first thing you need to bear in mind when deciding to quit is this:

Stopping the use of any addictive substance is going to be a significant challenge. Be prepared ahead of time and do not make the mistake of thinking it will be easy to stop cold turkey.

Once you've come to terms with the fact that you're in for a challenge, the next critical step is to outline a simple plan and stick with it. The key words are both simple and plan.

Without a definite plan you are unlikely to break your caffeine habit. It's just too easy to rationalize another cup of coffee, another canned energy drink, etc. if you don't have a very clear plan in place.

And if you try to make your plan too elaborate or complex you will most likely become frustrated and bail out quickly when things get difficult for you. So make a plan, but above all keep it simple.

Don't try to take on too much at one time. For example if you want to quit caffeine and lose weight you should tackle the caffeine problem first and not even worry about your desire to lose weight until you have your addiction to caffeine well under control.

And don't set unrealistic expectations or be too hard on yourself. If you've been drinking two pots of coffee every day for ten years you should probably not try to stop cold turkey right this very minute.

In the above example scenario you might want to reduce to one pot for the next week or two, gaining confidence when you are able to cut back in this manner. Then, on a pre-selected date, make the jump to no caffeine at all.

You will most likely experience withdrawal on some level. This can occur as mild to severe depression, headaches, extreme fatigue and irritability, or a host of other symptoms.

Because everyone has a different physical and emotional makeup the exact nature of your withdrawal may vary from what others report. You could have very mild symptoms or a very severe experience; it's best to be prepared by deciding to deal with the worst-case scenario.

If you relapse (start using caffeine again even after stopping) don't make this an excuse to give up! Just return to your focus and stop again as soon as possible.

It is entirely normal for people to have to try multiple times before finally succeeding in their attempt to stop using an addictive substance.

Your plan might include a routine change or the use of a new breakfast beverage to fill the void. At the core of your plan should be the idea of taking one day at a time don't worry about "forever" or next month, just focus on getting through the current day without caffeine.

By keeping it simple and going one day at a time you'll find things get much easier as you go. Before you know it you'll be totally caffeine free and you won't even miss your old habit.
About the Author
For help understanding and beating your caffeine addiction be sure to check out the author's downloadable strategy. Remember addiction to caffeine is no small matter, and the author's program can help you build a plan that really works.
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