How to Break Your World of Warcraft Addiction, Helpful Tips
In a recent hub, I described my experience with video game addiction and what it's like. I'd like to share the tips that have help me quit World of Warcraft and have kept me from simply replacing it with another game. I want to get this out in the open, so I don't appear disingenuous: I'm pretty sure I built up a tolerance. By that I mean, I played so much for so long that, months before I stopped, I wasn't really having much fun playing any more. It was just a habit. It was then a lot easier for me to quit. I also had a lot of responsibilities that I had been ignoring, mostly schoolwork. However, these tips should help you regardless.
First things first, cancel any subscriptions you may have.
This is the first step. Just do it now, the sooner the better. You don't want to have the excuse of playing an extra month because you didn't cancel it in time.
Try to quit before a release or expansion.
Wait it out for a few months if you can't wait any longer. I found this worked well for me. By the time I broke and went back to playing, everyone had way better weapons and items, and I got my butt kicked. I don't know about you, but I hate losing. Knowing I would just be ganked or written off kept me from relapsing.
Change your routine.
Any addiction is infinitely harder to beat when you're in similar situations to when you used. Change your environment, change your mind, change your behavior. Don't wake up in the morning and plop onto your computer chair. Go outside! Hang out at the library. Go to a different room in your home. You'll probably find that you're bored now with so much extra time. Try to plan out your day and challenge yourself to see how much you can get done.
Rediscover your old hobbies.
It took me a while to actually enjoy my old hobbies again. I got so used to having instant gratification through out my day that I had almost no patience. You're probably going to have to rediscover your old hobbies. For me, I drew, loved to read, studied, ran, and hung out with friends. I tried to be a really good friend again to help mend relationships. You can also...
Get new and healthy "addictions".
The emphasis is really on healthy there. A friend of mine wanted to quit smoking, so he took to drinking zero calorie Red Bull instead. Pretty soon, he was drinking Red Bull and smoking at the same time! You do want to have a healthy high to motivate you; you don't want to add weight to your weakened will power. Examples of healthy highs include running, lifting weights, flirting, and art appreciation. Do things that you're anxious to do!
Establish long term goals.
This is one of the most important steps. It will help you regulate your impulse control as well as keep you oriented. Try to make these goals really important to you so if you fall off the wagon and revert to your old ways and neglect your new goals, you feel guilty. This should help you to stop and look at yourself before you go too far. Make sure that you also check yourself along the way. Set up dates for evaluation and short term goals.
Take another look at your responsibilities with a careful eye towards anything you may have ignored in the past, friends, family, work, or school. Reaffirm their importance and try to be really good at whatever it is you're tasked with.
Convince any friends to quit playing too!
Some of your friends might be wanting to quit too. Try to start at the same time and place a bet on it, whether money or wearing a chicken suit for a day. It's more motivation to last as long as you can!
Deleting your characters.
I'll be honest, I've never done this, but I know people who have. Deleting your characters might be very cathartic for you. If you feel this is what you need to do, then I suggest you do it. For me, personally, I just don't look back.
Things to remember.
It might take a while to get back into the swing of normalcy. In fact, probably about 90 days without relapses. That is about how long your brain needs to rewire and reboot itself. Try to aim for that mark and make sure you take time for yourself away from your home or other gaming areas. You might experience some depression and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Do your best to stay positive.
What quitting did for me.
It took me a while to really enjoy the little things again, but I don't regret quitting for a second. I feel like I'm me again. My focus is three times sharper, I love reading again, I've lost a lot of weight, I'm closer with my friends, my GPA per semester went up by eight points, among numerous other benefits. The experience ushered in a new era of health and self knowledge for me. I hope that others can have the same release. Above all, just know that if you go back, it's as simple as stopping one more time.