Here’s how to beat addiction — and a stupid Tetris game won’t do it

Here’s how to beat addiction — and a stupid Tetris game won’t do it

A new study claims Tetris can help you beat back cravings for smoking, sex, gambling, alcohol, and a host of other things -- but here's how you really beat addiction.

It’s the study everyone has been talking about today: Tetris can help you beat addictions to a whole host of things, like smoking, alcohol, or gambling — but you may not be aware of far better ways to deal with your problems.

The study’s findings shouldn’t be ignored, as they indicate an important point that there are multiple ways to attack addiction, and using Tetris as a distraction can help in certain situations. But the study only found that Tetris caused cravings to dip by just 20 percent, so it is definitely not a cure-all for a problem that has very deep underpinnings.

So how do you tackle addiction if you’re serious about it? For one thing, you’ll need to find some friends who may be in the same boat as you. Join a support group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. This can give you someone to share your experiences with and also hold you accountable in case you’re tempted to relapse. You can even seek out therapy from a medical professional to talk out your feelings.

A second method is to get a hobby, beyond just playing Tetris. When you attempt to remove an addiction, you need to replace it with something else or it will create a vacuum that the addiction may simply return and fill. Having a real project or hobby that excites you can give you something to think about in your spare time other than your addiction, and increase your chances of success.

Another method is exercise, as sweating it out and improving your body can help improve your mental health as well. In addition to kicking addiction, it can help you deal with depression, which addicts must often deal with.

And there’s also distracting yourself, which is where Tetris can help. Sometimes, you’re doing all the right things and you have a sudden craving. In that moment, it’s probably good to reach for a quick game to get your mind off it — and it can mean the difference between staying healthy and relapse.

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