Reaching true and lasting recovery is a difficult challenge that puts you on a path with many twists and turns. Many people in recovery suffer a relapse at least once, but that shouldn’t be viewed as failure. Instead, relapse should be just another stumble in the road, but not a reason to give up on reaching recovery. The reason that relapse is so prevalent is because of the intense cravings that the mind experiences when it suffers from withdrawals. Here are some coping mechanisms that can help reject cravings, when they come along…
Learn to Distract Yourself
One of the best knee-jerk reactions that you can teach yourself to deal with cravings is the art of distraction. Whenever a craving comes along, it is important to shift your current mindset to get your thoughts away from the idea of using again. Some ways to do this are to immediately change your environment, either by taking a quick walk or going to a friend or family member’s home or by sparking up a conversation with someone that knows what you are going through.
Force Yourself to List Reasons Not to Use
When you start to feel an intense craving, it is possible to reason your way through it. One productive exercise to do is to pull up a pen and paper, or even just the notes on your phone, and create a pros and cons list for giving in to the craving. This is great because you will see that that the cons list is always going to be vastly longer than the pros side, which helps you see past the immediacy of craving and disrupts those feelings.
Use Physical Activities
Exercise and physical activity is a terrific tool to utilize throughout addiction recovery. The reason for this is that it helps your body naturally produce dopamine and reach a chemical balance in your mind that gets thrown off by addiction. If you feel a craving coming on, take a quick run or do a physical activity that you enjoy to get some dopamine in your system and clear your head.