We all know the theory that drug and alcohol abuse have negative health effects. Still, we often face troubles in our lives that seem unbearable. And that’s when the temptation to use becomes irresistible. These substances stimulate the brain’s pleasure center and give a sense of euphoria even in the darkest of times. Nevertheless, once you numb your thoughts and feelings, you no longer want to go back. That’s why rehab can’t cure addiction; it can only provide treatment and support. Afterward, it’s up to you to stay on the right path even though the temptation to use will always be present. To help you achieve this, we’ve compiled a list of ten ways to deal with addiction triggers.
No. 1 One of the best ways to deal with addiction triggers is to focus on improving your health
Substance abuse has a very big impact on your physical and mental health. Therefore, once you’re in recovery, you must focus on improving your health. The best way to accomplish this is by eating healthily and exercising. Start by looking up some new recipes that will provide your body with all the nutrients and vitamins it so desperately needs. Couple this with regular exercising, and you’ll feel better in no time. You can even print out weekly meal and exercise plans to help you stick to the program.
No. 2 Find ways to relax
Stress is a major addiction trigger. It’s often what leads people to substance abuse in the first place. Therefore, finding simple and healthy ways to reduce stress after your recovery is crucial. For instance, breathing exercises can help you compose yourself and overcome a difficult moment. However, if you want long-term results, you should practice meditation and mindfulness. This will enable you to relieve some of the stress and stay focused on the present and your recovery.
No. 3 Find ways to stay busy
Whenever people have too much time on their hands, their minds tend to wander off. And when it comes to addicts, this is a big no-no because memories can be very triggering. You might remember the times when you were under the influence and how good it felt. Or, you might think back on how many people you’ve hurt while using.
Either way, you should avoid going down memory lane. That’s why one of the best ways to deal with addiction triggers is to find ways to keep busy. Anything from reading a book and watching a movie to hiking or learning a new hobby will help. Just find something that you enjoy.
No. 4 Learn to be patient
The addiction recovery experts from Archstone Behavioral Health advise you to learn to be patient. This applies to many aspects of your life. Firstly, you need to learn to be patient with yourself. Don’t expect to overcome your addiction overnight. Accept that recovery and learning how to cope with triggers take time. Secondly, you should learn to be patient in your daily life. Avoid making any rash decisions. Take your time to think things through before acting.
No. 5 Learn to be honest
As an addict, you reach a point where you deceive everyone around you, including yourself. You end up lying about using, about how it affects you, and so on. Thus, once you’re in recovery, you have to learn to be honest with yourself and others. Share and accept your thoughts and feelings, no matter how hard it may seem. This will enable you to overcome difficult times and ask for help when needed.
No. 6 Develop a support system
As a recovering addict, it’s crucial to have a support system in place. Surround yourself with positive and supportive individuals that will help you stay clean. It doesn’t matter if they are close friends, family members, or sponsors. Having someone to call whenever you feel overwhelmed by a trigger can save your life. Plus, simply talking with someone that knows what you’re going through can improve your mental health.
No. 7 Try journaling
People often dismiss journaling as an activity for teenagers. But in reality, it’s a very useful therapeutic tool. Writing down everything you experience throughout the day makes it easier to analyze and view things from a different perspective. As a result, you’ll gain a better understanding of your life and what you should improve. Furthermore, it enables you to identify your addiction triggers and develop coping strategies.
No. 8 Avoid big triggers
Avoidance is never the solution, but in some cases, it has its benefits. Specifically, after you go through recovery treatment, you should avoid spending time with the people that used to facilitate or encourage your addiction. This would be extremely triggering and can easily lead to a relapse. The same thing applies to the places that you frequented while using. So, try to avoid these big triggers for at least a few years until you get a handle on your recovery.
No. 9 Seek professional help
Whenever you feel overwhelmed and unable to deal with addiction triggers, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. These experts can help you work through your emotions and can teach you how to manage your triggers.
And in case you do relapse, don’t be too hard on yourself. This happens more frequently than you might think. The important thing is to immediately seek a treatment that fits your needs to get clean again. Don’t try to do it by yourself because it can be excruciating, and it’s less likely that you’ll succeed. Instead, enroll in a medical detox program. This way, you’ll be able to go through withdrawal safely, with less pain and more efficiency.
No. 10 Give back
As you learn to better deal with your triggers and stay clean, you can try to help other people do the same. After all, you know best what they are going through. Therefore, you can share valuable information and advice with them. Moreover, seeing positive results in the people you help will make you feel better about yourself and will give you a sense of purpose.
Addiction is a very serious illness that can destroy or even end your life. Therefore, you should seek treatment as soon as possible if you’re struggling with it. Nevertheless, you should know that the hard part is staying away from addictive substances afterward. You can start with these ten ways to deal with addiction triggers and go from there. It may take a lot of determination, but you can do it.