If you or a loved one are on the path to recovery from addiction, it is important to not only identify your triggers, but also develop a strategy for dealing with them when they arise. The right method can help prevent future relapse and keep you on a path of a healthy lifestyle.
1. Call Someone for Support
This may be a friend who can talk you through the difficult times, or perhaps someone from your support group that knows exactly what you’re going through. Just having someone to talk to can take your mind off of the desire to use and instead refocus you on what your goals are for recovery.
2. Relaxation Exercises
SAMHSA suggests that you do at least three ten-minute relaxation exercises each day in order to relax you and focus your mind on the right things. These are simple, easy breathing exercises that you can find online or in many self-help books, and they may greatly help you keep your mind focused for the rest of the day.
3. Write in a Journal for 15 Minutes
Not only does writing in a journal keep you occupied and away from using, but it also provides a sort of self-accountability as you can look back on what you wrote and see your progress. You can write about what you are feeling at the moment and how you are choosing not to give in, and then also keep a record of what methods you used to overcome the trigger.
In the future, any time you come across a similar trigger, you can refer back to your own notes on what worked and how to get through it.
4. Avoid Old Places and People
One part of starting a new lifestyle is cutting out the old unhealthy habits. As suggested by NIH, this may mean avoiding places that you used to go regularly and now associate with the substance. This also could mean distancing yourself from friendships that promoted unhealthy habits and might pressure you to use again.
As difficult as it may be to change all your habits and routines, it is necessary in order to avoid those triggers that could push you back into relapse.
5. Find Other Activities that Help you Relax
Many people turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to de-stress and relax, and if this was the case for you then it is important to find another way to cope with the stress. Depending on your preferences, it may be a light jog, painting a picture, watching an episode of your favorite TV show, or putting together a puzzle.
Whatever your hobbies are, or whatever healthy relaxation activity you enjoy doing, find a way to fit these into your life instead of the substance.
If you or a loved one are dealing with addiction and seeking a path of recovery, just call 800-768-8728(Who Answers?) to speak with a caring specialist who can answer all your questions and concerns.