Coping Mechanisms for Addiction
Addiction is a serious problem. When trying to get rid of your addiction(s), there are times when you have craving and an urge to fall back into old habits. We can’t have that, can we? Here’s a simple and straightforward guide that help you with healthy coping mechanisms for addiction.
Exercising can banish cravings like nobody’s business, especially when you get moving ahead, or as a distraction tactic. You could go for a walk or hit the treadmill or even run a few miles to give cravings the boot!
Keep Temptation Far & Away!
This isn’t new but worth a mention. Make sure you remove anything that will tempt you into old habits from your surroundings. Your craving triggers if any, should be removed from your home. Also, keep your environment and surroundings clean and serene to avoid being pushed back into old habits. A change in the ambiance really helps. If anger or stress or other emotions trigger your cravings, get help for dealing with them.
There are times when your cravings wage a war with you and you will find your resolve weakening. Don’t give-up. Distraction is a good form of defense against cravings. It isn’t cowardly rather a smart move. You could try watching a show or movie you love, you could play a game on your Xbox or get your friend to join you, go for a swim, etc.
Alternatively, you could call up your friend and talk to them – having a friend, or relative to talk to when you need support, is a good idea. You will need that support system.
Visualize this: After you give in to your cravings and feed your addiction once more, imagine what will happen – your spouse or your parents or your friends will be disappointed and that even lead to a fight or discord. If they don’t realize what you’ve done, then you might have to tell lies or come up with excuses and eventually, feel bad for doing it all. Imagine this and it will help you ward off those cravings and motivate you to stay clean.
Embrace Your Spirituality
Generally, cravings are said to hit in waves – this means, the intensity is higher initially but it ebbs begins to reduce with time. Meditation or prayer is said to help many, as a coping mechanism against addiction. If you don’t believe in God or aren’t particularly religious, deploy your mind power – human mind is a very powerful tool, one you can exploit if you know how to control it! Addiction is letting your mind control you, rather, take control!
Remember the WHY!
There was a reason you decided to quit your addiction(s). Wasn’t there? Remember the reason and bring it to focus – it could be holding your job, saving your marriage or relationship with your parents or kids, etc. Focus on that and remember how important the cause is to you. This will help harden your resolve and cope with cravings.
Stay Away from Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
We have listed a few healthy coping options for you. But, it is important to understand there are unhealthy coping mechanisms that many resort to. Some do it knowingly, while some do it unknowingly. This way or that – stay away from them.
A few unhealthy addiction coping mechanisms include – procrastination (remember, tomorrow never comes), avoidance (avoiding and hiding away isn’t a solution or a way to quit addiction), denial (don’t deny you have a problem, accepting it and getting help is your first step towards winning over it), being aggressive (trying to push away those who try to help you isn’t being brave!), rationalization (no matter what, addiction is NOT OK) and compartmentalization (trying to think that keeping your addiction and life separate will never work).
While withdrawal symptoms are a challenge to deal with, these healthy Coping Mechanisms for Addiction will see you through. Identify what works for you or shuffle around with a few methods for a change. Win your battle with addiction and embrace life!
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