Addiction recovery is a process; it does not happen overnight. It takes time for the body and brain to heal and for individuals to adapt to lifestyle changes. Through treatment for addiction recovery, women and men can build the strategies and routines they need for a substance-free lifestyle, but they may still experience challenges such as cravings, triggering situations, or negative thinking.
Cravings are one of the most common stumbling blocks those in recovery face, and they can lead to relapse if individuals are not careful about how they handle them. Understanding that experiencing cravings is normal, but there are ways to overcome them, and it can help support continued progress in recovery.
It Takes Time
If you are in recovery, you may experience cravings for weeks or months after completing treatment at addiction recovery centers in Maine. Remember that it is a natural part of the process, and that cravings will diminish in time and become less frequent and less urgent. In addition, cravings usually pass within about 30 minutes, so if you can push through these feelings, you’ll feel better afterward.
Motivational thinking or positive self-talk, on top of other things, can encourage you to keep moving forward and not give in to cravings when they happen. Remind yourself that you are stronger than the craving and you can do this. Think of how far you have come and everything you still want to achieve.
We Need a Distraction
Another way to deal with cravings is through healthy distractions. Instead of focusing on the urge to use drugs or alcohol, shift your attention elsewhere. Go for a walk, play a game with your kids, listen to music, watch a funny movie, hang out with friends, exercise, or pick a room of your house to clean. You want to do something to take your mind off of your cravings and help pass the time in a healthy way.
A change of scenery can be good, and when it comes to addiction treatment facilities, Maine offers a beautiful backdrop where you can be surrounded by nature. Focus on the scenery around you and what you can see, touch, and smell. This can also be a great strategy as part of anxiety treatment when you’re trying to break a train of thought and relax or refocus.
Stay Away from Temptations
While oftentimes cravings hit unexpectedly, they can also be triggered by certain sights, sounds, smells, etc. Part of managing addiction triggers is avoiding these types of situations whenever possible, or at least minimizing your exposure. For instance, find a different way home if you usually pass a bar that you used to frequent, or change the channel if you see people drinking or smoking on television.
Remember the acronym H.A.L.T. (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired) that many drug and alcohol rehab centers teach too, and consider how you’re feeling and if that played a role in your craving. Grab a snack, take a nap, or go on a walk with a friend. While you can’t always control what happens around you, you can choose how you respond.
Put it in Writing
When you feel these urges and they’re occupying your mind, take a break to write them down. Keep a journal where you can write about whatever is on your mind. Getting your feelings down on paper can allow you to look at them from a different perspective. Remind yourself that cravings are just passing feelings, and you don’t have to act on them. Journaling can also be a helpful way to manage mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression.
Cravings and addiction recovery go hand in hand, but you don’t have to let cravings derail the progress you’ve made. Instead of letting them bring you down, realize that they are a natural part of the process and mean you are healing. If you’re having trouble managing cravings in addiction recovery, Maine treatment center Crossroads can help you develop effective strategies and feel more confident in your sobriety. Remember who you wanted to be and tackle cravings with help from Crossroads as you embrace a lifestyle of recovery.