Here at Mount Sinai Wellness Center, we know that cravings are a part of the addiction recovery process. Indeed, your journey to sobriety might always have addiction urges now and then, even years after you have had your last dose of a drug or swig of alcohol. Because such cravings might always have the potential to rise again unexpectedly, it is useful to think ahead about what you can do instead if and when they do.
Here are five free things you can do instead when you get an addiction urge:
- Go for a walk: Sometimes the simplest solutions are the most effective, such as simply going for a walk when you feel an addiction urge coming on. Walking is a lightweight exercise, which means that it gets your blood and endorphins flowing without needing to put your body under stress. The heightened blood flow might be enough to elevate your mood and give you the strength you need to shut that craving down right away.
- Talk to someone you trust: Of course, taking a walk might not always be an option, say if it is dark or raining outside. That’s when trusted loved ones become such a great help. Reach out to someone you know you can talk to, even if you don’t want to talk to them about your addiction craving. You will find that speaking with a close friend or family member can rapidly take your mind off any negative urges and put you in a much happier, stable place.
- Take a bath or shower: Who couldn’t use some time to unwind at the end of the day? Many people like to take a long bath or hot shower to let their bodies and minds relax when they’re stressed. Did you know that baths and showers can do just as much good as when you’re feeling an addiction urge, though? Taking some time to yourself and getting much-needed R&R could be a fast and peaceful way to stop a sudden craving.
- Practice meditation: Speaking of finding peace, meditation could be a great tool for you to use to quash addiction urges before they get a chance to build. Meditation sometimes centers around the practice of emptying your mind, so you just are for a while. If your mind is empty, there can’t be room for any thoughts, especially not negative ones that risk your sobriety.
- Make a journal entry: Are you someone who likes to reflect on your thoughts and emotions in a tangible way? Journaling might be a good solution when you feel like an addiction urge is forming. You can journal about anything you want, too. Your entry doesn’t have to focus on the craving if you are worried that could actually make things worse. Instead, you can just talk about your day or whatever is on your mind.