Finally Be Alcohol Free and Happy

EXCERPT

Chapter 4:
Handling Urges

Synopsis

The accompanying tips offer suggestions to support you in your determination to cut back or stop drinking. They may be used with counseling or therapy and are not meant as a replacement for professional help. If you decide to try them on your own and at any point feel you require more help, then seek support.

Give Yourself A Little Help Managing urges to drink

As you alter your drinking, it’s common place and standard to have urges or a hungering for alcohol. The words “urge” and “craving” refer to a blanket range of ideas, physical sensations, or emotions that entice you to drink, even though you’ve at least a little desire not to. You might feel an uncomfortable pulled in 2 directions or sense a loss of command.

As luck would have it, urges to drink are transitory, predictable, and controllable. Here we offer a recognize-avoid-cope plan of attack generally utilized in cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps individuals alter unhelpful thinking patterns and responses. With time, and by using fresh reactions, you’ll discover that your urges to drink will lose power, and you’ll acquire confidence in your power to deal with urges that might still arise from time to time.

If you’re having a really difficult time with urges, or don’t make progress with the techniques here after a couple of weeks, then consult a physician or therapist for support. Additionally, some new, non-habit forming medicines may reduce the desire to drink or lessen the reinforcing effect of drinking so it’s simpler to stop.

Acknowledge 2 sorts of “triggers”

An impulse to drink may be set off by outside triggers in the surroundings and internal ones inside yourself.

  • Outside triggers are individuals, places, things, or times of day that provide drinking opportunities or prompt you about drinking. These “risky situations” are more conspicuous, predictable, and avoidable than inner triggers.
  • Inner triggers may be puzzling as the urge to drink simply appears to “pop up.” But if you hesitate to consider it when it occurs, you’ll discover that the urge might have been set off by a passing thought, a positive emotion like excitement, a negative emotion like frustration, or a physical sensation like a headache, tension, or nervousness.

Think about tracking and examining your urges to drink for a few weeks. This will help you get more aware of when and how you go through urges, what sparks them, and ways to prevent or control them.

Prevent risky situations

In a lot of cases, your best technique will be to prevent taking the chance that you’ll have an impulse, then slip and drink. At home, hold little or no alcohol. Socially, prevent activities demanding drinking. If you feel shamefaced about turning down an invitation, prompt yourself that you’re not necessarily saying “forever.”

If the urges subside or become more manageable, you might decide to ease bit by bit into a few situations you now decide to avoid. Meanwhile, you are able to stay connected with friends by proposing alternative activities that don’t call for drinking.

Contend with triggers you can’t prevent

It’s not possible to avoid all risky situations or to block inner triggers, so you’ll require a range of techniques to address impulses to drink.

Here are a few options:

  • Prompt yourself of your grounds for making a change. Carry around your top reasons on a wallet card or in an electronic message that you are able to access easily, like a cell phone notepad entry or a saved e-mail.
  • Talk it through with somebody you trust. Have a trusted acquaintance on standby for a telephone call, or bring one along to risky situations.
  • Distract yourself with a fit, alternate activity. For different states of affairs, come up with engaging short, mid-range, and longer choices, like texting or calling somebody, watching short net video, lifting weights to audio, showering, meditating, taking a walk, or doing a spare-time activity.
  • Take exception to the thought that drives the impulse. Stop it, study the fault in it, and substitute it. Illustration: “It couldn’t hurt to have one tiny drink. Hold off a minute—what am I thinking? One may hurt, as I’ve seen ‘simply one’ lead to lots more. I’m sticking to my selection not to drink.”
  • Ride it out without buckling under. Rather than fighting an impulse, accept it as common place and temporary. As you ride it out, bear in mind that it will soon peak like an ocean wave and blow over.
  • Leave risky situations rapidly and graciously. It helps to plan your escape beforehand.