If you take the time to think about the beginning of your journey into addiction, you will notice that every action had a trigger. Perhaps you had a few drinks after a stressful day, maybe you used an illicit drug at a party with friends, maybe you went on a shopping spree after getting a bonus at work. Whatever the addiction, there is always a trigger that started the cycle.
Coping With Triggers Holistically Through Visualization, Thought Disruption, And Relaxation
When working to break this cycle, there are a few things you can do to control your craving to return to your old habits.
Visualization can be used as a form of meditation. During this technique you will visualize the trigger and craving as something that you can take control over.
One technique involves sitting or lying down while visualizing a wave while taking deep breaths. The wave is your craving and your breath is a surfboard. Because most cravings only last twenty to thirty minutes at a time, you will continue to visualize yourself riding the wave until the urge subsides. This will allow you to maintain sobriety in the most stressful of situations.
This technique is particularly important if your trigger to addiction was your own negative thoughts. Many people turn to drugs to cope with negative thoughts and emotions such as depression or low self-esteem. In many cases, the substances bring a sense of peace to the person using it. Thought disruption allows you to overcome negative thoughts, emotions, and situations without the need of drugs or alcohol.
When you are undergoing a stressful situation, it may be difficult to overcome the urge to return to your addictions. It is important to take a minute in these situations and practice a relaxation technique such as meditation or yoga. These techniques allow you to clear your mind and release the stress that is bringing you down. Our treatment program uses a variety of relaxation techniques to help our patients manage relapse triggers throughout the program. These relaxation techniques include: