Coping with any addiction, whether it is drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, is always challenging. There are many reasons why that is the case. Substance abuse results in physical changes in the brain, making addicts experience very powerful cravings. It is extremely hard to become sober, but it is completely possible with the right treatment and support.
The first step – admitting that you have a problem – is the toughest. After you do that, regaining control becomes much more manageable. Sometimes, the best thing that you can do is go to a recovery center. You can visit the website of the ARC Project to learn more about how they work. If you are not ready for that just yet, here are several things that you might find helpful while trying to cope with addiction.
1. Know Your Triggers
The only way to get rid of the urge is to avoid the triggers that stimulate your cravings. That is why it’s very important to identify them and try to avoid them as much as possible. For example, if you feel that you want to smoke while feeling stressed, you can look into different stress management techniques instead.
2. Take it Easy
When you have a stressful day and want to relax, instead of drinking or smoking, try to find a healthier alternative. Do you like gardening? Go out and plant some flowers or herbs in your backyard. Are you a fan of playing video games? Then take a break for a couple of hours and play your favorite one. If you like long walks, you can go out for a walk.
3. Have Fun
If you do not know what to do when the urge to drink or smoke comes, try to keep yourself busy. For example, you can watch a movie or put on a long and interesting documentary that you found on YouTube. You might want to do something creative as well. Pick up a pencil and start drawing or write a short story. Other than that, you can do something that will make you use your brain, such as solving a puzzle game.
4. Learn How to Relax
Learning how to relax is crucial when coping with addiction. Whenever you feel stressed out, take some time for yourself and do whatever makes you feel relaxed and at peace. Have you ever tried taking a long bath or putting on your favorite music? Playing with your pet is always a viable option as well. It will calm you down and then help you focus on the problem at hand and allow you to find potential solutions with a clear head.
5. Connect With Others
Addiction is not something that you should be dealing with on your own. Because of that, you should try to connect with other people as much as possible since you would need to interact as part of your recovery from alcohol or drug addiction. Being around supportive family members or friends is bound to lift your spirits and provide you with a sense of hope, even if it is just for a little while.
6. Reward Yourself
We all enjoy being rewarded after overcoming something difficult and achieving a goal we wanted to achieve for a long while. For example, if you can make it through the week, reward yourself with something delicious and take some time for yourself.
You can read a book or watch a movie with your significant other. Not only will it make you feel better and more motivated, but it will also help you focus on the positive things, which can be extremely helpful when it comes to coping with addiction.
7. Seek Professional Help
It is not always easy, but when you choose to cope with addiction by reaching out and seeking professional help, you will get an opportunity to look at your problems from a different perspective. It can help you figure out what your coping mechanisms are and what you should focus on during the recovery process, which will make it much easier.
8. Be Positive
It is not always easy, but try to maint a positive outlook and be grateful for what you have instead of focusing on what you do not have. Maybe you live in conditions that are far from ideal, but at least you have a roof over your head. Maybe your car breaks down all the time, but at least you have a car that runs. Being positive helps put some things into perspective and overcome any difficulties that you might run into.
9. Do Nice Things for Others
Spending time doing nice things for others can make you feel good about yourself and make you feel more optimistic about life! Whether it is volunteering at an orphanage or helping out at a food bank, doing something nice for others almost always feels better than doing something for yourself!
10. Take Baby Steps
Taking baby steps when coping with addiction is crucial when trying to change your life for the better. It makes things feel less overwhelming and gives you the time to adjust and think things through.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are many things that you can do to better cope with addiction. They can range from seeking professional help to spending time with your loved ones and taking it easy.
However, keep in mind that some of these activities are more effective than others. For instance, going to therapy should end up being much more beneficial than simply trying to stay positive on your own.
Lastly, do not be ashamed of asking for help. While it puts you in a vulnerable position, it can end up providing you with the support you need to deal with your addiction once and for all.