Tips for Staying Sober
Staying sober is a lifelong process, and we understand that cravings can be an obstacle for patients during the recovery process. When you learn how to break addiction habits and identify cravings, you can manage and avoid the urge to relapse.
How to Break Addiction Habits
- Staying sober means that you have to recognize and acknowledge your cravings. To understand how to break addiction habits, you first must accept the fact that you’re having a craving, so that you can identify the feeling and deal with it appropriately. It’s normal and natural to feel cravings, and you give yourself power over those feelings when you eliminate your fear, deal with them logically and calmly, and recognize that you’re the one in control.
- Avoid situations where you know you’re likely to have cravings. If you’re at a social function and feel an uncontrollable urge to drink or do drugs, leave the party—don’t worry about being rude or saying goodbye, just leave. Removing yourself from any potentially dangerous environment supports staying sober.
- In order to learn how to break addiction habits, examine your old patterns of behavior and make appropriate adjustments. Instead of drinking socially with friends after work, go to the gym, start a hobby, or take a class. Keep yourself occupied with enriching activities. Exercise is especially good for dealing with cravings, as the natural endorphins relieve stress and make you feel well. Activities like yoga and karate are excellent for achieving self-control and internal balance.
- Eat well. It’s not only what you eat that matters, but also how much you eat. Cravings can occur if you’re hungry and cranky, or have imbalanced nutrients – so sticking to a regular meal and snack schedule is important to staying sober.
- Probably the best way to break addiction habits is to regularly attend AA or NA meetings. These support groups are made up of people just like you who experience cravings and overcome them using a variety of methods. Not only will you have the social support to resist cravings, but you’ll likely learn important coping tools from other recovering addicts.
- Outside of AA and NA, individual counseling with an ongoing outpatient addiction program can be a great resource. Your counselor and group members will listen to you without any judgment and can help you understand and deal with triggers and develop a plan for staying sober.