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Keeping a Handle on Cravings
Cravings are a natural, albeit frustrating, part of addiction recovery. It takes time to retrain your brain and body to function effectively without drugs or alcohol. The good news is that cravings often decrease with time, so the longer you stick with your recovery, the fewer and farther in between they will become. In the meantime, there are many ways that you can push through cravings without yielding to these urges.
- Realize it will pass
Cravings typically pass within about 30 minutes. Recognize that you are experiencing a craving and wait it out. Remind yourself that you will be fine and you do not have to give in.
- Know your triggers
Certain places, people, sights, sounds, or smells may remind you of times when you were in active addiction and set off a craving. Be mindful of these situations and try to limit your exposure. If a craving does strike, try to get yourself to a safer location. A change of scenery can help.
- Eat a well-balanced diet
Spikes and dips in blood sugar can affect cravings. Focus on eating a well-balanced diet at regular intervals to keep your blood sugar more stable. Fresh spinach, bananas, whole-grain breads, legumes, fish, and peanuts can be helpful in addition to fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Distract yourself
Put your attention and energy elsewhere. Do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle, listen to music, go for a walk/run, or play with your dog or cat. Find an activity that will distract your mind and keep your hands busy.
- Talk it through
Tell a close friend or family member that you are experiencing a craving. Or, grab your journal and write about it. Sometimes simply admitting that you are having these feelings can put things into perspective and allow you to wait it out without acting on these urges.
JC’s Recovery Center supports clients in recognizing cravings and developing effective coping strategies. Cravings are a normal experience, but they do not have to derail your recovery efforts. JC’s Recovery Center puts you back in control to make healthier decisions for your life and reduce risk of relapse.
[cta] Are you struggling with adjusting to sobriety? JC’s Recovery Center can provide the support you need to thrive in recovery. Call today to learn more. [/cta]