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How Can We Course-Correct When We’re Feeling Tempted?

One of our biggest challenges, as we’re working to recover, is dealing with the addictive urges and temptation that arise for us. They can feel so overwhelming that we can feel as though we can’t withstand them, that we’re powerless against them and have no recourse against their destructiveness. There are various techniques we can use to help ourselves manage and cope with addictive urges, and many of them rely on our use of mindfulness, increasing our conscious awareness about our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and choices in order to be healthier and more at peace. One of the best things we can do for ourselves in moments of weakness, of feeling tempted and nervous that we’ll relapse, is to learn how to course-correct using self-talk. How can this help us to keep ourselves sober?

Self-Talk to Course-Correct

Self-talk is exactly what it sounds like – the ways in which we talk to ourselves, what words we use when we’re speaking to and about ourselves, and what kinds of attitudes we have about ourselves that form our self-perception. How we communicate with ourselves can either help us stay on track with our sobriety or totally fall off the wagon. Are we speaking words of encouragement, or of self-sabotage? Are we motivating ourselves or telling ourselves we might as well give up? Are we inspiring ourselves to feel hopeful or making ourselves feel defeated? When we’re experiencing moments of temptation when our addictive urges and compulsions are feeling most overpowering, we can take a moment to pause, take deep breaths, and talk ourselves out of the direction we’re accustomed to going in, our usual choice to give in to our drug of choice.

We can literally course-correct and change direction by speaking to ourselves differently. “I know you can do it. I know you can stay sober. I believe in you. You are strong enough to do what’s best for yourself. I have faith in you.” This is a huge difference from some of the language we’ve grown accustomed to using with ourselves – “There’s no use in trying anymore. I’m an addict. I’m powerless over temptation. There’s nothing I can do to withstand it. I might as well give up.” The words we use hold incredible energy, power, and meaning. The more we speak them, the more we program our subconscious minds and create the beliefs that drive our behaviors and choices.

Using the Past to Inform Our Choices

Another way we can use self-talk to course-correct when we’re feeling tempted is by reminding ourselves of our past experiences with substance use. How did you feel after drinking or using? What did you do in order to cope with those feelings? Chances are we felt ashamed, disappointed and full of regret for quite some time after using, and in order to cope with those feelings, we turned to our drugs of choice for comfort and relief. We can remind ourselves of these truths as a way to motivate ourselves to choose differently. Reminding ourselves of the things we know to be true can be a powerful way to redirect ourselves in moments of temptation. We can use our past experiences to inform our choices moving forward.

The caring, compassionate staff of The Guest House is here to support you as you start your journey to recovery and healing. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information. 3230 Northeast 55th Avenue Silver Springs, FL 34488