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How Can We Fight Cravings?

When struggling with addiction, one of our biggest challenges, what often holds us back the most, are the addictive cravings, urges and temptation we feel to return to our drugs of choice. We tell ourselves over and over again that we’re going to quit. We insist that this is the last time we’re going to hurt ourselves and the people in our lives. We feel determined and resolved to quit, but then our cravings kick in again, and we feel weak, powerless and unable to fight them. They feel like this huge overpowering, debilitating, paralyzing force that we have no control over or recourse against. We feel unable to control ourselves, our desires and our impulses. We feel powerless to put an end to our cravings, to be happy and to change the course of our lives. The addictive urges and compulsions we feel have taken over our lives and overpowered us for as long as we can remember. They have been the tool with which we’ve self-destructed for much of our lives. They’ve been our vice. They’re often the most visible and painful manifestations of our addictions. Very often we give up and stop trying to win the battle against our temptation. We lose hope in ourselves and in our ability to recover. How can we fight our cravings?

A crucial element in changing any habit, and in shedding toxic impulses, is mindfulness. We can develop more mindfulness through meditation, self-reflection and actively working to cultivate stillness and silence within us. When we are mindful, we become more conscious and more aware of our thoughts, feelings, intentions and behaviors. As we practice taking more notice of the workings of our inner minds, we start to have a deeper connection with our inner selves, and we begin to have more control over ourselves and our choices. We approach challenges, especially the overwhelming challenge of our cravings, with more calm, more balance and more stability. We naturally become more harmonious and more at peace within ourselves. We’re able to process our cravings and manage them with more self-control and awareness.

When we aren’t mindful, we tend to react out of fear. We panic when a craving hits. We instinctively, automatically and compulsively follow the craving, almost as if by default. We’re on autopilot, following the direction of our cravings and doing what they’re instructing us to do. With increased mindfulness, we can calmly notice when we’re experiencing a craving but then sit with it and allow its energy, however painful and difficult, to move through us without letting ourselves be controlled by it. We can feel a craving, even a very intense one, and not be so overwhelmed by it, so overpowered by it, and so out of control that we feel we can’t fight against it.

At The Guest House Ocala, our recovery programs include many experiential modalities including traditional therapy, conscious connected breathwork, equine therapy, somatic experiencing, art in healing, grief therapy, mindfulness and other forms of therapy. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.