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Thought Redirection to Cope with Addictive Urges

For many of us recovering from addiction, the temptation we feel to return to our drugs of choice is one of our greatest challenges. Sometimes we feel so consumed with addictive urges that we feel overpowered and debilitated by them. Many of us are still working to find coping skills that will help us manage the urges we feel. An effective technique we can use is thought redirection. We can actively, consciously choose to redirect our thoughts any time we feel overwhelmed by the temptation, impulsiveness, and compulsiveness of our addictions.

Often when an urge hits, we find ourselves hyper-focused on how it’s making us feel. We feel nervous we’ll relapse. We feel the discomfort, uneasiness, and restlessness of anxiety. We feel mounting disappointment in ourselves for not being strong enough to overcome our addictive urges on our own. We find ourselves replaying thoughts surrounding these various feelings, and the more we dwell on them, the more intense they become. We reinforce and compound the fears we’re experiencing, rather than successfully working through them.

Instead of focusing on the difficult sensations and thoughts we’re having around our urges, let’s try focusing our energy and attention elsewhere. In the moment, we can focus on our gratitude – how grateful we are to have come this far in our recovery, how grateful we feel to have another opportunity to heal ourselves, how grateful we are for the various blessings in our lives. We can choose to focus on enhancing our willpower, by affirming to ourselves how resilient and powerful we truly are. We can focus on the beautiful journey we’ve undertaken in our recovery, all the lessons we’ve learned and progress we’ve made, rather than beating ourselves up and judging ourselves for not being as far along as we’d like to be.

We can also redirect our thoughts to focus on the action steps we’ll take to get through this moment of weakness and temptation. We can plan to attend a support group meeting that day. We can plan to call our sponsor. We can schedule additional therapy sessions. Rather than focusing on how much difficulty we’re experiencing in the moment, we can brainstorm possible steps to help ourselves move through it. We can redirect our thoughts to positivity, faith, and optimism. We can remind ourselves that we are in fact strong enough to get through this challenge and any others that might arise.

At The Guest House Ocala, we are uniquely equipped to help our guests heal from trauma-induced substance abuse, process addiction, anxiety and depression in a safe, comfortable and confidential setting. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information on our treatment programs.