Stop The Addictions | Drugs and Drinking no more, A 40 day program: Day 10
15579
page-template-default,page,page-id-15579,page-child,parent-pageid-15518,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,vertical_menu_enabled,side_area_uncovered_from_content,qode-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,qode-theme-ver-13.3,qode-theme-bridge,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.4.5,vc_responsive

Drugs and Drinking no more, A 40 day program: Day 10

Depression, anxiety, and rage are three emotions which lead you back to addiction. For many people drugs or drinking will be an addiction until they conquer the emotion or emotions that bring them back into their addiction. This is why joining a Narc Anon or AA self help group can be a smart move. You know that this or that or fighting with your boss leads you straight back to drugs. So instead of going back to drugs when the negative event occurs, you rely on your self help group or your non-using friends. Groups on the internet may be helpful as well because you may be able to find a meeting at any time.

What emotions lead you back to drinking or drugs?

What can you do instead of backsliding when the negative events occur?

Focus on loving others and building relationships. You have tried things which give you no real satisfaction now focus on things which satisfy. You were created for relationships. It is time to increase our effort to be patient, kind, humble, not selfish, not angry – real love. When we focus on these things addiction starts to fade a bit and we develop habits of doing things which do satisfy. When we start to obey God and do these things we may even start to get a lot of help from God.

You say “I want to quit but I just can’t overcome the cravings”. So you need to develop habits about how to deal with cravings.

Step one in fighting cravings is to be aware of your triggers and avoid them like the plague.

inspiremalibu.com noted the following: “Over time, many people in recovery discover triggers that they weren’t even aware of. Learning what your triggers are and developing the ability to recognize them ahead of time will help to offset the difficulties of cravings.

  1. Plan Ahead – Once a person has a solid grasp of their triggers, they can act accordingly. This might be as simple as taking a different route home from work in an effort to avoid passing a place where drugs and alcohol are used. If you must attend a function, such as a wedding where you know alcohol will be served, create a mocktail recipe and share it with the bartender so you won’t feel out of place.
  2. Accept The Urge – Rather than fight the intense craving to drink or use drugs, accept the urge and ride it out. This overwhelming feeling to drink won’t kill you and given enough time, it will subside. Many urges will disappear in 10 to 15 minutes. If they do not, remove yourself from the situation you’re in which could possibly be triggering your urges.

In the past, you may have had a drink to cover up emotional or physical discomforts but now is the time to work through them and understand that discomforts in life are inevitable and are perfectly okay.

  1. Rational Thinking – We’ve all heard the term “Stinking Thinking.” Challenge your thoughts when an urge arises and ask yourself, “Is this really what I want to do?”

“Do I want to wake up hung over, ashamed, feeling guilty and riddled with anxiety?”

Thoughts like “There is no way I can fight this” or “I might as well have a drink and get it over with” are counterproductive.

These thoughts need to be examined and stopped immediately. If a situation is causing you to want to drink, examine your thoughts. For example, you’re having a bad day at work and the boss just reamed you out. Instead of rushing off to the local pub, analyze the conversation and pull out nuggets of information that you can improve on to better perform at work.

  1. Distractions and Replacement – If a stressful situation can’t be avoided, distractions are a great way to overcome urges. Create a list of healthy distractions that you can refer to if a craving is overwhelming so you don’t have to think too much.

Distractions can be anything from a brisk walk or run, swimming laps, calling a friend, reading a book or cleaning. Choosing an exercise, offers the added bonus from a boost of endorphins, which will help to reduce the stress and anxiety you may be feeling.

Practice mindful meditation to find a peaceful resolution. Visualize yourself going through the motions of your distraction to help you to get started. This will ease any anxiety and fear that can trigger cravings. Keep a positive attitude, and understand that with practice, healthy habits will override negative ones.

  1. Participate in Relapse Prevention Therapy – There are many 12 step and non-12 step alternatives where people in recovery from drugs and alcohol can learn the necessary skills to avoid relapses.Victimization is a form of Denial of your addiction. My wife left me for no good reason and I deserve to get high again. Or my husband treats me like dirt – I have the right to overeat/get drunk. Victimization is saying to Almighty God – You are not big enough and great enough to make up for the mess I have made (or others have helped you make) of my life. The truth is we won’t spend enough time reading the Bible, praying, thanking God for all things and praising Him. Get rid of the excuse of victimization, be on the same page with God and find joy from a dedicated relationship with Jesus Christ.“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure.”
    Motivational Quote by Colin Powell (Born April 5, 1937)

Psalm 33:18
But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love.

Matthew 18:21-22

 

The Slot Machine

We all have 4 slots in our life that we fill up with various forces. If we have committed our lives to Christ then Jesus is often in the #1 slot. Every person puts something different in each of the remaining slots. Things like money, getting stuff, lust, partying or entertainment. To determine which things fill yours look at where you spend the most time.

A fully committed Christian like Paul would have Jesus in all 4 slots. He would have Jesus as his center, his world, his existance. If you or I gave Paul all of our physical and mental addictions he would start to shake them off on day one. Why? He knows he has something better. He would put up with the shakes or throwing up or whatever all week and he would praise and worship Jesus the whole time.

What do you need to do today to replace the forces in your life which are keeping you in bondage, to a focus on Jesus.

Example: You realize TV is a force that you spend a lot of time on.

#1 Say 5 times per day: I will get in 100% of my prayer time today. If I don’t, I won’t watch any TV tomorrow. #2 I will plan and pray about fulfilling my purpose before I settle into TV fantasy land. #3 If I watch evan one sinful thing on TV today I will not watch TV tomorrow. #4 I will ask Jesus what He wants me to do today. I will focus on following Christ by being willing to do what He wants me to do today (there is almost always someone you can help or support). #5 I will focus on increasing in love before, during or after moderate TV viewing. Jesus love is a powerful force which breaks bondage. Increasing it always helps you get closer to permanent freedom from your main addiction.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (NIV)

This answer by Jesus makes it clear that forgiveness is not easy for us. It’s not a one-time choice and then we automatically live in a state of forgiveness. Forgiveness may require a lifetime of forgiving, but it is important to the Lord.

We must continue forgiving until the matter is settled in our heart.

Cravings tip#1: Pray, Father take away my lust for _______ and help me to have a Spirit of toughness.

Cravings tip#2: The Bible says to always meditate on the Word (the Bible). So that is one thing to do and think about.

Cravings tip#3 It also says in Philippians 4:8 Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable–if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise–dwell on these things. Think on these things.

 Cravings tip#4: Pray, Father take away my lust for _______ and help me to have a Spirit of self-control.
You may want to write down a few go-to distraction tasks and keep them on your person (see the example chart at the end of this article). This way you won’t be left scrambling for distraction ideas when already struggling with cravings – you’ll have your ideas planned out and ready to go.

Write down your best distraction idea’s

  1.  Pray urgently and plan what you will do instead
  2.  Exercise or wash and wax the car
  3. Call a friend and talk about their problems (not yours)
  4. Clean the fridge, the bathroom or the garage – cleaning anything provides just the right amount of physical exertion and mental distraction – and as an added bonus you feel better after getting it done.2
  5. Walk the dog (or just take a walk around the block)
  6.  Play a musical instrument

 

The next time cravings hit, take a moment to feel it in your body, and then tell yourself that it’s going to pass if you can just wait it out – and then use one of the methods listed above (or any others you can think of) to distract yourself while you wait for that urge to disappear.

 

Matthew 5 is about how we can change so that we will start to be blessed by God. www.relijournal.com noted the following

The Third Beatitude v5

God blesses those who are gentle and lowly,
for they will inherit the whole earth.

 

The Greek word for meek is praus and was used to refer to domesticated animals. The word does not refer to a wild, disobedient animal; it refers to a strong and powerful horse or ox that was trained and disciplined so that it could be controlled by a human.

The word lowly (or meek) used in this verse refers to a strong person who is under God’s control. They are controlled by God in every aspect of their lives, especially in their soul and spirit. Meekness is more than skin deep. It does not mean that we become weak. A meek or humble person cannot be walked over, but can be bold.

When we want to be powerful we ruin our chances of being humble and we can only become truly humble when we get to know Jesus because Jesus is the one who was a true servant (Matt 11:27-30)

www.alcoholrehab.com   noted the following
“Fear of the future not only keeps people trapped in addiction; it can also prevent them from making progress in recovery. The most common fears that people experience will include:

  • Financial insecurity
  • Worry about how they will cope with alcohol or drugs indefinitely
  • Fear of death
  • Fear of ill health
  • Relationship worries
  • The fear that they will never find happiness in recovery

The thing about most fear is that it involves worrying about things that have not happened yet, or may not ever happen. It is therefore necessary for people in sobriety to develop the capacity for letting go of the future. This involves taking a leap of faith. It means believing that because they are doing the best they can now it will mean good results in the future. Fear can be a devastating emotion in recovery from addiction. It can paralyze people so that they will not take the actions that are needed for success.”

Fear only God and then allow Him to help you overcome other fears.

What The Bible Says About Addiction is my new 340 page e-book which is filled with new information about quitting addiction. This book is Based 95% on the Bible (New Testament) with a few of my Christian theories added. Reading it allows the Holy Spirit to renew your mind. Click here to access it. Please leave a good review if you like it.
Read Matthew 7 and First Corinthians 7 from the Bible.

Continue to read “The Purpose Driven Life”.

If you have recently slipped up review the red sections of day 3

Never give up!
Copyright 2015 © THR Publishing LLC

After the index are repeat articles about overcoming cravings:

 

Index

Day one: How to overcome cravings

Day two: Would believing in a higher power be good for you?

Day three: Quitting addiction exercises

Day four: Does God answer pray?

Day five: Starting to understand that we can’t increase our pleasure for the whole month by going back to our addiction

Day six: Planning our day to keep addiction temptation to a minimum

Day seven: We find liberty (or start to find liberty) from addiction when we find Jesus

Day eight: First fruit of the Spirit

Day nine: Benefits of worshipping God

Below are repeat articles about overcoming cravings:
Cravings are limited by time. If we don’t give in, it goes away at some point. A craving can’t force you to do anything.

Every craving that you did not give in to has ended. In fact, it is hard to keep having cravings for an extended period of time. Our mind is in constant change. Change is the typical state of the mind, not concentration. The mind will get tired of craving booze or drugs and it will move on to something else.

Thomas Horvath, in the workbook Sex, Drugs, gambling and Chocolate, talks about how craving always end. They tire (fatigue), then they end. He wrote the following:

“Perhaps the most dramatic example of the fatigue principle is the elimination of hunger by fasting. In chapter 8 I mentioned that craving will increase until it is acted upon. The discomfort is why the craving is motivating, so the craving is often acted upon. But this is only the first part of the story. If the craving is not acted on, eventually it peaks and diminishes. If you skipped breakfast and skipped lunch, you might be quite hungry by mid-afternoon. But if you continue not eating, somewhere during the first 24 hours, for most individuals, hunger goes away. You obviously still need the food, but you no longer feel hungry. You could say that your nervous system got bored with feeling hungry, and moved on to feeling something else.

Just as your nervous system can get bored with feeling hungry, it can get bored with feeling anything. If you’re impulsive and tend to act quickly on your feelings, you might not have realized this. Feelings, like craving are time-limited. Learn to outwait them and your behavior can become much more stable.

You do not need to make a craving go away, it will go away on its own.”

If you want to review John Lee’s full article on cravings I have copied it below:

John Lee wrote the following at www.choosehelp.com

“The Four Ds – a Simple Relapse Prevention Strategy

You can (and should) try to avoid cues and triggers but there’s no way to dodge them all; if you’re in recovery – and you want to stay in recovery – you need to learn to cope with cravings.

Cravings come in waves. They feel like they’ll last forever but if you can endure for 20 minutes or so, they always dissipate into nothingness.

And fortunately, the more often you resist those cravings, the weaker they get and the less frequently they bother you.

If you can hold on for just a few minutes, you can almost always overcome your cravings. To help you with this, here’s an easy-to-remember coping strategy (The Four Ds) to get you safely past the 20 minute danger zone.

The Four Ds

This is a classic relapse prevention technique. The Ds stand for:

  1. Delay– Since cravings rise and fall like waves, if you can delay a relapse decision for 20 minutes you’ll generally find the cravings dissipate on their own.
  2. Distract– Cravings times passes more quickly when engaged in a distracting activity for a few minutes.
  3. Deep breathing– Deep breathing exercises help you maintain calm and purpose when cravings hit, keeping you from making rash decisions.
  4. Drink a glass of water– Drinking a glass of water relaxes you and sets your purpose. Imagine your cravings as like a runaway train gathering momentum to a disaster. Simple activities like taking a moment to drink a glass of water are like brakes that slow that train!1

So the next time you feel a craving, remember The Four Ds and avoid a permanent mistake caused by a temporary urge.

Here are 20 solid distraction ideas that will keep you occupied just long enough. Try any or all that make sense to you, or better yet, come up with a list of your own.

You may want to write down a few go-to distraction tasks and keep them on your person (see the example chart at the end of this article). This way you won’t be left scrambling for distraction ideas when already struggling with cravings – you’ll have your ideas planned out and ready to go.

20 Distraction Ideas for Cravings

  1. Take a shower, even if you don’t need one. Scrub hard and turn the water as hot (or cold) as you can stand it. Let it soak into you for a few minutes and by the time you towel dry 20 minutes later you’ll probably feel a lot less tempted to fold.
  2. Wash and wax the car
  3. Call a friend and talk about their problems (not yours)
  4. Clean the fridge, the bathroom or the garage – cleaning anything provides just the right amount of physical exertion and mental distraction – and as an added bonus you feel better after getting it done.2
  5. Walk the dog (or just take a walk around the block)
  6. Go jogging
  7. Do a quick home work-out
  8. Meditate or do yoga
  9. Play a musical instrument
  10. Do a progressive muscle relaxation exercise or write in a journal
  11. Catch up on work for a few minutes
  12. Prepare an interesting snack, and then enjoy it
  13. Do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle
  14. If you’re tempted to drink or use at home, then get out of the house and go for a drive. This can be a risky. Don’t get in the car if you’ll steer by autopilot to the nearest bar or drug dealer
  15. Play a challenging video game
  16. Do bicycle maintenance
  17. Cut the grass
  18. Walk out and get a coffee
  19. Fix that thing that needs fixing – replace burnt-out light bulbs or dead batteries, etc.
  20. Water all the plants or groom your pet

The next time cravings hit, take a moment to feel it in your body, and then tell yourself that it’s going to pass if you can just wait it out – and then use one of the 20 methods listed above (or any others you can think of) to distract yourself while you wait for that urge to disappear.

And since the more tools you have at your disposal the better your odds of success, learn how to urge surf as well – it’s a fantastic mindfulness technique that lets you glide with attention right over the peak of a craving.

 

The following is a reprint from an earlier article

Quitting drugs forever, even while alone

I usually start these video’s by talking about the massive amounts of destruction the addiction will do to you. In this case I am not going to do that because many drug users know all about the destruction but they still can’t stop. But I will give you the short version. How to quit drugs for good tip #1: drugs will ruin you, destroy everything and depending on your drug of choice possibly or likely kill you. But instead of dwelling on that I am going to talk a little bit about why many people use drugs.

Drug use is popular when people have something missing in their lives or when they need to bury some pain or hurt. But when drug use becomes an addiction It quickly becomes a dark hole where relationships, ethics and morals become a much lower priority than they should have.

For a few of you drugs have not hurt your job standing or even your marriage. But you may be beginning to be aware that the drugs are taking over and that they are taking, more than you what you want them to take. How to quit drugs for good tip #2: For others one of the main reasons you use drugs is because that is one of the few things that you feel like you have control over. It is your choice, it is your thing it is who you are. But this is a cruel lie. Drugs are a force and they are a driving force. How to quit drugs for good tip #3: There are some addictions that we think we are controlling but those addictions are actually controlling us. Over time drugs cause a loss of control of everything.

So why do people do drugs after they have decided to quit? In most people there is a dueling of personalities. Your mind tells you that you have to stop using drugs but your pleasure seeking flesh tells you that it will feel good.

Key Point #1 As long as you are ruled by the pleasure principle you will always struggle with addiction. The pleasure seeker is selfish, immature, demanding and short sited. How to quit drugs for good tip #4: In the long run, pleasure which is from an addiction always has a price to pay which is much higher than what you want to pay.

John Howard Prin in his book Secret Keeping notes that “Because temptations can come in so many forms (taking drugs, overeating, or surfing internet porn) these dueling tensions can be triggered continually. The average persons dual-mindedness results from listening to both opposing forces and acting according to one, then the other, then the first one again, then the second again… on and on in an endless tug-of-war.”

Quitting drugs forever, even while alone tip #5: Instead of being ruled by the pleasure principle strive to be ruled by the moral principle. The moral principle is wise and rational and it leads to real long term joy instead of fake short term pleasure which leads to destruction. This principle believes that rules like that of your country or laws from the Bible are there to make your life better. When you follow this principle you willingly give up your solution of choice (drugs) in exchange for another activity. Quitting drugs forever, even while alone tip #6: The reason you make this choice is because you now believe that choosing an alternative activity will give you the best life over the next 7 days and longer. So if you stay clean today and develop new activities you may have a hard day today but your week and your future will be better.

Quitting drugs forever, even while alone tip #7: Always choose the Wisdom of staying clean today so that you can have a good life all week, instead of giving in to the short term pleasure and destruction of drugs for one day. R Over time staying clean is a lifestyle which is always better.

Drugs are an escape for many people. One can escape from tension, anger, lack of success, pain and many other things. Quitting drugs forever, even while alone tip #8: We need to get rid of the escapist mindset because our one day of escape always ruins more than one day and it often ruins a whole week or longer. Along the same lines many have the philosophy that if it feels good do it. The problem is, that the feeling good of a few hours usually causes the feeling bad of a few days. Instead of having this damaging mindset, embrace finding your purpose, and living the right way which will lead to happiness over time.

Quitting drugs forever, even while alone tip #9: John Howard Prin in his book Secret Keeping wrote about his past addicted behavior. He said “Drinking in private both elevated my joys and numbed my distress, a dual benefit. Looking back , these fundamentals of addiction gradually became habits:

1st: Resentment. I was reliving all my past hurts. Another 30 years would pass before I could face these resentments and get rid of their corrosive power.

2nd: Isolation. My drinking intensified when I spent time alone. Solitary time was to become the riskiest situation for me to be in.

3rd: Drama and crisis. Overreacting, partly learned from Mom’s open display of temper and partly do to my brains overly sensitive conditioning, ruled me.

4th: Exaggerated emotions became my way of responding to life.

5th: Delusional thinking. My choice of a high profile film career had alrealdy hatched a larger dream to make movies in Hollywood and-why stop there-To win an Oscar. Excessive boozing inflated these unrealistic expectations.

Unwittingly I fell into the trap of living for the outside in. Accountable to no one, losing my bearings, I cared little about my character development yet easily became a slave to the ambitious pride that had aroused me”.

Quitting drugs forever, even while alone tip #10: We can see that being overly sensitive to emotional pain or failure is often a trigger to addiction. So first of all we need to be determined to be tougher and more emotionally ready for life’s constant problems. 2nd, negative emotions can lead us into addiction.

Quitting drugs forever, even while alone tip #11: we need to always work on getting rid of anger and other negative emotions which are often hidden triggers. Lastly we need to avoid circumstances which lead to negative emotions (if posible). Good planning and flexible planning can help you avoid circumstances which will trigger you.

Quitting drugs forever, even while alone tip #12: John Howard Prin also wrote “In time I learned that if my external motivation was strong enough, then my internal impulses could be curbed.”

For some people a great enough amount of pain or a change of thinking will cause them to change their behavior.

Quitting drugs forever, even while alone tip #13: If what you think about has changed, then your internal impulses can be controlled.

This is key point #2. You need to think about the benefits of quitting more often than you think about the experience of drug use. Quitting drugs forever, even while alone tip #14: Make a note to remind yourself to do this untill it becomes a daily habit.

Quitting drugs forever, even while alone tip #15: You need to think more about the destruction drugs cause you than you think about the pleasure/pain relief it gives.

But we have to be brutally honest: we are as sick as our addictions are. If your drug use is causing harm to others you need to immedately get outside help.

The remainder of this video will contain information which is only spiritual in nature. Quitting drugs forever, even while alone tip #16: Addiction tells us that something we can do (indulging in drugs) can compensate for what is missing inside of us. It is a lie. Religion will tell you to quit drugs. To control the fire that burns inside of you. But I will tell you that you need to increase the passion in your life. Your life needs to surge with more passion for something then it ever has before. You were created to have a dramatic impact on this world. Most of you have never experienced the rush of knowing what God wants you to do.

Quitting drugs forever, even while alone tip #17: Solutions” Dedicate your life to Christianity. Study the Bible and pray, pray, pray. Pray about everything but especially pray that God will take away your anger and any other negative emotions that may be a trigger for you. Obey the Bible down to every last word. Don’t look at sin and don’t even consider commiting any sin. Pray always about finding your purpose and be determined to live in the glory of Jesus Christ. He will fill what is missing in your life but you have to be intense about doing what He wants you to do. God wants you to find your purpose and He wants you to spread the Gospel. If you spend all of your free time in a dedicated way serving God, then you will have more passion and joy than you ever had.

Video’s 1 and 2 have a lot of information on finding your purpose and #2 has a lot of information on Christianity. And virtually all of the video’s have a lot of help on overcoming addiction. Try to watch one each day and keep watching them over and over untill you form new habits.

 

 

www.alcoholrehab.com noted the following
“Fear of the future not only keeps people trapped in addiction; it can also prevent them from making progress in recovery. The most common fears that people experience will include:

  • Financial insecurity
  • Worry about how they will cope with alcohol or drugs indefinitely
  • Fear of death
  • Fear of ill health
  • Relationship worries
  • The fear that they will never find happiness in recovery

The thing about most fear is that it involves worrying about things that have not happened yet, or may not ever happen. It is therefore necessary for people in sobriety to develop the capacity for letting go of the future. This involves taking a leap of faith. It means believing that because they are doing the best they can now it will mean good results in the future. Fear can be a devastating emotion in recovery from addiction. It can paralyze people so that they will not take the actions that are needed for success.”

John Lee wrote the following at www.choosehelp.com

“The Four Ds – a Simple Relapse Prevention Strategy

You can (and should) try to avoid cues and triggers but there’s no way to dodge them all; if you’re in recovery – and you want to stay in recovery – you need to learn to cope with cravings.

Cravings come in waves. They feel like they’ll last forever but if you can endure for 20 minutes or so, they always dissipate into nothingness.

And fortunately, the more often you resist those cravings, the weaker they get and the less frequently they bother you.

If you can hold on for just a few minutes, you can almost always overcome your cravings. To help you with this, here’s an easy-to-remember coping strategy (The Four Ds) to get you safely past the 20 minute danger zone.

The Four Ds

This is a classic relapse prevention technique. The Ds stand for:

  1. Delay– Since cravings rise and fall like waves, if you can delay a relapse decision for 20 minutes you’ll generally find the cravings dissipate on their own.
  2. Distract– Cravings times passes more quickly when engaged in a distracting activity for a few minutes.
  3. Deep breathing– Deep breathing exercises help you maintain calm and purpose when cravings hit, keeping you from making rash decisions.
  4. Drink a glass of water– Drinking a glass of water relaxes you and sets your purpose. Imagine your cravings as like a runaway train gathering momentum to a disaster. Simple activities like taking a moment to drink a glass of water are like brakes that slow that train!1

So the next time you feel a craving, remember The Four Ds and avoid a permanent mistake caused by a temporary urge.

Here are 20 solid distraction ideas that will keep you occupied just long enough. Try any or all that make sense to you, or better yet, come up with a list of your own.

You may want to write down a few go-to distraction tasks and keep them on your person (see the example chart at the end of this article). This way you won’t be left scrambling for distraction ideas when already struggling with cravings – you’ll have your ideas planned out and ready to go.

20 Distraction Ideas for Cravings

  1. Take a shower, even if you don’t need one. Scrub hard and turn the water as hot (or cold) as you can stand it. Let it soak into you for a few minutes and by the time you towel dry 20 minutes later you’ll probably feel a lot less tempted to fold.
  2. Wash and wax the car
  3. Call a friend and talk about their problems (not yours)
  4. Clean the fridge, the bathroom or the garage – cleaning anything provides just the right amount of physical exertion and mental distraction – and as an added bonus you feel better after getting it done.2
  5. Walk the dog (or just take a walk around the block)
  6. Go jogging
  7. Do a quick home work-out
  8. Meditate or do yoga
  9. Play a musical instrument
  10. Do a progressive muscle relaxation exercise or write in a journal
  11. Catch up on work for a few minutes
  12. Prepare an interesting snack, and then enjoy it
  13. Do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle
  14. If you’re tempted to drink or use at home, then get out of the house and go for a drive. This can be a risky. Don’t get in the car if you’ll steer by autopilot to the nearest bar or drug dealer
  15. Play a challenging video game
  16. Do bicycle maintenance
  17. Cut the grass
  18. Walk out and get a coffee
  19. Fix that thing that needs fixing – replace burnt-out light bulbs or dead batteries, etc.
  20. Water all the plants or groom your pet

The next time cravings hit, take a moment to feel it in your body, and then tell yourself that it’s going to pass if you can just wait it out – and then use one of the 20 methods listed above (or any others you can think of) to distract yourself while you wait for that urge to disappear.

 

And since the more tools you have at your disposal the better your odds of success, learn how to urge surf as well – it’s a fantastic mindfulness technique that lets you glide with attention right over the peak of a craving.