Triggers can act as landmines on the road to your addiction recovery. They can lurk around every corner, ready to set off a chain reaction that leads to cravings, relapse, and, in the worst-case scenario, a complete derailment of your progress.
Triggers are any internal or external stimuli that can cause an individual with an addiction to crave drugs. They remind people of their previous substance use and put them at risk of relapse. A person getting addiction treatment for alcoholism, for example, may be triggered by the smell of alcohol or by visiting a bar where they used to drink.
Coping with triggers is an important part of addiction therapy and self-awareness. Here are some suggestions for dealing with triggers.
Identify your Triggers
You must identify triggers to deal with them. Consider what situations, people, or things have prompted your cravings. Make a note of them so you can avoid them. Knowing and avoiding triggers will help you prepare for obstacles and prevent situations that could lead to relapse.
Create a Coping Plan
Once you’ve identified the triggers, you must devise a strategy for dealing with them. Determine healthy coping strategies that have previously worked for you, such as exercise, meditation, or talking with a supportive friend or family member. Discuss and create a list of activities with your addiction counselor that you can do if you feel triggered.
Mindfulness can help you deal with triggers by paying attention to the present moment and blocking any triggering and negative thoughts. Try taking a few deep breaths and focusing on your breathing when you are triggered to reduce stress.
If you experience any sudden cravings, try to engage in some exercise or physical activity to relieve stress and anxiety. Find an activity you enjoy, such as yoga, running, or dancing, and incorporate it into your daily routine.
When dealing with triggers, it is essential to take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat nutritious food, and do things that make you happy and fulfilled. Engage in activities beneficial in relieving stress and anxiety, such as a massage or exercise.
Stay Close to Loved Ones
Having a supportive network of friends and family is essential for staying sober. Surround yourself with people who understand your journey and can offer emotional support when required. Attend support group meetings, talk to your addiction counselor regularly, and reach out to your loved ones who encourage you in your recovery.
Have a Relapse Prevention Plan
A relapse is possible if you’re surrounded by triggers. Create a relapse prevention plan during addiction therapy that includes a list of healthy coping skills, contact information for emergency services, and a strategy for what to do if you relapse.
If you’re looking for an experienced addiction counselor in Miami, we can help. Our addiction therapy, drug treatment, and substance abuse program can help you cope with triggers. You don’t have to go through this alone. Reach out to us for help.