Staying Sober: 5 Helpful Tips

Staying Sober: 5 Helpful Tips
Addiction is a mental health condition. Regardless of the type, it affects thousands of Americans every year, both directly and indirectly. People become addicted to either alcohol, opioids, cocaine, or other drugs. Sometimes, they are addicted to more than one. Close to 21 million Americans have at least one addiction, and only 10 percent receive treatment to overcome their problem. There are also chances of relapse, especially for those who don’t stick to a proper treatment plan.

So, how do you stay sober and ensure you do not relapse? This article discusses tips you can use to overcome an addiction.

Build a Support Network

Use your friends and family for support, as they will always be there when you need them. However, because of your addiction, your relationships might be strained. To help with that, you can go to therapy to resolve any issues to rebuild ties with loved ones.

However, it does not mean that you avoid socializing with people completely. For example, if you are going to a birthday party or a wedding, you can take a family member or a close friend with you to keep an eye on you. Talking to your loved ones can also help you learn more about sober living and staying clean.

Avoid Risky Situations

You must avoid places that are likely to trigger your cravings. You must also stay away from your old hangout places. In addition, stay away from alcoholics or people who abuse drugs. You might have to cut some old friends out of your life because, in the end, your well-being is more important. It is best to identify your triggers, make a list of them and then avoid people, places, and situations that are likely to cause you to resort to taking your poison.

Join a Support Group

Support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous can help with overcoming addiction. You can try different groups to find one that works for you. In addition, these support groups provide you with a sponsor who checks in on you regularly and supports you on your road to sobriety.

You can also try several mobile apps that help you build a support network. You can connect with people going through the same thing as you for support and guidance. In some cases, you can also receive help if you need it.

Control Your Urges

While most urges last 15-30 minutes, it can feel like an eternity and is extremely challenging to fight them off. You can try chewing gum or keeping a detailed journal of your journey of sobriety. You can write about things you are grateful for, reasons why you want to attain sobriety, etc. When going through tough periods, you can open up the said journal and read it to help manage your urges.

You can also try meditation. There is a lot of stress that comes with quitting an addiction. Meditation can help you manage that stress and keep you calm and at peace. There are many different meditation techniques, including mindfulness meditation, zen meditation, guided meditation, and transcendental meditation.

Mindfulness meditation is one of the most popular techniques. It helps increase your focus, concentration, and awareness. Zen meditation helps you remain calm in any situation. Guided meditation can help you attain inner peace through visualization. With guided meditation, you visualize peaceful images as someone guides you. Lastly, in transcendental meditation, you silently repeat a mantra that can help reduce stress and attain inner peace.

Exercise

According to WebMD, sixty percent of addicts are likely to relapse. Because of this, scientists are looking for effective ways to beat addiction. And evidence shows that exercise can help. Exercise helps to reduce withdrawal symptoms. Exercise can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression because it activates your brain’s reward system and releases feel-good hormones.

Exercise can also help you control your urges by providing a distraction. Next time you feel the urge to relapse, go for a walk or a jog. It will help you feel good and avoid relapse.

In addition, exercise can help you think more clearly, build self-esteem and self-control. Lastly, it can help replace your triggers. When you regularly exercise, you actively avoid places that can trigger a relapse.

Conclusion

Quitting an addiction can be tough. There are also chances you relapse over and over again. However, do not let this get you down, as there are ways you can make it easier. You must build your support network, avoid risky situations, and join a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Lastly, you must also control your urges by keeping a journal and exercising.