Strategies to avoid the alcohol consumption
know that sometimes we crave for different
things. For example when we are hungry and shop
in a grocery store, we tend to notice all kind of
food that usually passes unnoticed, or the fresh
smell of a delicious cake makes us buying it,
even if we actually do not need it.
However, most of the time we do
not satisfy every urge or craving that we have,
especially if the object of our desire can be
harmful or does not fit the situation we are in.
Each person copes with an urge or craving
differently, because some are impulsive and have
a harder time controlling their urges, while
other seem to deal preatty easy with their urges.
Each alcoholic has to know that
their alcohol craving is normal and can be
triggered by environmental or psycholocigal
factors. This craving is usually compared with a
wave that tends to grow until it hits a plateau.
It is difficult to resist this wave especially
when it hits its maximum power, but can be
approached in an easier, more elegant, and less
dangerous manner by "flowing" with it
until the wave goes away (like a swimmer or
surfer does). In a similar manner, the alcohol
craving goes away. It is wiser for an alcoholic
to say: "I feel like I want to
drink. Maybe this desire becomes more intense,
but will go away".
During a recovery treatment, an alcoholic learns
how to prevent and reduce his/her cravings. Below there
are described few of the coping tehcniques used by
alcoholics to defeat their cravings.
An effective approach for a sober alcoholic is to
permanently keep in mind the reasons why he/she cannot
drink, by confronting his/hers "pro" and "contra"
arguments list. Some alcoholic actually
choose to carry with them a real list similar with a credit
card or little phone numbers agenda, designed to
present on one face the advantages offered by a
sober lifestyle and on the other side the risks
that an alcoholic faces when he/she starts
Another effective approach can be
the use of a relaxation method learned by the
alcoholic during his/hers recovery treatment.
There are several different types of relaxation
techniques that range from simple methods, that
involve breathing exercises, to complex methods,
which involve mental reprezentations to induce
During difficult moments, when the
alcoholic is covered by worries, he/she can use
the positive interior monologue approach. This
approach allows the alcoholic to remind
himself/herself which are his/her strengths,
qualities, skills, and abilities.
Another approach, that can be used
when the alcoholic is tortured by so called
"cold thoughts" (thoughts that focus on
the alcohol), is a small physical punishment such
as a pinch or snap. Sometimes, alcoholics use the
image of the red "STOP" trafic sign to
force their mind to stop thinking about alcohol.
In some cases, the alcoholic can
reorient his/hers attention to concrete
activities. For example, they can spend time with
another person, can listen music, dance, visit
with friends or neighbours, go for a walk, watch
a movie, read a book, play a favorite game, clean
the house, write poetry, or even pray. Any of
these acivities help the brain to focus on
something else rather than alcohol.
So, DO SOMETHING !