We all have our urges; addictive activities or substances which become hard to say no to. It can be those daily cups of coffee which have left you shaky, the drug you continue to abuse, even though it’s ruining your finances or the sexual tendencies that have destroyed your relationships.
Whichever your addiction, know that there are ways to transcend it. There is the possibility that your habits have already become an addiction, in which case, seeking help from a local centre is your best chance at recovery.
But what if you have already passed through rehabilitation and are now trying to make sure you don’t relapse? Or perhaps you don’t have an addiction but are simply trying to conquer an urge or craving?
Here are five ways to solve these problems:
Delay the Urge
Unless you actively focus on an urge as it tempts you, you will find that it fades in time – usually within ten to fifteen minutes. If you can delay yielding to the urge until you forget about it, it becomes easier for you to deny it next time. This is because you know you can; that you have the willpower to say no. Practising this method each time you feel an urge re-wires your brain to ignore the temptation.
Escape the Urge
This is a simple strategy – when you feel an urge, it is highly likely that the trigger is somewhere around you. It could be the sight of an alcohol bottle in your local store, the sexy advert on the TV or the joint in your friend’s hand.
The solution is to avoid whatever it is that incites the urge – get assistance from a family member to discard of the bottles, turn away from the channels that distract you and disassociate yourself from those friends who trigger the urges.
Accept that the urge is insignificant
We all experience urges, that is why it’s important to accept that it’s human to feel them. Urges follow a process – they come about and if not indulged, they disappear. When you accept the truth that the urge is merely an insignificant thought, your brain will accept that you no longer need to satisfy them.
Counter the urges
This involves creating counter-thoughts, remarks, or beliefs with which to attack your urges as they rear. For instance, you often think about sex and when the thought comes, you experience an erection, which can be embarrassing in public. You can counter that urge by saying a Christian prayer or singing a hymn every time you feel it, since Christianity considers sex outside of marriage a sin.
Substitute the urge
When you indulge an urge, you do so with the expectation of a reward. In the case of using drugs, the reward is the ‘high’ that accompanies it. For sex, it’s an orgasm.
Now, find some beneficial and fun activities that you love engaging in. It could be engaging in sport, taking a walk, singing, writing, drawing and painting, reading, and so on. When you get an urge, simply engage yourself in one of those activities you love, as a means of taking your mind off the urge.
While these tips are viable for beating urges, the greatest weapons you have are the hunger and determination to defeat them.