If you’ve been through treatment, you’ve most likely learned a lot about staying committed to a sober life. Still, sometimes a reminder about how much control you have over your mood, happiness, and commitment can be nice.
It’s not easy to do what you’ve done, but it would be much harder to give up. Staying sober is within your power, and these coping techniques can help you stay in recovery and recommit yourself to the cause when you feel like giving up.
3 Sober Living Coping Techniques
Addiction is a result of mindlessness. It’s automatic, unthinking, and without regard for consequences. Replacing mindlessness with mindfulness is a good strategy for avoiding impulsive actions that lead to relapse. Mindfulness techniques that can change your brain and help you stay sober include:
#1. Daily Meditation
Daily meditation can make you more mindful as a person, not just in the moment. According to an article called, “Mindfulness-based treatment of addiction: current state of the field and envisioning the next wave of research,” frequent and regular mindfulness practice can increase your disposition to be mindful every day.
This dispositional mindfulness is described as an antidote to addictive behavior, forcing a person to remain non-reactive to distressing thoughts and emotions rather than mindlessly trying to soothe, ignore, or replace them with substance use.
#2. List Your Triggers
Develop a comprehensive list of triggers and replace them. Be mindful of what makes your decisions harder and replace these with positive triggers.
For example, if you regularly wake up with a craving or impulse and are triggered by a particular location, noise, or smell, accept the emotion and sensations that arise from that trigger without reacting to it. Then replace it with a positive activity like yoga, morning coffee with a loved one, breakfast with kids – something that rewards your brain and can re-train you to crave your new, healthy morning routine.
#3. Gratitude Journaling
Make a gratitude journal, and use it as a weapon against impulses. The University of Minnesota social work department developed an effective gratitude journaling framework that involved reflecting on the past day and planning for the next one that increased subjective well-being and improved self-efficacy.
This study, “How a gratitude and positive activity journal supports recovery from alcohol and other substance use disorders: a framework derived from grounded theory,” showed that participants experienced a change in perspective that opened their eyes to the positive things in their lives. Acknowledging that life in recovery is better than life in addiction can be a shield against mindless actions that can lead to relapse.
Staying in recovery requires a great deal of commitment, and using coping techniques, relationships, and gratitude can help you stay sober for a lifetime. If you need help taking the first step towards recovery or connecting with resources to stay sober, Alta Loma can help. Our treatment priorities involve improving your mental health, giving you coping skills, and providing you with educational opportunities about addiction, mental health, and skills that can help you maintain a healthy life outside of treatment. Call Alta Loma at (866) 457-3843 to connect with resources or discuss treatment options today.