The reality of being a recovering addict is knowing that triggers to use will occur. When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, there are triggers that lead them to use.
For many addicts, triggers to use are quite varied and can include people, as well as a variety of emotions and situations. Some triggers can be avoided: individuals who drive an addict to use, for example, can be avoided while an addict is in recovery.
Some other triggers can never fully be avoided, however, as they are simply a part of living. Triggers like stress, anger, sadness, and frustration, are all emotions that a recovering addict will have to learn to face without the use of drugs or alcohol.
Here are a few ways that triggers can be avoided in recovery.
Healthy Relaxation Techniques
Because stress is such a prevalent trigger for so many addicts, it is highly important that recovering addicts develop healthy ways of dealing with stress. Getting in the habit of regularly avoiding stress and of processing stress in a healthy way is a very good way of keeping day to day stress levels as low as possible.
It is also a good means of having a go-to process for dealing with very stressful situations when they arise. One method of stress management that many recovering addicts find helpful is meditation.
In meditation, one uses focus and proper breathing to help calm the mind and to be aware of any thoughts that may not be very productive as they arise.
Maintaining a Healthy and Active Lifestyle
One way that a recovering addict can limit the number of severe triggers they experience is to help improve their overall sense of well being. One of the most effective ways of doing this is by living a lifestyle that is healthy and active.
When a person enters recovery, they often find that they have a newfound appreciation for their bodies and for their health in general. As a recovering addict begins to feel more of a connection between their minds and their bodies, they are much more likely to feel compelled to treat their bodies as respectfully as possible.
Eating healthy foods and engaging in regular physical activity allows a recovering addict to experience a better self image. Regular exercise has also been shown to drastically reduce instances of anxiety, depression, and anger, all of which are correlated with using.
Facing Difficult Situations With a Sense of Calm
Often, the anger that triggers an addict to use arises when a recovering addict is engaged in a conflict of some sort. This conflict can occur as a result of a disagreement with a friend, loved one, or co-worker.
In order to avoid a conflict turning into a reason to use, it is a very good idea to approach any disagreement with a sense of calm. Often, it is a good idea to get some distance from a situation and to try to articulate to one's self why they are so upset by a given situation.
Doing this allows one to get some clarity and to understand what is at the root of why they are upset about a scenario. Many times, having a calm conversation or writing down what is upsetting about a situation can diffuse anger and allow everyone involved to enter a situation with more clarity.
Approaching conflict as rationally and calmly as possible allows everyone involved to experience less anger and to feel much more in control of their emotions, and thus their desire to use drugs or alcohol to help deal with emotions.