After the initial high of the first few days off the booze, when the first flush of motivation starts to wear thin, you might start to feel cravings for a drink. Cravings are often not about the booze itself, but about a particular moment, trigger or emotion. When we’re stressed or upset or bored, we seek comfort. That’s natural, and if alcohol has been there for us through the hard times (such as a large part of 2020…), then, bingo, that’s what we think we want when the going gets tough. The point is, the association with alcohol becomes just that: an association. If we can replace it with something else, then we can get through our tougher life moments and avoid the downsides that come with alcohol.

What is a craving?

Wanting a drink and having a craving are different things. If you just want a drink it’s easy to make the conscious decision to do something else. A craving, however, can be a powerful beastie, all fangs and claws, and once it gets a grip on you it can feel nigh on impossible to wrench yourself free from its clutches. At times it can feel as though you have no choice but to give in. The good news is that you can overcome any craving. The not-so-good news is that you’re going to have to figure out for yourself what works for you.

Overcoming cravings is one of the biggest tasks you need to accomplish when going dry for a month, and doing so will set you up for cutting back on your drinking longer term if you want to – so don’t shirk this task, embrace it! Luckily, there are a few suggestions here to help you crush those cravings. So, read on!

Cravings do not last forever The more concentration and energy we give to them – thinking about how much we want a drink, what it’s going to taste like, how terrible it is to be suffering a craving – the longer cravings will last. Here’s a brilliant fact: the average craving lasts for just six minutes. If you can find a distraction for that time, your craving will diminish.

Urge surfing.

Urge surfing is a sort of mindfulness exercise. Think of the craving as a wave: it starts slowly then builds in intensity to a crescendo before falling away quickly. When you feel the desire for a drink, don’t fight it. Think about the feeling, rather than the desire for a drink. Sit quietly and focus on how it feels, literally, in your body.

What do you notice about the feeling? Keep bringing your awareness back to your senses – how each part of your body feels – and your breathing. Notice when the feelings increase and when they subside – and in a few minutes the urge should start to drain away. Make a switch Pick something else that you’re going to have or do when you get a craving. It has to be something fun or interesting though. The idea is to break the connection between the craving and the drink by replacing it with something else. If you can always respond to a craving with, say, a chai latte, you’ll start to associate the craving with that new thing and not the booze.

At UK Detox we work with a wide range of rehabilitation facilities and detox centres around the country to suit your needs and circumstances and provide home detox’s. We are a premier service with an extremely high success rate, offering addicts the opportunity to get clean and sober and live a successful life. We are living proof that it is achievable and now we are here to help you on your journey into recovery. Change your story, change your life.


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