Limits Of Urge Surfing
Urge surfing for addiction treatment can be an effective way to control harmful impulses. In many cases, it should be one part of a broader addiction treatment or recovery plan.â
Addiction treatment involves many strategies at different points in the recovery process. Some addictive drugs like opioids can require additional medicines to help ease someone off of them. Someone could learn to urge surf after they are medically treated first. Urge surfing can help as they are learning to manage remaining cravings and desires for drugs or other addictions.
Keep Drug Triggers And Cravings In Check
Your recovery doesnt end at getting sober. Your brain still needs time to recover and rebuild connections that changed while you were addicted. During this rebuild, drug cravings can be intense. You can support your continued recovery by avoiding people, places, and situations that trigger your urge to use:
Step away from your friends who use. Dont hang out with friends who are still doing drugs. Surround yourself with people who support your sobriety, not those who tempt you to slip back into old, destructive habits.
Avoid bars and clubs. Even if you dont have a problem with alcohol, drinking lowers inhibitions and impairs judgment, which can easily lead to a relapse. Drugs are often readily available and the temptation to use can be overpowering. Also avoid any other environments and situations that you associate with drug use.
Be upfront about your history of drug use when seeking medical treatment. If you need a medical or dental procedure done, be upfront and find a provider who will work with you in either prescribing alternatives or the absolute minimum medication necessary. You should never feel ashamed or humiliated about previous drug use or be denied medication for pain if that happens, find another provider.
What Strategies Can Help You Break The Addictive Cycle
Breaking an addiction cycle is a lifelong process and something you must always partake in to safeguard your mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. Here are some techniques you should incorporate into your daily routine to shake off the craving of engaging in a particular addictive behavior:
One of the first challenges youll face when trying to stop an addiction cycle is blocking out the thoughts of engaging in addictive behavior. However, preventing this is challenging because doing so ironically brings back the thoughts of the addictive behavior, thereby increasing the chances of a relapse. The best thing to stop your mind from thinking about the addictive is keeping yourself busy. With your brain preoccupied, itll be a lot simpler to keep your mind off from your craving.
Examples of activities that can help you keep yourself preoccupied include reading a book, watching the TV, taking a walk, or talking to a friend. Such activities help distract your brain from thinking of the addictive behavior or possible triggers, preventing a relapse.
Another strategy that can best help you avoid relapsing is identifying triggers that might stimulate you to engage in addictive behavior. However, this isnt as straightforward as it sounds because a trigger can be anything. This includes your marriage, a stressful job, social situations, certain people or places that cause you to crave engaging in the addictive behavior, and others.
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Seek Gambling Addiction Help
If your problem is severe, consider seeking professional gambling addiction help as soon as possible. Professional treatment from a mental health or addiction specialist could be the difference between a life of financial uncertainty versus living in financial stability.
Professional treatment methods can teach you ways to stay away from gambling as well as refining the skills you are already employing. With professional counselors and therapists widely available, the only thing holding you back is your reluctance. Even better, you can seek professional help while participating in a support group.
If your gambling addiction co-occurs alongside a substance use disorder, contact the experts at The Recovery Village. One telephone call can change your life for the better. Dont hesitate, call today for a confidential, personal assessment with one of our representatives.
How To Stop Addictive Behaviors
Before seeking treatment, always consider replacing addictive behavior with healthy habits. Studies reveal that starting a new, exciting venture or task is more comfortable than stopping current practices. Therefore, you can stop your bad behavior by getting involved in new and healthy habits.
If you have an addictive personality some signs of addiction include:
- Comfort eating
- Use of alcohol and drugs to socialize
- Staying hyper-connected to the internet
- Use of sex to replace intimacy
- Use of drugs to self-medicate
- A belief that stopping is impossible
- Shopping to enhance self-esteem
However, statistics reveal that overcoming addictive behavior is never easy, but you can make a significant difference in your life. Interestingly, addictive behavior comes in different forms, and its common among millions of people in the US. For example, many millennials are addicts of online gambling and social media. As such, experts recommend taking the essential steps to identify the signs and triggers of addiction.
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What Is A Trigger
An addiction trigger refers to any event that causes a person in recovery to want to use. These events can be internal, like feelings or thoughts, or external.
Triggers can be powerful because they are linked to intense emotional needs. They often arise when a person feels a need for acceptance, security, or control.
Learning to identify, manage, and avoid triggers is an important part of staying sober.
How To Urge Surf
Urge surfing involves a similar mindset as mindfulness meditation. The goal of meditation is to focus fully on the breath. You observe your thoughts and feelings when your mind wanders. The point is to notice thoughts without judgement or frustration. This makes the thoughts less powerful and reduces your stress.â
Breathe. Start by sitting in a comfortable position. Pay attention to your breathing without controlling it. Think of it as following your breath.â
Notice how the air feels entering your nose and lungs. Focus on one aspect of your breathing. This could be your belly or chest rising and falling, or noticing each time you breathe in or out. â
Notice your thoughts. Your thoughts will wander after a little while. This is normal. Observe the thoughts without judging them or pushing them away. Each time you notice that your mind wanders away from your breath, bring your attention back to it. â
Notice your urges. If you sit in meditation for long enough, youâll start feeling an urge for something. It could be for water, to stretch, or any other desire. â
For example, you might notice a part of your body start to itch. Avoid scratching it right away. Instead, observe the itch from an outsiderâs point of view. Describe to yourself the exact physical feelings it creates. It could feel hot or cold, ticklish, or prickly. Try to imagine the shape and borders of the itchy spot. â
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Counter The Urge & Challenge The Thought
You can also fight alcohol cravings by countering the thoughts behind the urge. Are you trying to feel better? Then talk to yourself, out loud if you need to, and ask yourself how much better youll feel later if you dont give in to the urge. Remind yourself that giving in to an urge keeps the craving alive. On the other hand, countering, resisting, and fighting against the urge slowly but surely kills the urge, making you stronger.
Dont believe the lie that one little drink wont hurt you. Remind yourself that one little drink could send you on a downward spiral, risking your sobriety, family, career, health, and progress thus far. Dont stop countering the urge and challenging the thoughts behind the craving until youre strong enough to resist the temptation and maintain your sobriety.
How To Deal With Overwhelming Urges In Recovery
Cravings can be one of the scariest and most challenging things that you face during recovery. These urges may seem to come out of nowhere, even if things have been going well and a person has been sober for a while. Cravings should never be taken lightly, however, especially if they become persistent. They dont necessarily always signal a coming relapse, but recurrent urges to use drugs or alcohol could be a sign that you have work to do with some aspect of your recovery.
What is a craving?
A craving or urge can be defined as an overwhelming desire for a particular thing. People who are working to overcome an addiction to drugs or alcohol will experience cravings regularly because it has become a regular part of their routine. That intense desire to use drugs or drink is what makes addiction so difficult to overcome. During the early stages of recovery, experiencing urges can be quite common. They never completely go away and many who have been sober for awhile still experience them from time to time. What changes in the way a does a person chooses to handle those urges?
What causes cravings? And how to deal with triggers.
Other things that can trigger a craving or relapse include:
-going through depression-using any other type of mind-altering substance-self-pity or playing the victim-overconfidence about recovery
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Why Do People Have Addiction Cravings In The First Place
To a lot of people, it doesnt make sense why people who struggled with substance abuse would want to relapse and go back into whatever it was they were addicted to. Its important to understand that their cravings are not because they are stubborn but rather because of a change in their brain that causes them to crave.
Addiction is more common than you might think. In 2013, around 6.6 percent of Americans have problems with alcohol, while more than 24 million people had abused an illicit drug, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Craving is natural while undergoing detox. Rehab is essentially reprogramming the brain and body to a state in which it no longer relies on the substance. These urges dont come from stubbornness but rather spontaneous impulsive signals from the brain.
What Happens When You Have A Dopamine Deficiency
You can’t get by without any dopamine. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to do anything. You wouldn’t even be able to move. If you have some dopamine but not enough, you can have any of several conditions connected with low dopamine.
- Alzheimer’s Disease
What Happens When You Have Too Much?
Having an overabundance of dopamine has been linked to mental conditions such as schizophrenia. This is a complex condition that involves many parts of the brain, which are dysfunctional. However, this overabundance is the result of an overproduction of dopamine, not the fact that you’re addicted to or craving dopamine.
Does Addiction To Dopamine Cause Physical and Mental Disorders?
Some mental and physical conditions are associated with problems in the dopamine system. Does this mean that these problems cause the conditions? That much isn’t yet known. The subject of dopamine and addiction is complex, and it’s likely different for different conditions. It could be that the conditions are caused by other factors and the dysfunction in the dopamine system is one effect of the condition. The following diseases and disorders fall into this category of being associated with problems in the dopamine system.
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Be Prepared For Triggering Situations
If there are people, places, and things that constantly trigger cravings, it may be best to avoid them. However, it is always good to have a plan, in case you do find yourself in a triggering situation. Consider in advance what you will do and how you will leave. It may be a good idea to have someone to call for support. While avoiding triggers is important, it can be equally beneficial to replace them with healthy behaviours, such as practising meditation or spending time with people who care for you.
Accepting Your Cravings Vs Ignoring Them
Urge surfing has been shown to be twice as effective as using willpower to resist your urges and cravings.
Instead of resisting your cravings, urge surfing is a way to accept the fact that youre feeling them, and then watch as the feelings rise and subside.
Heres how this plays out in practice:
Resisting your cravings:
Dont think about eating cookies, dont think about eating cookies. Why are you still thinking about cookies? Youre better than this.
I just saw those warm cookies, and I really want to eat them. Im noticing the craving getting stronger and stronger. Wow the urge is super strong. Okay, Im feeling it go down. Im feeling the craving less and less.
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Number : Try Urge Surfing
Urge surfing is a technique many people in recovery use to cope with their mental urges. This involves gritting the teeth and letting the cravings pass. Some urges are overwhelmingly strong, particularly when you first go into your old using situation or environment. This technique is called urge surfing because the urges feel like ocean waves you must surf through.
Like ocean waves urges start small and then get larger, gathering momentum until they break or crash on the shore. With urge surfing, you simply tough it out and allow the cravings to pass by. The basis of this technique is similar to many martial arts techniques. You first overpower an opponent by going with the force of an attack. Then, you redirect your energy to your advantage.
What Causes Urges To Use Porn
People are designed to develop habits.Habits are like computer programs that control how we think and behave. These installed programs cause you to repeat or avoid certain actions, depending on the consequences . If a certain action is repeatedly performed, it becomes ingrained and reinforced in your brains neural pathways. Once this occurs, you have developed a habit.
Your brain installs these programs , so you do not have to keep re-learning certain tasks, such as riding a bike or driving a car. It does not matter if you are following a recipe or masturbating to porn several times a day, neural connections are being formed in your brain. So, once you repeat a certain action enough times to reinforce it in your mind , the act becomes a habit. Then, the habit becomes a routine. What is the routine? Watching and masturbating to porn every day.
Because you have already formed strong neural connections to porn, your brain and body begin to crave it more and more until you become addicted to it. Once you have been exposed to your porn triggers, your brain produces dopamine, the hormone/neurotransmitter responsible for your moods, and especially for feelings of happiness. When porn triggers extra dopamine, you want more of it because it causes you to feel joyful, happy, and sexually satisfied. This can lead to porn addiction.
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How Can I Overcome Nofap Urges
While cravings are a common side effect of NoFap, theres no need to let them ruin your progress. One of the best ways to resist urges and take control is by building a portfolio of healthy habits. Busy people are less likely to masturbate because they have little time for it, so you should try out different hobbies like weightlifting or gardening that require your full attention in order to avoid self-indulgence.
This is why I recommend being prepared at all times in order to stop yourself from relapsing when an urge does pop up unexpectedly! You can also use the tips we mentioned in this post to help reduce the chance of a nofap relapse!
Addiction To Dopamine & depression
There is a well-established connection between dopamine and depression. However, dopamine isn’t likely the only neurotransmitter involved if you have depression. Dopamine can create a greater problem with depression in some individuals compared to others. The impact of dopamine in your depression is largely dependent on your unique biochemical makeup. Depression and dopamine changes that go with it are often implicated in addictions. That’s why dopamine antidepressants such as bupropion can help with addiction as well as depression. The depression-dopamine connection, then, plays a part in the treatment of many different conditions, particularly addictions.
Dopamine and Bipolar
The dopamine theory of bipolar, although still relatively new, suggests that dopamine plays a major role in both depressed and manic phases of bipolar disorder. During the manic phase, dopamine transmissions are high. In depression, your dopamine is low. It’s also interesting to note that as you go through mania, your dopamine receptors become less sensitive, leading you into eventual depression. As the transmissions decrease during the depressive phase, the receptors become more sensitive again, leading you back to mania.
ADHD And Dopamine
Dopamine And Parkinson’s
Dopamine And Schizophrenia
Behaviors That Trigger Dopamine Production
Porn And Dopamine
Dopamine And Sex
Cocaine And Dopamine
Alcohol And Dopamine
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Other Ways To Stop Cravings For Drugs
The above 12 ways are by no means exhaustive. The triggers, cravings, and coping mechanisms differ from person to person. What works for you may not work for others and vice versa. It remains exceedingly essential for you to look inwards and find out what works for you and how you can utilize your coping mechanisms to deal with your addiction. Moreso, when done with professional help.
Some other helpful ways to cope with cravings include staying busy with healthy behaviors, eating healthy, and surrounding yourself with positive influences. Also, getting enough sleep, encouraging yourself, and being optimistic. Focusing on the positive aspects of your life, practicing kindness and patience with yourself and others, turning to your faith and setting future goals are also helpful.