Alcohol addiction and abuse is primarily a behavioral problem, in the sense that the patients usually find it difficult to stay off alcohol in spite of understanding the ill-effects of alcohol abuse. Most patients willingly undertake rehab efforts, but succumb to their urges somewhere in the middle. Relapse is one of the most prominent counteractions against alcohol rehabilitation. So that brings us to an important question- is there a way in which a patient can resist the urge to drink? The answer is- yes! In this blog post, I am going to point out three simple steps in which you can audit your progress and refrain from relapsing.
1. Understand where you feel the urge physically. There is a physical point of contact in the human body for every urge. Some people feel it in their stomach, some people feel it in the form of restless legs, and some people may experience urge by way of a parched throat. It helps to sit down, relax, focus inwards, and introspect every time you start feeling uncomfortable without alcohol. Before you go ahead and pick up the bottle to relieve the urge, sit back and think exactly from where the urge arises. Push yourself against succumbing to your craving. Note each and every part that feels awkward- be it your tongue, nose, mouth, throat, or limbs.
2. Once you have found the areas that experience sensations when you refrain yourself from consuming alcohol, pinpoint the exact sensation you experience- is it a cold feeling? Do you feel too hot in that area? Does the area hurt? Do you feel numb? Take note of exactly how the area feels. Commonly felt sensations include parched mouth, stiff lips and twitching eyes.
3. Over a period of time, once you have started noticing how each part of your body feels, you will get the hang of your “problem areas”. Getting to know the problem areas helps you target each area on every consequent urge. Remember, craving happens when the ancillary parts of the human body start sending out signals of discomfort to the brain. When you have figured out which parts send what kind of signals to the brain, it is only a matter of time before you “teach” your body how to curb and subside this abnormal behavior.
In essence, controlling your urges is all about knowing your body better. Common breathing exercises, meditation techniques and yoga techniques help the patient in focusing their energies on certain parts of their body. You may need to combine more than one ways to control your body and it may take some effort before you can master the art of curbing your urges; however, with adequate practice and repetition, we are sure that you can make recovery happen.