Cravings can be hard to deal with initially and may occur for a variety of reasons. In some cases, cravings occur as a reaction to physical symptoms of discomfort from withdrawal. Recovering alcoholics may also crave a drink to escape from unpleasant feelings of boredom and depression, to enhance a positive mood or to fit in with other people in social situations. Each type of craving requires a different coping mechanism.
Below is a list to help reduce cravings:
1. Use short-term coping mechanisms such as distraction or meditation. Cravings usually only last a short time and learning to cope without drinking will help your sobriety.
2. Go for a walk or call a friend for support. Keeping your mind and body busy can be extremely helpful in overcoming alcohol cravings.
3. When the urge to consume a drink starts to eat at you, think the drink through. There are many good reasons for giving up alcohol. Remind yourself why you are quitting.
4. Help avoid relapse by scheduling a regular exercise routine. Studies show that increased physical activity may play a key role in overcoming dependence on alcohol. Physical activity will improve your health as well as distract you from boredom and alcohol cravings. Going for a run or lifting weights when you feel the urge to drink is a constructive activity that distracts you from your cravings and triggers the release of natural endorphins in the body that produce a feel-good effect.
5. Eat a healthier diet to compensate for nutritional deficiencies associated with alcoholism. Eat small amounts at regular intervals to reduce the occurrence of blood sugar lows.
6. Stay well hydrated. Drink at least 64 fluid oz. of water each day to help your organs function properly and facilitate the natural detox process.