If you're trying to cut down or quit drinking, it's important to be aware of your triggers. Certain people, places, things, or activities can create the urge to drink.
You might have a trigger that causes you to drink whenever you see someone else drinking alcohol. Or you may have trouble abstaining when you’re in a bar. Whatever your triggers may be, it's important to avoid them if you want to stay on track with your goal of cutting down on drinking.
What happens when you can’t avoid your triggers
It's no secret that alcohol is everywhere. Whether you're at a party, out to dinner, or just relaxing at home, chances are you'll be faced with temptation at some point. For many people, avoiding their triggers is the best way to stay on track. But what happens when you can't avoid them? That's when it's important to have a plan in place.
Practical coping strategies
Coping skills are strategies and tools used to manage emotions, handle difficult situations and conflicts, and regulate behavior. They're essential for solving difficult problems and maintaining emotional well-being in everyday life. Coping skills can help someone to better manage stressful or overwhelming feelings such as anger, anxiety or depression.
Examples of coping skills include taking deep breaths or counting to ten before responding to a situation, adjusting thinking patterns to be more positive, journaling, talking to a trusted adult, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, committing to activities that make you feel relaxed or good about yourself such as yoga or meditation, cultivating social relationships, and healthy self-care habits such as eating a balanced diet.
Learning how to recognize stressors and establish effective coping skills can have an immensely positive impact on physical health and overall mental well-being. You can build your confidence and learn to deal with alcohol in a healthy way. This can include knowing your limits, avoiding stressful situations that might lead to drinking, or setting goals around cutting back on how much you drink.
With repetition and consistency these practices can become habits, making it easier for you to resist cravings. As you continue down this path, you will likely find yourself feeling healthier and more in control of your life. Committing to this journey will pay dividends in terms of a deeper sense of peace and a happier future.
Trigger awareness is everything
Fortunately, there are things you can do to deal with your triggers in a healthy way. One important step is to try to understand what your triggers are. What are the circumstances that usually lead you to drink? After you identify your triggers, you can plan ahead and have a strategy for dealing with them.
Avoid the people, places, things, or activities that you associate with drinking. It may not always be possible to avoid all of your triggers; being aware of them and making an effort to avoid them when possible can help you stay on track and achieve your goal.
The key is to have a plan for how you will deal with these triggers when they occur. For example, if you’re at a party and someone offers you a drink, you might say that you’re driving and can’t drink. Or if you’re feeling stressed, you might call a friend or go for a walk instead of reaching for a drink. By taking the time to think about how you will deal with potential triggers, you will be better prepared to cope with them when they occur.
Two ways to deal with triggers
There are two main ways to deal with triggers: avoidance and coping skills.
Avoidance is simply avoiding situations that trigger cravings. This might mean avoiding certain places or people, or changing your routine to avoid situations that remind you of drinking. Coping skills involve using positive techniques to deal with cravings when they occur. This might include deep breathing exercises, walking away from the trigger, or talking to a friend.
It's important to understand your triggers and develop a plan for how to deal with them. Avoidance and coping skills can be helpful in managing triggers.
Next time you are tempted to drink, remember that triggers can be overcome with a bit of effort. Know your personal triggers and develop coping skills to deal with them. It may not be easy, but it is definitely worth it. How do you plan on dealing with your personal triggers?
If you're looking for a fun and easy way to keep track of your drinking, give the Reframe app a try. With engaging daily activities and a wealth of support, you'll be on your way to healthier drinking habits in no time!