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Overcoming Triggers and Temptations in Recovery

When addiction recovery is mentioned, it is often thought that this is probably a one-stop journey. This is far from the truth. Yes, addiction recovery means getting better but not abruptly. In fact, it is an ongoing process that is laborious yet rewarding. Despite all the possible interventions, unfortunately, the relapse rate is quite high. Every person who is in recovery must have felt the temptation to return to their older habits. This is not uncommon; however, if you are met with triggers and temptations, there is a healthy way of dealing with them without jeopardizing your entire journey. 

Figure out what triggers you

This is probably the first and most crucial part of overcoming triggers. Figuring out what triggers you when in alcohol recovery is essential because it helps you to:

  • Identify situation that bother you
  • Avoid situations that move you towards consumption of addictive substances
  • Prevent emotions that could lead to a relapse

Triggers are people, places, things, or emotions that prompt an individual to drink. They are unique to each individual, and identifying them is crucial to long-term sobriety. 

Establish boundaries

Establishing boundaries is an important part of recovery from addiction as it helps to:

  • Clarify priorities
  • Create a sense of control
  • Provide structure and routine
  • Encourage self-care

By setting clear boundaries, individuals can avoid situations that could trigger or tempt them to relapse, prioritize their needs, and take control of their lives. Boundaries can also improve relationships with others by promoting mutual respect and understanding. Overall, boundaries are a powerful tool for those in recovery, providing a framework for a healthy, fulfilling life free from addiction.

Don’t vilify yourself

Vilifying yourself or always associating shame or guilt with your condition is never good for you. Being kind towards yourself can be a great help in overcoming triggers and temptations in addiction recovery. It is important to always bear in mind the fact that addiction is a complex and challenging disease, and recovery is a difficult and ongoing process. 

It is common for individuals in recovery to experience feelings of guilt, shame, and self-blame for their past behaviors and actions. Vilifying yourself can lead to negative self-talk, low self-esteem, and a sense of hopelessness, which can ultimately undermine your recovery efforts. Therefore, in order to get the best out of recovery, be empathetic towards yourself. 

Track your recovery

Journaling can be an invaluable tool for individuals in addiction recovery. By keeping a journal, individuals can identify and track::

  • Triggers
  • Thoughts
  • Emotions
  • Behaviors 

All these aspects of a personality can lead to relapse if negative ones overpower the positive ones. Journaling allows individuals to explore their thoughts and feelings in a safe and private space, which can help them gain a deeper understanding of their addiction and the factors that contribute to it. 

Writing can also be a cathartic and healing experience that helps individuals process their emotions and work through difficult situations. Additionally, journaling can serve as a record of progress, reminding individuals of their accomplishments and encouraging them to continue their recovery journey. Overall, journaling can be a powerful tool for those in addiction recovery, helping them to overcome triggers and temptations and achieve lasting sobriety.

Opt for therapy as aftercare

Therapies like Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are evidence-based approaches to addiction recovery that focus on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors. CBT aims to help individuals in:

  • Developing coping skills
  • Manage triggers and cravings
  • Prevent relapse. 

By identifying and challenging negative thought patterns, individuals can learn to replace them with more positive, adaptive thoughts that promote healthy behaviors and a strong sense of self-efficacy. CBT is often used in conjunction with other treatments, such as:

  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Support groups
  • Individual counseling. 

Overall, CBT is a powerful tool for individuals in addiction recovery, providing them with the skills and strategies they need to achieve lasting sobriety.


Meditation can play a significant role in helping individuals overcome triggers and temptations in addiction recovery. Meditation can help individuals develop greater awareness and control over their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, which can be essential in managing addiction triggers.

Here are some ways in which meditation can help in addiction recovery:

  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Increasing self-awareness
  • Enhancing impulse control
  • Building resilience

Overall, incorporating a regular meditation practice into addiction recovery can be a valuable tool in managing triggers and temptations and promoting long-term sobriety. It's important to note that while meditation can be beneficial, it's often most effective when used in conjunction with other evidence-based treatments, such as therapy, support groups, and medication-assisted treatment like Suboxone or Methadone..

Key Takeaway

Overcoming triggers and temptations is a crucial aspect of addiction recovery, and it requires a comprehensive and personalized approach. Whether through therapy, journaling, setting boundaries, or other methods, individuals in recovery need to develop coping skills, identify triggers, and prevent relapse. Recovery is a challenging and ongoing process, and it is essential to approach it with patience, self-compassion, and a commitment to personal growth. By taking an active role in their recovery, individuals can develop the resilience and self-awareness needed to overcome triggers and temptations and achieve lasting sobriety. With the right support and resources, anyone can overcome addiction and create a fulfilling, healthy life in recovery.

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