Facing the Craving Ledge
Craving Awareness Skills
It is unrealistic to think you will no longer have cravings to pornography or sex, let alone think the simulation is going away anytime soon. Your mind and body have adjusted to receiving the pleasure, rewards and regular ritual by now.
When you have feelings of fear, anxiety or exhaustion what do you have a tendency to do? When your stomach begins to feel tight and your mind begins to race, what do you do? You may feel the desire to turn to pornography or your sexual addiction.
At other times you simply just want to escape, you become preoccupied on how great it would be to get lost in your fantasy. Now is the time to take back what is rightfully yours. The following are 3 skills that I use with clients to come down off the craving ledge.
Recognize and avoid my triggers. This is a very basic cognitive behavioral skill and often is only successful after you have engaged in your behavior. However, the hope in this exercise is disarming the intensity by listing what are your triggers. Ex. Having your phone by your bedside.
Finding healthy alternative activities to reduce cravings. In the heart of your addiction it is easy to forget what you loved to do in the past. I often explore the exception of the rules by identifying what you love to do. It is surprising to hear all the wonderful things people are good at.
Discuss my cravings with my therapist or other supportive people. The most important skill I have witnessed in my office is HONESTY. It’s simple own it, and explore it with someone that will not judge you. Clients often share the relief they have by telling me what they are doing.
By recognizing the triggers that cause your cravings can help you make the right choice to reduce their return. Continuing to engage in these empowering coping skills will also reward you in taking back what is rightfully yours.
Dr. Ryan Westrum is a specialist in working with pornography addiction. Please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling him at 952-261-5269.