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How to Stop Cravings

Posted Apr 25 2012 8:26am

So, what do you have a craving for? Food, drug or alcohol addiction ? A craving for sex or even gambling?

Aren't these supposed to be part of the 'finer things' in life? So what's the harm in indulging yourself even if its almost every other day?

Quite frankly, there's no "generic" answer to these two questions – as it lies in the degree. And if you ask yourself honestly, you'll find an answer based on the situation you find yourself in.

However, what can separate a craving from indulgence is when any of these things switch from being a "want" to a "need".

And no matter how safe you think you are, there's always one vice (which leads to cravings) that you can't get rid of, and it doesn't even have to be any of the things mentioned above.

A Note on Cravings

Usually, the word 'cravings' is associated with withdrawal symptoms when it comes to any of the aforementioned "vices", and each of them exert their own 'pull' on the individual.

This occurs during the period after the individual in question what he has been addicted to, and requires to relieve the body of the harmful effects that the addiction causes. And no, we're not talking about cravings during the holidays

And whether it is food, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs or any other type of addiction, the desire to indulge just that once more is very strong but slowly recedes as the months go by.

Some say that it takes about 6-12 months for smoking cessation to be effective but until then, there's always that chance of being able to destroy everything you've worked so hard for – by getting your hands on one cigarette.

Yet amongst the lot, probably the craving that is most difficult to deal with is the battle to stop eating foods that are usually good for the body. Of course, as with anything that you overdo, the consequences often turn out to be negative, and hence, it's no surprise that moderation should be the key.

How to Stop Cravings

Since it's common knowledge that 'cravings' are usually to satisfy the brain, and with everything starting with a simple thought, it would be no surprise that scientists and researchers consider this to be more psychological than otherwise.

It's the battle in the mind that has to be conquered, and the rest will follow, and so here are a few tips to stop food craving or any other type for that matter:

#1: Remember that craving is only natural

Scientists have revealed that craving is normal and some people are better at it than others. Just because you feel a strong craving towards your favorite vice, that doesn't mean that you are unmotivated or that will go back to your addiction soon. You just have to understand that cravings will always be around, and you must learn to control them.

#2: Managing Craving Triggers is a part of the solution

If you've recently decided handle an addiction, you'll find that greater success to keeping it under control will happen when you are able to identify what your craving triggers are (Does a cup of coffee make you feel like having a smoke as well?) and avoiding them.

#3: Anti-craving behavioral strategies or medication

One interesting way by which you can stop craving is making a 5-minute contract not to do anything while distracting yourself in the process. Apart from this, it is also a good idea to seek out anti-craving medication that can be used if the craving is too strong to mange.

#4: Consult a trained treatment professional

Of the lot, this is recommended as they will offer you not one or two strategies but several of them, and this could increase your chances of managing your addiction successfully.

In Closing

While it's a good idea to quit an addiction, don't make your need to be healthy an addiction either. A balance will ensure that indulge in the 'finer things of life'.

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