In the early days of trying to quit gambling, I was faced with thoughts and urges to gamble all day long. Whenever opportunity would present itself, the nagging thought to go gamble was there.
This is the approach I developed that got me through those early days and is still in use today 8.5 years later. Whatever you are trying to change/quit in your life, I hope it can help you as much as it has me.
1. DON’T PANIC
While it would be awesome if they would just disappear from my life for good, I’ve come to realize that thoughts and urges are a natural part of recovery. When they occur, I remind myself not to panic as they’re just part of the habit loop that I’m in the process of rewiring.
2. ADDRESS THEM
At first, I would try to ignore them. I found this only made the thoughts and urges more powerful. Now, I address them head on. I acknowledge that I could absolutely follow the thought or urge if I wanted to, but I now have a choice and I’m choosing not to follow them. This recognition empowers me.
3. HIGH FIVE
Finally, I celebrate with a high five to myself! I celebrate the victory as I’ve won the moment and know that this is the place where the battle is won. One moment at a time.