Coping With Urges

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Tool Overview

An awareness and understanding of urges is crucial to recovery. One way to understand urges is by recording them. After a few entries, participants may notice patterns and similarities about their urges. The log then becomes a road map that will help them to anticipate situations and emotions that may trigger urges and  plan ways to avoid recognized triggers or distract themselves from the urge until it passes.

When to Use This Tool

The urge log can be completed between meetings. It can be helpful when struggling with urges or the sensation of experiencing one long, continuous and overwhelming urge. It can be useful to identify what times of day, certain triggers or events that may cause you to feel cravings or urges. By understanding and documenting these it will help you be able to consider alternative, healthier responses to these triggers and take more control of them.

How To Use This Tool

By keeping a record of urges it is possible to see:

  • That urges are time-limited

  • That urges often arrive at particular times and in particular situations — in other words, they have a recognisable or predictable trigger.

This record can help us to understand urges and be less driven by them. It can also help in avoiding potential triggers. Sometimes, just by taking notice of a behaviour, it begins to change.

Once you have a better understanding of your experience of urges and cravings, you’ll need different coping strategies in place. Some suggestions for coping with urges are listed below, but group participants will also be able to share ideas with you about what has worked for them. 

Example Scenarios

PDF 05/16/2023

Coping With Urges