The most challenging part of recovery comes after treatment. You will be in touch with the society that once influenced you into a certain addiction. Your sobriety depends on how you’re able to handle your surroundings, trying your best to avoid triggers/cravings. Let’s check why cravings exist and how you can better manage them during recovery.

What are triggers?

Triggers are social, environmental, or emotional stimuli that could remind a person of their past situations with addiction. Triggers, when activated, may result in cravings. There are internal and external triggers that a person should watch out for. Failure to address these triggers can cause a relapse.

Internal Triggers

Internal Triggers revolves around a person’s emotions, thoughts, and feelings. It is the inability to accept uncertainty, and internal triggers are harder to resolve than external triggers because you have to battle with yourself. The behavior of a person may be affected when it develops in a person. Listed below are some factors that can trigger a relapse. 

Depressing Feelings

Negative feelings such as anxiety can cause a massive emotional imbalance in a person that can lead to depression.

Positive Feelings

Although, being happy is not bad, the context of why are you happy is important. For example, you are in a celebratory state where alcohol and other addictive substances are present. This environment might bring about positive feelings you may associate with past experiences with your addiction. The trick is to remind yourself that those positive feelings will only result in self-destructive ways. 

Normal Feelings

Just merely being bored can trigger a relapse, make sure to fill up your days with productive activities in order to avoid any possible relapse.

External Triggers

External triggers include people, places, and situations a person may be encountering. People who undergo recovery can stay away from external triggers by creating a plan to change the cycle of their everyday life. They should have a strong will to survive the temptation of their addiction.


Being thrown into the world as a renewed person, you should choose your companions wisely. Someone closest to you before may give you the most reason to relapse, it is best to avoid them as much as possible and be open to other people who can help you with your journey through recovering.


Certain places bring back memories that you must avoid. Since you want to recover from your addiction, you should visit other places that you haven’t visited before. A place that is calm and relaxing is better for you.


Situations like parties are a bad idea for a recovering addict. They do nothing but reinforce and encourage past behaviors. If you can’t resist the temptation of your addiction, it is advisable to decline and not attend parties. Right now, your main goal is to help yourself in recovery.

How to deal with cravings and triggers?

There are a lot of things that can help a person deal with their cravings and triggers. Sorted below are some of the useful things that you should be aware of.

Avoid triggers. 

It was mentioned above the effects that triggers can have on a person. To minimize the occurrences of cravings, a person should avoid the core that stimulates the cravings. Find ways to cope with triggers so that you can avoid relapse.

Make yourself a priority.

You should acknowledge your worth as a person by prioritizing yourself, it is challenging for someone who thinks the world turned their backs on them but it is also one of the most fulfilling aspects of recovery. Do something you want, eat something you want to eat, something that will make you happy and satisfied, anything but substance abuse. In the long run, that will only result in harm.

Be Healthy

Being healthy requires a person to be physically, mentally and emotionally fit. Exercising releases endorphins that allow a person to be happy. This is a great way to fight stress which is one of the biggest factors in relapse. Start a balanced diet, eating nutritious food and staying healthy. All these things are great ways to be healthy in sobriety.


Accepting the fact that cravings are normal to anyone who undergoes recovery treatment changes everything, understanding that cravings are part of your recovery can ignite new possibilities to solve it just by yourself. It is stronger than any other form of distraction in your society, accepting that you are now experiencing a change in your body helps you change your outlook in life.

Limit your stress.

Understandably, stress is everywhere, but limiting it will help you with your cravings. Cravings exist when you feel stress because most addicts will use a substance in order to deal with stress. Limiting stress and finding new ways to deal with stress can allow a person to live a fulfilling sober life.

Speak to someone. 

Communication is essential for anyone who needs help. Talk to someone who supports you and assures you that you can make it. Having someone who believes in you will give a boost to your mentality. Talk to your therapist, who undoubtedly knows how to handle anything that is going on with you.


Relaxation and searching for peace are some of the most satisfying things for a former addict to do. The new life in sobriety can feel uncomfortable and weird, but meditation can allow a person to stop, quiet their mind, and find peace in sobriety. Doing some yoga or just saying a little prayer can calm your nerves and, thus, allow you to make the right judgments. Five to seven minutes of meditation can change your mood for the rest of the day.

Distract Yourself.

Since you are facing the world with a new persona, you should at least try something new. Painting, photography, reading, hiking, or whatever new hobby sounds good to you!

Think about the consequences.

If you start craving substances again, think about the consequences of your actions. Is it worth it? Is it something to be proud of? Surely, it’s not worth it, so reevaluate your actions.

You can’t prevent cravings from happening, but you can change how you react to them. Identifying whether you are in the trigger or craving stage is important, once done identifying your state you will feel more in control of yourself and calmer. Then, you can find ways to cope with these triggers/cravings to eliminate any possibility of relapse. There are times when the cravings are intense but, don’t allow it to destroy you again, you’ve been through a lot. It’s time to stand up and show the world what you’re capable of doing. Sometimes the best solution is by facing it head on.

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.