Cravings can happen at any time and place. You could be at a restaurant and see a tray full of drinks being carried past your table, and smell the alcohol, for example. At every stoplight, your head pulses with the same nagging thought: should you go straight home or turn and stop by the bar? 

You need a way to remind yourself of the consequences when cravings hit. Try this strategy to push those thoughts aside.

Play Your Movie Reel

Imagine your life is a movie, and your drinking plays the starring role. Roll through a movie of how that one cocktail would go for you based on your past experience. More than likely, it would lead to more drinking. That one cocktail could turn into multiple cocktails before you even leave the bar. The recent memory of its taste and feeling drunk could also make it harder to resist subsequent cravings. 

What other consequences would you face? Maybe you would show up at work hungover and get written up. Maybe you'd get pulled over for driving under the influence and lose your license. Recall the events that led up to your decision to get sober in the first place. That one cocktail will no longer seem so enticing. Burst that craving bubble with a hard, cold serving of reality. 

Develop Your Movie in Advance

To make it easier to recall these events and play your movie reel in the midst of a craving, spend some time thinking about it when you're calm. Decide which three major consequences are the driving force behind your continued sobriety. Be ready to play these out in your head any time, even the smallest craving occurs. You want your brain to associate drinking with your movie reel before it can recall the taste of "just one" drink. 

Kick Cravings for Anything

The "movie reel" strategy works for any craving, from sweets to cigarettes to pills. Your brain might be begging for a quick fix, but you can nip it in the bud by focusing on the long game. Instant gratification has a downside -- it doesn't align with your long-term goals.

Your Mind Is a Powerful Tool Against Cravings

We want you to take full advantage of the tools on the Confidant app. But at the end of the day, you won't always have your phone with you to look up tips or talk to one of our providers. You may not always be able to physically remove yourself from a tempting scenario, either. 

The one thing you'll always have with you is your brain. Mental exercises strengthen your ability to stay in control of a situation, no matter what. You can turn your brain from an enemy into an ally. 

It does take practice; however, so talking to your Confidant team can be a great starting point. We can discuss your motivations for becoming sober, how drinking would affect the positive progress you've made, and what your movie reel might look like. Our providers have plenty of other useful mental exercises to recommend as well. Log in to start improving your mental well-being today.