Understanding your personal alcohol triggers is a critical part of recovering from an alcohol use disorder. Drinking triggers can be anything and everything. They’re little things that might not seem like a big deal at first, but in the grand scheme of your sobriety, they’re red flags that you should proceed with caution. Drinking triggers are anything that might lead you to have a drink. It could be certain people, settings, activities, smells, or even flavors – alcohol triggers can be found in many unexpected places. Knowing what your triggers are and how to avoid them will help keep you on track toward your sober future. Read on to learn how sober living homes can help you understand and avoid your personal drinking triggers.
What Are Some Things That Can Be Drinking Triggers?
There are many different things that could be drinking triggers for you. If you really want to know what your triggers are, you’ll first need to get real with yourself and try to be as honest and open as possible. Here are some things that might be drinking triggers for you:
- Certain People – Either you’ve found that certain people have a way of making you want to drink, or you’ve noticed that you drink more around certain people. This can be anyone from your boss, to your best friend, to a bartender you’ve come to know well.
- Certain Places – This could be a bar or a friend’s house where you’ve had drinking binges in the past. It could be a vacation spot where you’ve had some crazy nights. It might be where you were arrested for DUI. It could even be a place you regularly drank in during your teen years.
- Specific Scents – This could be anything from a perfume or cologne you might have worn while drinking in the past, to a cleaning product, or even a certain food.
- Specific Situations – You might have had a drinking experience in the past that led you to have a few too many drinks. This could be a romantic situation gone wrong, a break up, an argument, a fight, or even having an award or achievement come to an end.
- Specific Moods – You might have noticed that you drink more when you’re bored, sad, depressed, anxious, or feeling like you’re losing control.
- Specific Events – You might drink more when certain holidays like New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick’s Day, or Halloween are near, or during big sporting events like the Super Bowl.
- Specific Times of the Year – You might drink more when the weather changes, when the holidays come around, or when you’re going through an emotional time in your life.
Why Are Drinking Triggers Important?
Knowing your drinking triggers is the first step toward avoiding them and staying sober. Many people don’t even know what their triggers are, so they end up falling into old patterns of drinking and end up right back in rehab or suffering a devastating alcohol-related accident. You might not think certain things have any effect on your drinking, but they can have a huge impact. Having a general knowledge of your triggers can help you avoid them and stay on the path to long-term sobriety.
How to Identify Your Personal Alcohol Triggers
If you really want to understand your personal alcohol triggers, you’ll need to dig deep and be honest with yourself. Start by listing all the things you’ve noticed in the past that could possibly be triggers for you. If you really need a place to start, the list above should give you some good ideas. Once you have your triggers listed out, think about when and why you seem to drink. Do certain things lead you to drink? Do you drink more during specific times of the year? How about when you’re feeling a certain mood? What about when you’re in a specific situation? Once you’ve answered these questions, you should have a pretty good idea of what your alcohol triggers are.
How to Avoid Triggers and Stay Sober
Avoiding your personal alcohol triggers is critical in staying sober. If you don’t know what your triggers are, you can’t do much to avoid them. You might think you’re being careful, but if you don’t even know what could lead you to have a drink, you’ll never really be able to avoid it entirely. Avoiding drinking triggers is a daily process that you’ll have to continue doing for the rest of your life. You’ll never be able to completely avoid triggers, but you can certainly minimize their effect on you.
Here are some ways you can avoid your triggers and stay sober:
- Stay Educated – The more you know about what your triggers are and why they affect you, the better you’ll be able to avoid them.
- Be Prepared – Be ready for anything. Have a plan for when you feel your triggers coming on.
- Build a Support Network – Build a network of people who understand what you’re going through and can help you avoid triggers.
- Stay Busy – Find new hobbies, get a job, volunteer, or spend time doing something you love.
- Stay Healthy – Take care of yourself and your body. Eat healthy, get plenty of sleep, and exercise.
- Stay Positive – Stay positive, believe in yourself, and know that you can do this!
Recover from Alcoholism at Bridges Sober Apartments
If you’re struggling to overcome a drinking problem and stay sober, sober housing may be the answer you’ve been looking for. Sober living homes offer you a safe and sober environment to live in while you recover from alcoholism. They’re usually located in a residential neighborhood so you can lead a normal life as much as possible. You get an apartment with a kitchen, bathroom, living room, and bedroom. You’ll have 24/7 access so you can come and go as you please. You can invite friends and family over any time. You will also have access to support groups, one-on-one counseling, and activities to help you stay sober. Bridges Sober Living offers a long-term, evidence-based program to help you overcome your addiction. You’ll have access to a passionate and experienced staff as well as the support of fellow residents. All you have to do is decide you want to get sober and then make that first call.