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Techniques for Centering Yourself in Times of Temptation

As you embark on your journey of sobriety, you may encounter social situations where drugs or alcohol may be at the focus. Learning to navigate these experiences is an important part of your addiction recovery journey, and when facing temptation you’ll find it beneficial to learn techniques to ground yourself.

Our team at Phoenix House Florida, which specializes in drug addiction treatment in Tampa, has compiled a few tips to help you find your center and ground yourself during times of temptation.

Technique 1: Ground Yourself with Sensory Experiences

One way to help ground yourself when you are feeling overwhelmed with temptation is to focus on sensory experiences. Sometimes called “mindfulness,” sensory experiences may seem complicated but are actually fairly simple. You don’t need to know any guided meditations and you won’t need to chant a repetitive word to practice mindfulness and ground yourself with sensory experiences. Instead, you just need to focus on the five senses during simple activities.

For example:

  • Try washing your hands and focusing on the senses you feel. Does the water feel cool or warm? Do the soap bubbles tickle your skin? Do you smell the soap? What does it smell like? How does the rest of your body feel from your wrists to your elbows to your shoulders, etc.?
  • Take a short walk and focus on the five senses. Do you smell anything, perhaps a neighbor barbecuing or the scent of flowers or trees? How do your feet feel inside of your shoes? Do you feel any gravel or the hard surface of the sidewalk? Does the air have a particular taste? Are there sounds of birds? Do you see anything vivid or bright?
  • Sit down and close your eyes. Check in with your body. From your toes to the top of your head, slowly think about each body part and how it is feeling. Do your toes itch? Do your fingers feel anything touching them? Do you smell something different? Notice your thoughts and let them come and go without diving in too deeply into any particular thought.

By focusing your mind on sensory experiences, you’ll be able to live more in the moment and change the direction of your attention off of the temptation, even temporarily, to help you regain control.

Technique 2: Move Your Body

It has been said that if you move your body, you’ll change your mind. This is certainly the case with centering yourself when you are feeling tempted. But you don’t need to be a marathon runner to have benefits of exercise for your mental health and wellbeing. Something as simple as a 15-minute walk can improve your mental wellbeing and help you refocus your attention. In fact, studies show that a short walk can improve your self-perception and self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, and reduce stress, anxiety and fatigue. On top of that, physically active people have been shown to have up to a 30% reduced risk of becoming depressed because of the endorphins and serotonin being released in the brain during physical movement.

Technique 3: Reach Out to a Support Person

The most important thing you can do if you are feeling tempted is to reach out to a support available for virtual visits, in-person visits, support groups, and more to help you in your recovery journey. It’s important to know you have someone in your corner, and our team is here to help.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, speak with our Tampa drug addiction recovery team.  To schedule a consultation with Phoenix House Florida, please request an appointment today.

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for general educational purposes only. All content and media on the Phoenix House Florida website does not constitute professional medical advice nor is the information intended to replace the services provided by Phoenix House Florida or other qualified medical professionals. If you believe you are having a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

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