June 6, 2008, Newsletter Issue #186: The Power of Diversions

Tip of the Week

A "diversion" is a learned behavior that can postpone or prevent a relapse when a craving strikes. Some people come up with their own diversions, but others learn them through therapy or support groups. Diversions include both emotional and physical management skills.

Because 12-step groups teach that recovery is "one day at a time," often the goal of a diversion is simply to postpone satisfying the craving. Diversions include:

-- Going somewhere else, if you are in an environment where others are using.

-- Calling a sponsor or other abstinent friend for support.

-- Writing a list of people who will be harmed if you use.

-- Writing a list of reasons you have to be grateful (for anything) right now.

-- Doing a kind deed for someone else.

-- Praying.

-- Exercising (try 10 push-ups or a brisk walk).

-- Deep breathing or meditation.

-- Eating or drinking something healthy.

-- Taking a nap.

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