Breaking Free of Cravings for Alcohol with Mindfulness

Breaking free of Handcuffs reprenting alcohol cravings

I used to think that my alcohol cravings had power over me. Before I stopped drinking and got some sober momentum going, if you had told me that with mindfullness I could shut down those cravings and the physical anxiety they carried with them, I would have known that you had never really needed alcohol like I did. They say that alcohol addiction is cunning and powerful, that alcohol is the seductive beast that kills, and I felt that to my core.

For me, a craving for alcohol would start as a thought but would become powerfully physical. I would hear my mind tell me to have a drink. That thought would carry me away onto more and more thoughts and desires about drinking… as I followed this thought chatter, my body would start to respond.

Jaw tightening, heart beating faster, emptiness growing inside of me, adrenaline pumping through my body leaving me feeling as if I’m about to fall of a cliff. Skin crawling. Brain fog rolling in so quickly that it would completely steal my ability to focus on anything!

Anxiety – Physically manifested Anxiety

And my mind told me that the remedy for that physical distress was of course- a drink.

Satue of man with head in hands represnting anxiety of alcohol cravings

Now that I’m sober, my alcohol free mind is curious…. was it the craving that sent me into this anxiety, or was it the thought chatter that followed the craving, that actually did me in? What would happen if, when that first thought made its way into my mind, I stopped it right away. What would happen if I shifted my focus… if I didn’t get carried away by the tidal wave of thought chatter that always followed?!

How could I do this?

This is what I define as mindfulness.

I’ve been practicing disconnecting my identity from my thoughts. I’ve been recognizing the thought chatter for what it is… just a normal psychological process that happens WITHIN my body… just like digestion and blood circulation are processes that happen in the “background”. My thoughts come and go and I don’t need to attach myself to any of them! They do NOT need to dictate my mood, my mindset or my focus if I do not allow them to take control.

When I first stopped drinking, this practice of mindfulness or intervening with my thought chatter, would go something like this;

woman thinking representing mindfullness to stop alcohol cravings and anxiety

My thought

“I really need a drink.”

Immediately I would say to myself;


Why did I just think that?

related reading How to Quiet that Thirsty Little Voice in Your Head

What am I feeling right now?

related reading Feeling Everything

Am I hungry?

related reading Alcohol Cravings and Hypoglycaemia

Am I thirsty?

related reading Boom Community Mocktails – Elegant Elderflower Dreams

Am I tired?

related reading Sleep Solutions

Am I sad or angry or overwhelmed?

related reading Feelings are like Lighthouses

What would a drink actually do for me right now?

related reading Play the Tape Forward – Protect Your Quit

What has it done for me in the past?

related reading The Conversation in my Head

What would happen if I just DIDN’t drink?

related reading Clarity

Sitting with these questions would get me doing the kinda inner sobriety work that keeps you sober long term through self discovery, yes, but even more importantly, this process would take me OUT of the trap of the thought chatter = anxiety cycle….because I was pulling myself into rational thinking. Rational thinking would force me to focus!

Man thinking to represent mindfullness

I may not have control over the thought chatter happening, but I sure DO have control over how I react to it! Now my focus wasn’t on the drink at all! It was of my past experiences, my hope and optimism of my future, of my physical body and having an awareness of the present moment.

This has been my key to never allowing my alcohol cravings to be anything more than just a thought.

I was no longer a slave to the “background noise” that would ultimately lead me to pacifying my anxiety. I was practicing mindfulness. I was consciously guiding my thoughts. Aware of the normal psychological process happening, not attaching myself to it, but just exploring and investigating it.

Head with clods to represent mindfullness

Mindfulness : Transmuting all the Irrational thinking that comes along with addiction into rational thinking that supports major change and resilience.

The longer I’m sober, as I practice using this mindfulness against alcohol cravings, the thought chatter around needing/wanting a drink is almost completely gone. I now hear the thought I need/want a drink and I don’t even have to question it anymore; I know the answer already!!! Now I just watch as the thoughts come and go. If or when I do accidentally find myself feeling the anxiety of the craving, I can quickly pull myself out of it with this process. It’s been a really powerful and transforming practice for me in regards to many areas of my life, not just with alcohol.

If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break…or if you have stopped drinking and are trying to stick to sober! Talk to Us. 

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How do you go Sober? ( more reading in blue titles)

B Be accountable Talk to Us We Understand
A Avoid alcohol like the plague  Ideas Here
L Let yourself enjoy regular sober treats  Ideas Here
A Allow yourself to cry when needed  Ideas Here
Nourish your body with good food  Ideas Here
C Create happy & fun memories  Ideas Here
E Enjoy the precious moments in your day Ideas Here

W Work hard to get what you want Ideas Here
O Organise things for less stress  Ideas Here
Realise you can’t control it all Ideas Here
K Keep going & prepare for success Ideas Here
S Sleep enough for body & mind rest Sleep Solutions

Be Smart - Rethink the Drink with Mindfullness to break alcohol cravings and anxiety

10 responses to “Breaking Free of Cravings for Alcohol with Mindfulness”

  1. […] LISTEN to your body closely. Is that really an alcohol craving or are you hungry, thirsty, tired, stressed, overwhelmed, excited… etc. there is ALWAYS something deeper! Our bodies don’t crave poison… the poison tricks us into believing that’s what we are craving…. get to know your body and mind and be a detective… if you can’t figure it out or are too overwhelmed to even try… NO WORRIES, wait the craving out; it NEVER stays forever! more reading Breaking Free of Cravings for Alcohol with Mindfulness […]

  2. I struggle with brain chatter. I will learn this process. I’m only 27 days sober so this should really help. Thank you for sharing!

  3. […] I think people are surprised in the early days when they’re going well in their sobriety and cravings hit seemingly out of nowhere. Often, I’ve found that people get shocked and scared and don’t know how to deal with their cravings. My advice is to embrace the cravings. Treat them as part of your sober journey, accept that the cravings and there, and know that they soon will pass. The cravings won’t kill you, however if you act on them- alcohol just might. I never thought that I would still be sober, happy and content, but if I can do it- so can you. related reading : Breaking Free of Cravings for Alcohol with Mindfulness […]

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