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How to take your mind off symptoms

Discussion in 'Withdrawal Symptoms' started by Cheeky_Chick, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. Cheeky_Chick

    Cheeky_Chick Community Champion

    One of the best ways to aid recovery, in my opinion, is to try your best to take your mind off any of the symptoms that you might be having at the time. I think that it is great to be able to keep yourself busy, as it means that you're no longer thinking about whatever it is that you're addicted to. I like to listen to music and read books a lot of the time - basically anything to mean that I don't have to think about the symptoms that I am suffering from.

    What do you do to take your mind off your withdrawal symptoms? Would you say that it helps you at all?
  2. amin021023

    amin021023 Community Champion

    I watch tv shows and movies, I remember I was trying to quit smoking so I bought several good tv shows and movies before the quitting day and it helped me a lot to cope with the cravings and taking your mind off of things is the key actually.
  3. btalivny

    btalivny Active Contributor

    One of the best ways I have found to take my mind off withdrawals is to go to the gym and just workout till you are satisfied. I tell myself that if I continued to do whatever I was doing, I would never be able to achieve my fitness goals.
    Lostboy8731 likes this.
  4. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    When I quit smoking, the only way I could get my mind off of the cravings was to go out on a long walk. I would get distracted just being in the moment or stopping to look at an interesting plant, or read a historical marker sign and would not crave a cigarette. When you are going through withdrawl symptoms, it is best to remove yourself from your regular routine to distract your brain some.
    celestial passion likes this.
  5. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Yes these are good ideas. I came in looking to see how else, to see that it is the same as what I do. I've been away from the cellphone for quite awhile. I put it away. I think it makes people obsessive and want to do the wrong things. Drugs being one of them. I didn't feel so well this afternoon and I suddenly looked to the side of me. I was charging it. People that keep this close to them all the time most can't control themselves with anything. Maybe some people it doesn't even phase. So to me this is important to do.
    Lostboy8731 likes this.
  6. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Community Champion

    You hit the nail on the head @Cheeky_Chick!

    I am convinced that what keep us tied up to an addiction is bringing it back to mind when in recovery process.

    So that, the best way to take your mind off symptoms is not only to stay busy, but to avoid doing a daily recount of your addiction days. By recalling how all started, how things have gone under addiction, how many times you have tried or you have failed, you are not contributing to recovery, but worsening withdrawal symptoms or propitiating that your efforts to break with such an addiction fail.
  7. movingforward1

    movingforward1 Active Contributor

    I think it is encouraging for a person in recovery to rediscover their true self. So often drug abuse takes us over and we lose sight of who we really are. Get in tune with your spiritual self, read, meditate. Start a light exercise regimen. Do a self-care routine like a manicure, hair dye, skin exfoliation. By the time the symptoms wear off, you will look as good as you feel.
    celestial passion likes this.
  8. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    When I stopped drinking the most important aspect for me was to stay active and productive. Listening to music or reading was too passive for me and encouraged me to ruminate, and hence the need for a drink would literally torment me again. So, for me it was all about being physically so active that I didn't get any time to think about alcohol at all. I would work in my garden all day long. After that I would take my dog for a long walk, cook an elaborate dinner, have a long bath and just go to bed, feeling really, really tired.
  9. Mzpeaceful1

    Mzpeaceful1 Active Contributor

    While I was in withdrawal when I finally got to the point where I could focus, I spent a lot of time distracting myself with movies and reading lots of books. I also tried to go on short walks as much as possible as fresh air always made me feel so much better. And on days when I didn't feel well I would take long warm baths in bath salts by candle light with soft music. It's very soothing and relaxing. Light yoga and meditation is good for healing and relaxation.
    celestial passion likes this.
  10. stridee

    stridee Active Contributor

    Find another hobby to do! It will be a great way to take your mind off of the symptoms because you will not be focused on them. For example, you could play a sport such as soccer. Just find any other activity to do and you will be able to easily forget about the withdrawal symptoms!
  11. hoverman

    hoverman Active Contributor

    Typically, exercise is an excellent way to try and distract the mind from addiction. Interestingly, exercise induces internal opioids, which make people feel good. The 'runners high' is an extreme experience of these internal opioids, however, most people tend just to have an improved mood post-exercise.

    This could go a significant way towards dampening those withdrawal symptoms, and improve fitness too!!
    celestial passion likes this.
  12. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    I think that relaxation particularily something spiritual like meditation can be very helpful in terms of keeping withdrawal symptoms under control. However, it may be different for each person. Whatever the person feels relaxing and empowering in their life is what they should do.
  13. knitmehere

    knitmehere Community Champion

    I picked up a lot of different forms of crafting in order to keep my mind off of it. If I get too bored, I want to go back to my addictions. Instead, I picked up knitting and learned that if I keep my hands busy for long enough, my mind tends to follow and it keeps my mind off of the things that I don't really need.
    celestial passion likes this.
  14. SLTE

    SLTE Community Champion

    Keep active in general. Do anything but sit around. Any sort of hobby can be invaluable to staving off cravings. Creative projects are especially useful, as you're forcing your mind to problem solve and make decisions that, hopefully, have nothing at all to do with the addiction.
    celestial passion likes this.
  15. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    I recall starting to learn how to code while I was struggling with my addictions, and that helped me with taking my mind off drugs for a while (and I still benefit from it, as I have a really nice part-time job now). Also, there are my all-time hobbies, which include reading, playing guitar and making music, writing, and the Norwegian language (I consider learning Icelandic as well). These passions of mine aided me through my recovery journey and turned me into a brand new person. Also, they make me seem pretty cool as well, I don't usually talk, but when people get to know some basic stuff about me they think I am interesting because of them.
  16. OhioTom76

    OhioTom76 Senior Contributor

    It depends on the withdrawal symptoms really. If I am just recovering from a weekend or several days straight of binging on alcohol or speed, the *last* thing I even want to think about doing is exercising. I'll either throw up and/or black out or pass out if I attempted something like that.

    With alcohol, I can at least lay down with some TV shows lined up on my computer or TV, and just let them play back to back while I'm taking a nap, and that usually helps take my mind off of the cravings, and even better, I may fall asleep for a few hours. Then when I wake up, I will take a really long and relaxing hot shower and change into some comfortable clothes that just came out of the laundry, and try to sit down and get some work done on my computer.

    Cocaine or any other types of speed are a lot harder though. Most often I wind up laying in bed staring at the ceiling for days watching day turn into night and back into day, without getting any sleep. I'll get up once in a while to use the bathroom or try to watch some TV, then try to lay down again with no luck.
  17. Mara

    Mara Community Champion

    I did watch a lot of Japanese animation (and did some sketching of my favorite characters) to keep my mind off withdrawal symptoms. They made me laugh and I was really engrossed watching anime all day that I totally forgot all about my worries. The only drawback is that I also tend to forget to eat, which is bad. But all went well, I guess. Now, I am totally nicotine free.
  18. PLP Rob

    PLP Rob Active Contributor

    When I quit drinking, the first thing I did was sleep a lot. Sleep off the initial hangover, then just sleep until I felt human/able to move around. From there, I agree that books and music and movies can be effective ways to occupy your mind, but I think exercise is the best way to use some of that newfound free time. Depression frequently accompanies any withdrawal process, and exercise can combat those lows. Don't beat yourself up if you can't do a lot at first. Maybe start by committing to a long walk each day, then work your way up to bike rides, hikes, and even hitting the gym to lift weights or do cardio. It's important not to try to do too much right away. You've got the rest of your life ahead of you, so start slowly and make incremental improvements. Best of luck to you! :)
    celestial passion and MichelleVL like this.
  19. MichelleVL

    MichelleVL Senior Contributor

    Hi PLP Rob, you know I thought I was crazy or going into depression because I've used sleep as a tool to not smoking, and to push the withdrawal symptoms (when I've made it to the symptoms). I now feel comforted because someone else has used that too. I'm so happy that you were able to overcome your addiction.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
  20. MichelleVL

    MichelleVL Senior Contributor

    Hi Cheeky_Chick! I'm a cigarette smoker and have tried many times to quit, but have been unable to. I have felt withdrawal symptoms though. As I mentioned in another post, I've used sleep as a tool to deal with withdrawal symptoms and to deal with the addiction itself. Other things I have done are take cold showers, surround myself with people that are not going through the same thing as me (as it forces me to compose myself), running and meditation. Hope you overcome your symptoms and continue on the road to success.