“Noting” Drink Cravings
I never really understood cravings. I didn’t get that when I thought “I’d love a pint right now” (which I thought a lot) that it was a craving because, in my view, it was a normal thing to think. Fancying a large vino was standard behaviour as far I was concerned because everyone around me pretty much felt the same.
It wasn’t until I stopped making alcohol the centre of my universe, and took the time to learn the truth about it, that I was able to understand and appreciate a craving for what it is.
At first, I’d get angry with myself for thinking of alcohol and feel its seductive pull in my mind.
I knew I didn’t want it so why was I fooling myself that I did?
Then I realised that I was changing a pattern of behaviour that had become well ingrained over my mind after many years of repeating it. I wrote a little about in my post A Lovely New Neural Pathway.
Now when I have a craving, I use the approaching I learned in meditation called noting.
Noting is the practice of acknowledging a thought but not getting attached to it. For example, during meditating when a pesky distracting thought comes wandering in, you can simply note it as a thought and let it drift away thus allowing you to focus back on the breath.
So, now when I feel notice my thoughts drifting towards “just one…” I note it as a craving, let it go and move on with my day.
Noting is a simple yet powerful tool. It allows you to give a name to the beast without being drawn in by it. If you haven’t tried it before, I invite you to give it a whirl today and please let me know what you think!
Hope you’re all staying safe, sober & happy x