I hope you were able to record your own statements of truth and that you are continuing your ERP practice.
Today, we are going to talk about a quick method that you can use to handle a trigger when a full ERP practice is not available. I call it mini-ERP.
Mini-ERP is a stripped down version of a full ERP practice and is very useful, since you can’t stop and measure your pulse every time you get triggered while driving your car or walking on a busy street.
Mini-ERP consists of breathing, positive statements, and shifting your attention towards something else. (Think: Breathe – Positive – Shift)
This is just like the regular ERP practice. Simply take a number of deep breaths. The key is to become aware of your breathing and consciously slow it down.
Chances are you will have some of your reasons to stay sober memorized through your regular ERP practice. Additionally, you can simply think to yourself of why it is that you are trying to get sober, or to remember how out-of-control your life was when you were acting out.
I picked up another great idea from Candeo Can , they call it gratitude breathing. Essentially, it is a combination of deep breathing and positive thoughts. What they suggest is to think of 3 to 5 things that you are really thankful for in your life. This is a great exercise, and very powerful. Just give it a try next time you get triggered, and you will feel it yourself.
Shift Your Attention
This is also very important, instead of trying to fight your trigger, simply pay attention to something else.
Personally, I try to find something beautiful in nature. I try to notice a tree, or the sky, or a bird, and really take a second to admire that beauty.
But since not everybody is a nature freak like me, you can find something else healthy that catches your attention, like a sports car passing by, and shift your mind to it.
Another way of shifting attention that I learned from the Candeo Can course is to connect with another human being.
You can do this by either making a direct eye contact with somebody, engaging in small talk, helping somebody with something small like holding a door, or calling somebody over the phone.
Try to practice the mini-ERP for the next couple of days in addition to your standard ERP practice. Also make sure to take good care of yourself, and replace the old lies of your addiction with the new statements of truth.
In the next chapter, we will take a closer look at our triggers and why some days are worse than others.