What Is a Trigger?
Triggers are the things that lead to cravings (l want to), which can lead to urges (l need to). They may be your emotions; something you've done, are doing, or want to do; a time of day, week, or year; something you touch, hear, see, smell, or taste; or anything else that leads to urges. Each of us has our own triggers.
They are not excuses to use and they are not unpredictable.
Addictive behaviour teaches your brain to associate some things with the pleasure or relief you feel when indulging in the addictive behaviour. Even when you stop, your brain will be reminded about the addictive behaviour when you encounter your triggers, or allow yourself to conjure up triggers.
Your brain can unlearn this thinking reaction (l want to) to a trigger. These reactions may last a while but will eventually decrease to be the briefest (milliseconds) of unhelpful thoughts. As humans, brief, ridiculous, and unhelpful thoughts come into our heads all the time about things we quickly dismiss for what they are - silly thoughts and no more. The more serious urges (l need to) usually subside in a few days, weeks, or months.
To identify your triggers, think about the substances or behaviours that stimulate your senses: Sight, Smell, Hearing, Taste, and Touch. Make a list. You may not be aware of how many there are.
How many can you identify? Be honest and list them all, even if they seem insignificant.