Many clients tell me that stress and anxiety are triggers to their sex or pornography addiction. It’s not surprise that when things in your world feel overwhelming, your addiction comes to light. This is a predictable cycle and one that can be stopped – but the easiest way to stop it is before it becomes troublesome.
With kids home from school in the summer, vacations, short-staffed at work, additional family get-togethers, and other stressors, it’s important to be very mindful of the impact all these can have on your stress level and subsequently your cravings and addiction.
Let’s briefly review from other posts – Often stress, anxiety, fear, depression, anger, and other uncomfortable emotions will trigger a relapse with sex or pornography addiction. Take note the next time you have a craving for your addiction – what is happening or was happening? Has stress mounted or become an increasing part of your life? If so, it might be (probably is) a trigger to your addiction.
If you know what your triggers are you can try to “tough it out” and just work through difficult situations. Or, you can avoid those situations. Recognize that, for many people, summer time “situations” (like those mentioned above and many others) are stressors and can be triggers or contributing factors to a relapse.
Be careful to avoid triggering situations and, if you cannot, be sure to monitor your emotions during these events and take care of yourself – by exercising, talking about your feelings with your partner or friends, taking appropriate “down time”, or however you recharge that is NOT connected to your addiction.