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Urge Surfing: How to Manage Urges Safely

Urge Surfing: How to Manage Urges Safely

You ask, we answer: what are some things to remember when "surfing" and urge? Learn more about how you can manage it in this article from Confidant Health.

Surfing the urge is a technique that allows you to acknowledge the urge and manage it safely without trying to change or ignore it. Consider some tips to make sure your surfing experience goes as smoothly as possible. 

Prepare Yourself Mentally for the Challenge

Surfing an urge can be challenging. You can prepare yourself mentally for what’s to come and set yourself up for success. For example, take deep breaths and try to clear your mind. Focus on your senses, like what you see around you, what you hear, and what you smell.

Remember to Breathe

When you start to surf an urge, concentrate on your breath. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly. Observe your thoughts without judgment. How does the urge feel? What is the experience within your body? Once you notice a new thought pop into your head, gently bring your attention back to your breathing. Deep breathing can also relax you and calm your nervous system. 

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Trust Yourself

If you feel like the urge is too strong, trust yourself to continue surfing the wave. Even if it does not work out the first time, try it again. Every time you practice, you’ll get better at it. Congratulate yourself for trying and don’t give up.

Don’t Overdo It

When you start practicing this technique, tackle one urge at a time. Once you surf one urge successfully, move on to another. With each effort, your mental strength will increase, and you’ll be on your way to accomplishing your goals.

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This article has been medically reviewed by
Erin Hillers
Erin Hillers
Erin Hillers
Nurse Practitioner

Erin is a Nurse Practitioner with 8 years of experience in midwifery and women's health. She has spent the past 5 years specializing in the treatment of opioid and alcohol use disorders.

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