An analogy I often use for cravings and indeed any thought, including anxious or depressed thoughts is the dog analogy.

When a guest comes to our house with a dog, the dog barks, often because it is afraid and thinks it needs to warn us and possibly protect us.   Now the owner has a few options on how to handle the barking dog.  Option 1 is we can ignore it but it will keep barking because it has not been reassured at all, in fact, it may bark louder.  Option 2 we can shout at it and tell it to shut up and whilst that may make the dog be quiet for a moment it will also make it more anxious because now it associates guests with “my human gets angry and nervous when guests arrive, that means I should be angry and nervous”.  And the last option is to reassure it, “thanks mate for letting me know, go to your bed”, the dogs safe place, “its ok, i got this”.  You take control of the situation, you thank the dog, you show you know why it was barking, put the dog in a safe place so it doesn’t need to bark and you become the leader of the pack and take control.

Like we manage the barking and afraid dog is how we can manage our own cravings and emotions like fear.  We can ignore them but they will possibly bark louder.  We can fight them and that will feed them.  Or we can thank them but put them in their proper place and take control “Thank you for letting me know but it is ok, I am safe and I am in charge now”.  When we do this we are actually talking and thinking with our higher brain regions, and the more you do this, the more automatic it becomes and the less we use our limbic emotional parts of our brain.

Try it out.  Like all skills, the more you do it the more easily and quickly it comes. This is a good skill to learn for many types of inner voices and cravings.