Learning healthy coping skills is one of the most important parts of addiction recovery. For many people who struggle with addiction, substance use was their primary means of coping with life’s difficulties. Whether the issue was stress, anxiety, depression, or trauma, drugs or alcohol helped to relieve the distress. Recovery may appear daunting because you no longer have that crutch to lean on when things get tough. Therefore, a successful recovery depends on finding new ways to cope with old problems. Here are some healthier ways of coping with adversity in recovery.
No matter where you are in your recovery, it sometimes helps to talk to a therapist. Everyone occasionally faces problems she can’t quite work through on her own. Whether you’re dealing with stress at work or grief after the death of a loved one, a little expert guidance can help you get through it.
It’s always good to have people to lean on in difficult times. These can be friends, family, or members of your 12-step program. Anyone who supports your recovery and you feel like you can talk to can be valuable moral support. Socializing with supportive people is an underrated way of relieving stress. You will frequently find people willing to help you out. Just knowing there are people you can rely on reduces your base level of anxiety and makes you feel less stressed in general.
Exercise has a way of putting your problems in perspective. Your troubles never seem as bad after a long walk, run, swim, or bike ride. Exercise improves your mood and releases endorphins. It improves your concentration and self-control, meaning you not only feel better, but you are actually better able to solve your problems.
Journaling is an excellent way to clarify your thoughts and emotions. Writing about your feelings has been shown to reduce your stress associated with a difficult time. It gives you a sense of control over the things that happen to you because you can decide how to interpret them. Writing about your feelings has also been shown to improve your emotional intelligence and working memory.
Mindfulness meditation in particular is a way to practice being with unpleasant thoughts and emotions without avoiding them or letting them disturb you. This is an important part of learning distress tolerance, or knowing that it’s ok to feel bad sometimes.
Stress tends to accumulate throughout your day. As you get more tense, smaller things start to bother you. Taking a few minutes to relax every once in a while can help reset your stress level so things don’t get to you as much. It might be as simple as taking a short walk in the park or taking a few deep breaths.
If you’re struggling with substance use, Recovery Ways can help. We offer intensive outpatient treatment as well as residential treatment. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.