Addiction recovery is a challenging journey, so it’s important to manage your stress levels. Not only will a stress management plan make you feel better, it can also help prevent relapse and support long-term success.
The Relationship Between Stress and Relapse
It’s normal to want to escape or soothe yourself when stressed. If someone is overwhelmed at work, for example, their natural response might be to walk away for a while. If a person feels trapped without any other options, however, desperation can lead to drug or alcohol use. Stress is a well-known contributing factor in addiction development, so it’s naturally a trigger for relapse. Those whose addictions formed in stress are especially vulnerable to stress-related relapse. Even if it wasn’t initially a factor, stress during recovery can make it harder to resist other triggers.
Try These Techniques for Stress Management in Recovery
Give these stress-wrangling tips a try and see what works. If you’re skeptical, remember: Recovery is an opportunity to discover your authentic self. What better way than to try new things?
Talk It Out with a Therapist or Friend
A professional therapist can help you work through issues with clinical techniques, provide crucial support and validation, and recommend other stress-management and recovery tools. If you don’t have access to therapy, try talking to a close friend. Just having someone to listen while you vent can be a big relief.
Know Your Triggers and Make a Plan to Avoid Them
Having a plan provides valuable peace of mind. Identify your personal triggers, and then decide how you’ll avoid them. For example, if others’ drinking triggers you, you might skip events where people are drinking and arrange alcohol-free gatherings with friends. Planning helps prevent surprises, so you won’t have to be constantly on your guard.
Meditate and Be Mindful
Meditation is the practice of focusing your attention to quiet your mind and achieve a state of calm awareness. It encourages you to detach from worries, ignore distractions, and breathe in a way that relaxes your body. Meditation can help you interrupt racing thoughts, reset a bad day, or just help you feel calm and grounded. You can also practice mindfulness, which involves being fully aware and appreciative of each moment. Turn off your internal “auto-pilot,” do things with intention, and really pay attention to the moment.
Keep Your Body Moving
The brain-body connection is a very real thing. Feeling good physically supports feeling good mentally. Keep your body functioning at its best with regular daily exercise, even if it’s just a short walk. For low-impact exercise with extra stress-busting ability, try adding yoga to your routine. Holding the poses helps strengthen muscles, improve flexibility, and quiet the mind in a focused, meditative way.
Find the Support You Need at Apex Recovery
If you need help to prevent or recover from a relapse, our addiction recovery programs in San Diego can get you back on track. Contact us today to learn more about your options.