There are many challenges that drug addicts will face as they try to overcome addiction. Still, the biggest of them all is a relapse. One of the many things that can trigger a relapse is stress. While there are things that one can control, such as not going to a bar as you do not want to be triggered, stress is a normal part of life, and it cannot be avoided. So if you or a loved one is in recovery, learning how to manage stress will go a long way in maintaining sobriety.
How Stress Can Trigger a Relapse
One of the reasons people start using drugs is because of stress. In fact, most patients in a recovery center admit that they started using drugs as teenagers. Teenagerhood is considered a stressful period in one’s life where one is trying to navigate the different changes happening in their life. The more stressed a person is, the higher the chance they will try to escape it through drugs. When one is stressed, the body responds in various ways, including finding a way to fight or flee from that situation. People who have abused drugs before are more sensitive to the effects of stress which can trigger them to relapse.
Stress Management Techniques
Finding healthy ways to cope with stress is what stands between someone in recovery and relapse. Any addict who has just gone through treatment at alcohol rehab Center will tell you that having a plan for relapse prevention is important. After all, the same factors that made you want to use them in the first place, whether it is anxiety, stress, or unresolved issues, still exist. The key is finding healthy ways to manage stress. Here are some helpful techniques you can use.
Make Time for Hobbies
Doing the things you love can help you focus your mind on pleasant things that add value to you. Some common hobbies include knitting, writing, playing an instrument, painting, or journaling.
Exercising is an effective tool for reducing or managing stress. It will help you feel good by improving your physical and mental health.
It is important to find some time where you can just relax and enjoy yourself. Every day, schedule some ‘me time’ and do whatever brings you joy.
Whether it is individual therapy or group counseling, talking to a professional can be helpful for people who find it difficult to cope with stressful situations. In a group setting, talking to people who are also dealing with the same issues can help you find healthy coping techniques. The therapist will address the problems stressing you up in an individual setting and recommend healthy ways to cope with them.
Meditation or Yoga
Some people find that meditation helps calm them down. Other techniques like yoga, breathing exercises, and mindfulness can energize you, clear your mind and help you focus on the present.
A Support System
Having support from loved ones while in recovery is very important in managing stress and preventing a relapse. Your family and friends are among the people you should look for support from. However, your stress may be caused by a family situation at times. Identify what the issue is and work through it to reduce the chances of being triggered into a relapse. You can also find your support system from recovery programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Here you will find people going through the same challenges as you are. Sharing your experiences with people that understand the situation better can be relaxing.
Part of your journey in recovering from an addiction is learning how to handle intense emotional situations. That is why it is important to get help when struggling with addiction. Considering that you cannot eliminate all the stress coming your way, using the tips discussed above can help you learn to manage stress.