Recognizing Stressors in Addiction Recovery
As you work through addiction recovery, you may find that your confidence and strength builds as you continue to make smart decisions about your relationships, work, routines, and other aspects of life. But one thing that complicates those decisions is stress. The more you learn to anticipate stressful situations, the more able you will be to intervene before you get overwhelmed.
Learn to Recognize What Causes You Stress
Driving on a busy highway and getting cut off is a minor stressor, something that is annoying but also something you can deal with. Getting into an argument with your teen could be a minor stressor, but it could become a much bigger problem if it continues to occur. Consider some common high stressors and how they may impact your addiction recovery.
- Unexpected loss: Someone you are close to passes on, or you lose a cherished pet. You lose a connection with a good friend, and there’s no way to repair it. An unexpected loss like this is devastating and may be one of the hardest components to deal with when trying to balance addiction recovery.
- Starting a new job: Leaving a bad job can feel good and may provide you with the courage you need to start over. Yet starting that new job and facing new rules, new people, and a wide range of new challenges is hard to do. It’s physically and mentally challenging for many people.
- Relationships: Good or bad, other people can often be a major part of the stress you feel. In difficult relationships, you may spend a lot of time trying to work to improve things, while in new, healthy relationships, you may worry about losing that person.
- Serious illness: Whether it impacts you or a loved one, serious illness can be a big stressor for most people. It can lead to intense worries about loss, changes to your lifestyle, and complications in relationships.
- Non–treated mental health disorders: Sometimes, your stress could be coming from a mental health disorder, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or panic disorder. These types of complications do not just go away without treatment from a professional.
These are some of the most common major stressors that you could face during drug and alcohol addiction treatment and recovery. The question is, then, how do you manage them?
Strategies That Work to Deal with Stress in Addiction Recovery
It’s time to face those stressors. Instead of pushing them to the side and just getting through it, consider these strategies to help you effectively cope during stressful times and build confidence around your future.
Know When to Leave
Sometimes you just have to leave the situation and never look back. Bad relationships or a very toxic work environment may require this. When you try to fix things and it only gets worse, it may be acceptable to simply remove yourself from the situation. You don’t need permission to do so.
Recognize the Reality
Stress can sometimes build up in our minds to a level that is no longer realistic. If you are facing a difficult situation, step back and ask yourself a few questions.
- What’s really happening right now?
- What is the most likely complication?
- Is there anything I can do to change the situation?
Sometimes you’ll learn there’s nothing you can do–that the situation is not likely to change and therefore you need to accept it and move on. Made a mistake at work that is too late to fix? Apologize as needed but then forgive yourself and move forward. Been rejected by a friend or family member? If you’ve done what you can to repair the relationship and the other person is still angry with you, turn it over to your higher power and let it go.
No matter what type of stress is occurring, you have the ability to take care of yourself through it. Some things to consider include:
- Engaging in meditation on a regular basis to help center your mind.
- Focusing on exercising every day or every other day to burn off some of the stress hormones you’re dealing with.
- Creating a healthy routine each day that allows you to unwind after a stressful situation.
- Talking with someone you trust about what’s going on in your life. That person might be a friend, a mentor, or a therapist.
- Getting outdoors to soak the Vitamin D. Your mental health will thank you.
If you are feeling so much stress that you’re at risk for relapse, don’t wait to get help from your mentor or therapist. Go to a meeting now. Doing this is also empowering because it allows you to remain in control over the way you react to that stress.
Our team at Victory Addiction Recovery Center can help you through this process. If you’re facing complications to your health, learn more about our drug and alcohol treatment center in Lafayette, LA.
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