Stress is an inescapable side-effect of recovery because at this point you are trying to recover from substance dependency while at the same time struggling to bring your life back on track. During recovery, you got to be ready to deal with stress, anxiety and depression, a multiplicity of things, but you need not to be fearful of them. In this article, you are going to learn and understand the significance of managing stress in recovery.
In our daily life, we are all faced by different stressors and challenges, and this is a normal pattern in life. When living in active addiction, we use drugs / alcohol as a tool to overcome stressful situations. The body and the brain get used to this lifestyle and nothing seems to bother us much.
But, wait until during recovery and you got to train your mind to deal with stressors without the use of drugs / alcohol you were addicted to. The real battle now begins. You know, being in recovery does not mean that life has changed much. The issues you were struggling with during active addiction are still present. Issues to do with relationships and sex, finances, career, health, school, jobs, workloads and more are always ringing in your mind and they are all challenging.
Withdrawal Is A Stressful Period
According to a study carried out by the American Psychological association, 77 percent experience physical stress during recovery while 73 percent suffer from psychological effects of stress. During recovery not many people are able to manage stress effectively and this can lead to a relapse. To know how to manage stress in recovery, you got to be aware of the warning signs of stress.
Physical warning signs of stress
Some of the key physical warning signs of stress are; headaches, fatigue, joint pains, poor appetite, tooth grinding and stomach disorders among others. Mood swings, anxiety, depression, forgetfulness, poor concentration, feeling guilt and overwhelmed are psychological warning signs of stress.
Everyone must know that it is possible to manage stress. The best thing to do is to identify and address these warning signs immediately for a proper and quick recovery. If taken positively, stress in recovery can be a real motivation to help you make changes you need in life. The only bad thing you need not to do is to ignore stress. That is why you need to learn and incorporate techniques to help in managing stress in recovery.
Your stress coping skills really matter in recovery. This is because, the more stressed you get, the more likely for you to find a quick escape. In most cases, patients opt to go back to drugs to experience a quick relief from the life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.
Watch Out! Stress Is The Leading Cause Of Relapse
According to a research carried out by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, stress is believed to be the leading cause of relapse. Relapse means going back to uncontrollable use of drugs after a period of abstinence. Relapse is not the best of experiences. For those who have tried drug recovery without success whether once or several times, they will bear us witness that relapse is worse than the previous state of addiction. Therefore, relapse must be avoided at all cost.
Research shows that the brains of a person struggling with addiction are more hypersensitive to stress. The only thing they find effective is simply going back to drugs. This is because stress is a common trigger present at all stages of recovery.
Stress Is Not Good For You
When many people hear about the word stress, only a few of them pay attention not knowing how complex the effects of stress have in our bodies. These effect touch almost every aspect of our lives, affecting the major systems of our bodies.
Every time we are stressed, the body releases stress hormones that are designed to deal with any danger or harm. This is what we call the fight or flight response. Due to frequent release of stress hormones, it brings a serious toll on our system. When stress levels get out of control, they become severe and chronic. Knowing how to manage stress in recovery is therefore paramount.
You need to take charge of your life and be aware of the warning signs of stress so that you can reduce your risks of relapse. According to the American Psychological Association, poorly managed stress can result to self-medicating. Therefore you need to listen to your body and know when everything is not alright for you to de-stress.
Watch out for these signs
- Neck and back pain
- Chest pain
- Short temper
- Poor focus / concentration
- Stomach upsets
- Sleeping disorders
- Poor appetite
- Unceasing colds
Stress Is Inevitable But Manageable
It’s true you cannot avoid stress in recovery but the positive steps you take saves you from risks of a relapse in a great way. This helps you know how to face and handle every life stressors without defeat or failure.
If you feel overwhelmed by increasing emotions and stress, don’t be quiet about it. You need to talk about it and be honest with yourself. Find a professional addiction doctor to help you with recovery.
Addiction recovery is not an event but a gradual process. The process starts when one is in an active addiction and facing worse situations. The feeling that a change in lifestyle is needful begins. You start admiring to bring your life back on track and take a step toward that.
What is recommended in this case is to avoid going about it alone. Self-medication during recovery may not yield desirable results. Seek help from professionals who can handle the situation in a proficient manner.
The reason why this is important is because during withdrawal, you need a lot of professional support to help you overcome some tough and life-threatening symptoms of withdrawal and avoid the risks of a relapse.
During the first stages of withdrawal, these symptoms are quite intense to an extent that if proper medication and support is not provided, the only quick solution for you is a relapse. The dire need for a quick relief makes you feel like you cannot overcome addiction. The feelings of confusion are quite obvious at this point and the best solution for you is to talk about your addiction challenges with a person who can help you out.
Gone are the days when addiction was viewed as a social mischief. People used to struggle with addiction in silence and in worse cases it resulted to loss of lives. With the current global awareness on drugs / alcohol abuse, many rehab facilities have been introduced to make it easy for recovery patients.
What Causes You Stress?
We are all unique in our own ways. What might be causing stress in my situation might be different in your case. The key towards a complete recovery is self-awareness. You need to know the specific causes of stress in your life especially during recovery. Knowing this in advance is very important because you can find ways of managing stress before it gets to severe limits.
For instance, it could be that you are struggling with an unhealthy relationship or you have issues with job workloads or healthy responsibilities and financial issues that makes it difficult for you to stay focused on your recovery. Dig out to find what’s really bothering you in advance because it is easy for you to manage the situation.
Self-care is very vital in addiction recovery. You need to create time for yourself despite your very demanding work schedules. You need this time to reflect and focus on your goals and find out how far you’ve gone in your recovery process. Seek to enjoy life even without drugs. Stay positive even when situations does not allow you. learn to recognise your little efforts and find ways to reward yourself. This keeps you motivated and I want to assure you that with such a spirit, you can overcome any life stressors and fight your way to sobriety.
Sobriety Does Not Happen Overnight
When you make up your minds and you really want to change your lifestyle, it is good you be pretty aware that sobriety does not just happen. It is a journey that begins with a single steps and may take you months or years before you gain your long awaited freedom and happiness.
Therefore, with this understanding, you got to be patient with yourself along the way. If a case of a relapse occurs, you need to know that this is normal and it happens to many people. Don’t be mad at yourself or become too judgemental to yourself. This will only leave you with feelings of guilt and this negatively affects your recovery process.
Work your way out to recovery with the right attitude. Talk about any concerns or warning signs of stress to an addiction specialist. Be honest with yourself and tell your doctor the truth of the matter for you to find proper help.
Depending on the severity of your addiction, it may take shorter or longer for you to bring your life back on track. Staying focused to your goals will help you enjoy a successful drug cessation. If you fail once, that does not mean it is over. Try again and again until you make it. Know that you are not alone in this. Many people are struggling with addiction every day and there is hope for you.
A Good Night-Sleep Can Save You A Great Deal
In recovery, self-care and good sleep work magic in relapse prevention. I’m pretty sure that you don’t want to experience a relapse. Do you? Therefore, concentrate on your problem and stay focused on your recovery.
Having a good night sleep works wonders in managing stress in recovery. It helps you improve your moods, thus boosting your ability to manage stress. I know that falling asleep or staying asleep is a major challenge in early stages of recovery, but there’s something you can do about it. Keep trying even when conditions dictates otherwise. Your doctors will do the best they can to help you and it is your responsibility to stay committed to the relapse prevention plan provided.
Is Stress Overwhelming You?
Whenever you feel like the tension is just too much for you to handle, don’t just wait in silence until it gets out of control. There is something you can do about it. Engage yourself in some activities that helps you stay relaxed. If you love music, play guitar and sing your favorite songs. You can also do various exercises and play games to keep your minds relaxed.
Join A Support Group
When you visit your local rehab center for recovery, your doctor will help you join a support group. There are cases of people ignoring support groups but this should be highly discouraged.
You know that it is in these support groups where you can freely socialize with individuals who are going through similar situations like you. Be active and contribute in your support groups. When you feel the need to stay in isolation and not to attend a support group, or you attend but you give no contributions, just know that relapse is knocking your door and you need help.
Are You Feeling Angry, Frustrated, Upset And Stressed?
In recovery, feelings of anger, frustrations, depression and stress are very common. When they overwhelm you and you find yourself alone with no one to help you, what can you do? I suggest you take a deep breath. Practice this every time you feel overwhelmed by stress and you need to calm down. It is a perfect practice to help you get rid of many negative feelings associated with stress.
Take a deep breath every day. Do it every morning and noon in a relaxed manner. You can sit comfortably, close your eyes and take a deep breath for about five minutes. It really helps in managing stress in recovery. Yoga is also recommended by many specialists. It involves a combination of specific postures along with breath work and meditation.
Stop Self-Criticism And Self-Judgment! They’ll Harm You
Many people in recovery suffer from severe stress due to guilt caused by self-judgement and self-criticism. No one starts addiction treatment with an idea of a relapse. Everyone swears that they will never do drugs and alcohol again. What happens is that in the incident of a relapse, the individual feels mad at himself and feel like he has done the worst thing ever on the planet.
To overcome this feeling, you need to be more mindful about yourself and pay close attention to your cravings, thoughts and feelings without self-judgement. Learn how to make peace with your inner voice for a harmonious recovery. Accept that the cravings and urges that come along are part of you and decide to let go and move on.
Self-Care Is Key To Managing Stress In Recovery
Unlike many other bad withdrawal symptoms like vomiting, nausea, uncontrollable sweating and shaking, sleeping disorders and more that people can see and help you find a quick relief, it’s hard for someone to know when you are stressed. Stress is so personal and you must be very intentional about it.
Self-care is what can really help you deal with stress in recovery. Learn how to take care of your physical self as a way of managing stress. Do regular exercises as a way of making you feel better and develop a positive mind set.
Stick to a healthy diet to provide your body with every nutrient needed to promote a strong physical and emotional health.
Are You Experiencing Burnouts? Something Can Be Done
Excessive, long-term stress can result to a condition known as burnout. Probably you never understood the early warning signs of stress and so it went untreated. Now you find yourself in a burnout condition. What can you do?
If you are feeling overwhelmed and find yourself in a condition where it is difficult to handle the daily demands of life, feelings of increasing helplessness and emptiness become obvious. The urge to experience a change in lifestyle fades away and you feel so demotivated. This depletes your productivity and you feel like you have left with nothing to offer. When the deep feelings of frustration, boredom, resentfulness and you wonder what the new day break means to you, just know that you are in a burnout situation and you need to find help immediately.
Need Help With Stress And Burnout?
Call a professional therapist and discuss your individual concerns now for you to find help with stress and burnouts. Don’t wait until it is too late. The early you find help the better for your condition. Many people especially male patients find it difficult to visit hospitals or rehab centers and before they notice that they need help, the condition has already worsened and treatment takes longer than it could have been if they got treated earlier.
Feeling Stressed? Draw Your Inspiration Today
If you are feeling like you are not able to deal with stressful situations during recovery, stress management is the best practice for you. Lay a foundation for life skills and healthy coping as you build the strategy for health management. Self-care is a key component in this scenario.
Get adequate sleep, drink enough water and eat healthy. This is the best foundation for a successful stress management skills in addiction recovery. Create time for your favorite game or play and make it part of your self-care plan. Do what you enjoy most and keep the right spirit.
If Others Have Made It, Why Not You?
If you are struggling with addiction recovery, just know that you are not alone. Millions of people, young and old are going through the same situation every day. Some make it to sobriety while others fail along the way. Relapse does not mean the end of your recovery journey. It is just a learning process to help you overcome addiction. If other people are making it every day, you should not be an exception.
Do what your doctor tells you to do with patience and commitment. When you fail at one event, rise up, shake off the dust and move on. Recovery journey is not meant for those who easily give up. It is a strategy for the fighters. It is for those individuals who will fight their way out to recovery no matter how many times they slip and fall down.
Do your own research. Read many success stories of those who have been there before you and find out the secret behind their success. You will find that managing stress in recovery is key to relapse prevention. You will also learn that of the many tough withdrawal symptoms, stress is a silent killer. You will be amazed to find out how many people ignored the warning signs of stress and the repercussions thereafter.
What You Are Doing With Stress Matter A Lot
During recovery, you will feel stressed time after time and this might challenge your feelings of tranquillity leaving you feeling demotivated to stick to your relapse prevention plan. Feelings of anxiety can be quite overwhelming at this stage.
When you experience stress in sobriety, coping skills to deal with stress is the best recovery tool for you. Whatever is bothering you, be it fear to lose your job, or you are going through a hurting relationship, your reaction really matters. If you react with anxiety and panic, what seemed a minute problem can become a giant issue and it can be extremely painful for you to deal with it. This can cripple your efforts to recovery in a great way.
Need Help With Managing Stress In Recovery?
Since stress is unavoidable during recovery, you can’t afford to ignore it. The best thing is to learn how to deal with stress. You coping skills determines the speed of your recovery.
In the past, you used drugs / alcohol as a way of escaping stress. Now that you are sober, you may have no idea on how to deal with your life stressors. If you feel like you have tried your best but you still experience feelings of overwhelming stress, you need to seek for help now.
Talk to a passionate recovery doctor now and share your addiction experiences without fear and you will find help. You will learn new coping skills to deal with your stress during recovery and find your way to long-term recovery.