Stressed And Sober: How To Keep Your Sobriety

Recovery from addiction brings many challenges on the journey to lasting sobriety. The ups and downs of daily life can accumulate, increasing your stress level and the risk of relapse. Active measures can help you to deal with stress, so you can stay sober, regardless of outside circumstances. At Quest 2 Recovery in Lancaster, CA, we understand the problems and challenges of maintaining sobriety during stressful times.

Have A Plan in Place For Dealing With Stress

An effective substance abuse treatment program will anticipate managing stress as part of the recovery effort. You should have a plan for dealing with these common stresses before they occur, so you can reach for your plan to help you manage the emotions and impulses that are likely to result. Unfortunately, individuals may not always be aware of the buildup of stress in their lives. A number of measures can help them deal with upsets and disappointments before they occur.

Learn To Recognize Your Stress

Make a habit of doing an internal assessment when you are feeling out of sorts. Ask yourself a number of questions about your present condition and state of mind. Is fatigue making you feel less able to deal with a stressful situation? Have you been eating poorly, which can cause physical distress? Were your expectations out of proportion to the reality that is presented? Are you anxious, depressed or angry? Knowing yourself well can help you to deal with the ups and downs of normal life, without resorting to substance use to mute your emotions and reactions.

Remember To Breathe

Stress causes muscles of the chest to tighten, which cause individuals to breathe more shallowly, This reaction, in turn, inhibits the supply of oxygen to the brain and body. As a result, limited breathing can cause you to feel more stressed, unable to think clearly and out of control. When you feel under stress, stop and take a moment to focus on your breathing. Slow down your breathing, in and out, and you will find your thinking slows down along with it, and your body will become more comfortable.

Put Exercise Into Your Daily Regime

Exercise can help you to manage stress, by increasing blood circulation that brings oxygen and nutrients to all parts of your body, including your brain. Whatever your exercise of choice, such as workouts, yoga, running or a formal sport, the activity will help to increase dopamine in your brain, which helps you to remain calmer and to think more clearly.

Learn To Meditate

Learning to meditate is a recognized way to deal with negative emotions and thought patterns. Take a meditation class or use a meditation app to help you to calm your mind and emotions, so you can manage everyday life more effectively.

Talk Yourself Out of Negativity

Self-talk can be an important method to change your thought patterns and dispel negative emotions. You may have to “get touch” to stop yourself from spiraling into relapse. Even self-talk that merely looks at the situation more rationally can help you to get to a mental condition that allows you to regain control over your emotions and reactions.

Talk To Someone

Whether you choose to take your problem to a meeting group, a close friend or a counselor, make the effort to talk about what you’re feeling and how much stress you are under. Often, the simple act of talking to “get it out of your head” can put the problem into perspective and input from others can have a calming effect that allows you to manage your emotions and actions more effectively. This is why having a support system is so critical to recovery after addiction. These systems help you to find different ways of viewing the situation and better solutions to manage them.

Take Time For Self Care

Make sure you put the time in your schedule for self-care. Each person determines what self-care entails. It may simply be time for reading, prayer, enjoying the outdoors or playing with your pet. You may have a hobby that gives you satisfaction and puts your mind into a better place. You may enjoy a sport or enjoying time with friends. Whatever puts you in a better frame of mind is your “self-care,” and you should make time for it whenever you are feeling under stress.

Choose Quest 2 Recovery For Help Maintaining A Sober Lifestyle

The addiction specialists at Quest 2 Recovery use their specialized training and experience to help individuals recover from substance abuse and learn methods to manage daily life. We offer detox, inpatient care, dual diagnosis care, and aftercare to help you maintain sobriety. Call Quest 2 Recovery today at 855-783-7888 to make an appointment with a counselor to overcome addiction and learn to sustain your recovery for a normal, productive life.

Stress & Addiction: How They Fuel Each Other

In the United States, 8 out of 10 people consider themselves stressed. Whether it be an internal force that causes their stress, like overthinking or fear of missing out, or external factors like family problems or troubles at work, there are a myriad of ways that stress can creep into our lives. According to the American Psychological Association, the top stressors of Americans are money, work, the economy, family responsibilities, relationships, personal health concerns, housing costs, job stability, health of loved ones, and personal safety, in that order.

With that in mind, what coping mechanisms do people utilize in order to manage their stress? Some might exercise more to alleviate their stress. Others might meditate. But for those with addiction, stress could become a trigger for their vice.

What is Stress?

Stress is the feeling of pressure mentally and how the body responds to it. Stress can be due to strenuous circumstances that make life more difficult, but it could also be the body’s inability to cope with its surroundings.

What is Addiction?

Addiction is the brain choosing a substance or behavior for the feeling that it provides despite the often negative consequences of use. The first addictions that come to mind are typically drugs or alcohol, but there are many other types of addiction. Addiction is not about the use of a bad substance, but the mind’s dependence of use of any substance. Here are some examples of substances that people can become addicted to:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Cannabis
  • Inhalants
  • Opioid
  • Sedatives
  • Stimulants
  • Tobacco and Nicotine

Here are some behaviors that people can become addicted to:

  • Binge-eating
  • Shoplifting
  • Sex
  • Gaming
  • Gambling
  • Shopping
  • Smartphone Use

While it is possible to see that the excessive use of a substance or action is bad for your health or wallet, it is important to understand that treating the addiction is not about what you are addicted to but the feeling that you are addicted to.

Are Stress and Addiction Related?

Yes. In the cases that stress can affect addiction, stress is referred to as environmental factors. Think about how many people say they need a drink after a bad day at work. There are people who need to smoke a cigarette after an argument with a coworker or family member. There are others who insist that a day at the casino or some consumer therapy will help alleviate any stressful situation that they may have. While not all people who exercise this use of substance or behavior in response to stress are addicted to the substance or behavior, these environmental factors can be a trigger to those with addiction to use their vice as a way of coping with their stress.

Addiction Treatment

There are many ways of treating addiction. People who require addiction treatment can consider each of the following options as a way of treating their addiction:

  • Detoxification
  • Medication-Assisted Therapy
  • Therapy (Group, Cognitive, Recreational or Family)
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Medication and Withdrawal Management

There are numerous other addiction treatment plans available. It is important to understand that managing the triggers of addiction, such as stress and stressful environmental factors, is essential in creating a successful addiction treatment plan. In addition to residential treatment plans, there are after-rehabilitation support groups that can share and compare addiction treatment journeys to ensure a sense of accountability and encouragement among those with stress and addiction.

At Quest 2 Recovery, the addiction recovery program starts with detoxification and ends with aftercare planning, to ensure that recovery continues to be a part of your life even as you leave the rehabilitation center. While stress might trigger your addiction, Quest 2 Recovery can give you the tools to find healthier ways of coping with your stress.  Contact us today if you or a loved one are struggling with addiction.