Overcoming Addiction Through Emotional Development
When you or someone you love is suffering from drug addiction or substance abuse, the road to recovery entails developing the proper coping skills and individual therapy to overcome adverse urges. There are no shortcuts on the path to addiction recovery, and long-term sobriety success hinges on several different but interrelated factors.
To achieve long-term sobriety and maintain your newfound sobriety, relying on coping skills and relapse prevention tips can provide emotional and spiritual support to achieve lasting addiction recovery. And without those skills, true sobriety will be difficult, if not impossible, to attain.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, call WhiteSands substance abuse recovery rehab today at 877.969.1993 to learn how we can help unhealthy coping skills.
Hanging Out With Friends Who Use
If youre feeling lonely, you might feel tempted to fall back into old habits. This can include getting together with friends, family members, or coworkers who abuse substances. When youre early in your recovery, you must avoid these loved ones. Find friends who will support you in your transition to sobriety.
If youre invited to an event with some of your old friends, explain your situation to them. Real friends will understand that you need time away, and this honesty will strengthen your friendship. If these friends dont understand and even tempt you to drink or use drugs, you need to set boundaries. Try going to a coffee shop or juice bar instead of a bar or other establishment that serves alcohol.
Keep A Daily Journal And Gratitude List
Writing can be a great way to express, release, and work out any thoughts and feelings you may be dealing with. Seeing your thoughts on paper can also help you deal with your emotions quicker and more efficiently. In addition to that, keeping a daily journal is a good way to take an inventory of whats happening in your life, acknowledge ways you can improve, and list the things youre grateful for. All in all, developing this skill can help you relax and maintain a positive attitude as you work to change your life.
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Most Critical Coping Skills In Recovery To Develop When You Are Recovering From The Abuse Of Drugs And Alcohol:
Creating A Relapse Prevention Plan
When youre at Harmony Ridge, we can help you create a plan to put in place when you come across triggers. Our counselors will use the tools and skills youve learned to help you prevent relapse.
A good relapse prevention plan might include some elements of the following:
- Praying or other forms of spirituality
- Daily journaling
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Coping Starts With Avoiding High
The first thing that Gateways anxiety treatment programs teach people is that they need to avoid high-risk situations. In order to do that, they should remember the acronym HALT, which stands for hungry, angry, lonely and tired.
These are four common factors that increase the risk of relapse. Thus, many coping skills revolve around helping people avoid HALT.
In fact, coping skills therapy talks in great length about the importance of eating right and getting enough sleep. When people dont develop healthy sleeping patterns, they make poor choices. Its also essential that they surround themselves with friends. The feeling of loneliness or isolation might make them want to use.
Effects Of Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
Unhealthy coping skills may seem harmless at first, but they always have negative consequences. Whether its a certain frame of mind, response patterns, or actual habits, they will always end up providing temporary solutions to problems that can worsen later on.
Common effects of unhealthy coping mechanisms when suffering from addiction are:
Thankfully, these effects can be reversed when one decides to break free from unhelpful patterns and mindsets. Below are some examples of healthy coping mechanisms that can lead you steps closer to addiction recovery.
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Developing Coping Skills For Substance Abuse Recovery
Completing drug addiction treatment does not always guarantee success. In fact, a large number of people who battle these problems suffer relapses. Indeed, this is a part of the cycle of addiction. Recovery is a life-long process and its important to know the proper coping skills for substance abuse. To gain the most success, it is vital to learn how to identify triggers and how to develop positive coping skills for substance abuse that help to overcome temptations of drugs or alcohol as a means to feel better.
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How Do You Gain Healthier Coping Skills
It can be hard to gain healthier coping skills if an individual is unaware of their own healthy coping strategies to begin with. The first step in gaining new coping skills is identifying the already existing ones. Next, one can assess how effective those strategies are and if they actually work in the long run. Individuals can stop and think before they react to their stressor. Often times the ways in which we cope are reactive and instinctual. For example, some people will overeat or reach for comfort food to cope with stress without even thinking. It may be a good idea to list personal stressors and then list the ways in which you cope. From there, you can assess which coping strategies are healthy or unhealthy. Individuals can find healthy coping skills by researching on the internet, talking with a mental health professional or loved ones.
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Relapse Is Part Of Recovery
Its important to understand that relapse may still occur even with the most meticulous planning or mental health training. Rest assured that relapse does not equal failure. Rather, it is merely evidence that addiction is deeply engrained in ones physical and emotional patterns. Give yourself grace in understanding that to err is human and know that addiction recovery services and mental health treatment are well versed in handling regression.
Developing A Recovery Plan
In addition to knowing your triggers, there are several other coping skills that are important for recovering from addiction. Another important skill is changing your way of thinking. In order to change our lives, we must change our way of thinking as well. If you tell yourself that you can change your life and be free from the grips of addiction, you absolutely can. Once your thoughts about yourself and your abilities become positive, you will be able to make positive changes in your life, starting with overcoming addiction. Changing your thinking also requires changing your thoughts about using substances. If you think that using substances helps alleviate stress or makes you feel better, you must change this way of thinking. These thoughts are contributing factors to relapse, as negative thoughts are also triggers for relapse. Thinking positively and focusing on positivity will aid you in a successful recovery from addiction, as well as being successful in your relapse prevention plan.
- Practicing gratitude
- Breathing exercises
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at . Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.
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How Do I Learn Healthy Coping Skills For Addiction Recovery
The process of learning healthy coping skills for addiction recovery begins while you are in rehab. You will start to uncover different triggers that were associated with your substance abuse problem.
Once you uncover your triggers, you can then set about developing healthy coping skills to be equipped to use them should you ever need them. Furthermore, as you progress in your recovery, it will be full of new discoveries and learning, including developing new healthy coping skills when your current ones become less effective.
Be Patient With Yourself
Addiction recovery is a life-long process. So be patient with yourself during your recovery.
Part of being a healthier, happier you is learning to accept and love yourself even if that takes time.
Your feelings and experiences are unique. Make sure your coping skills fit your journey and lifestyle. And if they dont, never be afraid to change things up or try something new.
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Having A Sober Support Network
Isolation is a common characteristic of people who struggle with addiction, but recovery is all about connection. During rehab, you will participate in many group therapy sessions where you connect with other like-minded individuals. You will also learn about the importance of participating in a support group or 12-step fellowship after finishing treatment.
Places you can find a sober support network include:
- Your rehab centers alumni program
- Group substance abuse counseling
- 12-Step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous
- 12-Step alternatives like SMART Recovery or Celebrate Recovery
Develop Healthy Habits As An Outlet
As an addiction accelerates, a person may forget about important aspects of their self-care. They may forget about self-grooming, healthy eating, and exercise. The lack of these things all contribute to a general state of disrepair and feeling unwell. To counter them, it is important that you begin to develop better habits, taking care to nurture yourself, body and mind. Good dietary choices and nutrition can help your body to repair, while also avoiding a state of hunger that can trigger thoughts of drug use. Exercising is a very powerful coping tool, as it helps take your mind off of things and releases endorphins, which are your bodys natural feel-good chemicals.
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How Do You Find A Social Support Network
When in the process of recovery, you should evaluate if existing social networks will provide the support needed to continue on the path to lifelong recovery. Will friends and family provide the acceptance, inclusion and resources needed to maintain sobriety? If the existing social networks will not provide the kind of support required to maintain sobriety, you may need to strengthen your social network.
Where can you find a social support network that provides these qualities? A therapist can act as a confidant to assure a level of acceptance and trust. They can provide a basic level of support from which to build a healthy and fulfilling social network.
Alternative Methods Of Coping In Recovery
As addiction is considered a brain disease with behavioral implications, professional help is optimal in helping to restore a healthy balance to the brain and create new and healthier coping mechanisms. Addiction treatment programs use behavioral therapies, counseling, supportive measures, and often medications to regulate brain chemistry and build new and improved habits and life skills for recovery. Stress and anger management, communication skills, relapse prevention tools, and new coping mechanisms are learned.
During addiction treatment, individuals are taught methods for managing cravings and handling potential triggers that may arise. There are many healthy alternatives to using addiction as a coping mechanism, and these alternatives can be used in recovery to minimize relapse and keep moving forward. They include:
It is also vital to get enough sleep, eat healthy, and continue to focus on problem-solving skills in order to keep up the motivation to remain abstinent in recovery. A healthy body can provide a strong base for a healthy mind, and by eating a balanced diet and sticking to a structured sleep schedule, recovery can be fostered.
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Healthy Coping Skills In Recovery
Once youve finished addiction treatment and youre sober, you might think youre in the clear. However, the work of recovery has only just begun. As your counselors and treatment center staff have told you, there is a chance of relapse, which is a return to drug and alcohol use. Fortunately, using healthy coping skills can help you on your journey to recovery. Well discover triggers and how you can handle them using said healthy coping skills.
Why Do I Need Healthy Coping Skills For Addiction Recovery
Part of the reason for your addiction is usually related to unhealthy coping skills you used to have. For example, when you were faced with highly stressful situations, you could have drunk alcohol or experimented with different types of drugs. Based on your previous habits, you discovered that you could alleviate unwanted stress by drinking or using a particular substance. However, what you did not know at the time was that you were on the path to dependence and addiction by abusing alcohol or drugs.
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Key Coping Skills For Addiction Recovery
Addiction recovery is a lifelong process that can, at times, be exhausting, frustrating, overwhelming, stressful, and lonely. But there are skills you can develop to make rehabilitation a more positive and rewarding experience. Luckily, you can learn many of these skills while enrolled at a drug rehab center.
Beginning again, changing your habits, and restructuring your entire life isnt easy, but developing these 10 coping skills can make addiction recovery and the healing process less challenging while helping you avoid relapse as well.
Falling Back With People Who Abuse Drugs Or Alcohol
During recovery, it is vital to stay away from old pals who have been involved with your previous using habits. Its better to reflect on the people who are willing to help you remain sober. In other words, a person must focus on the people who offer positive support.
It is essential to set boundaries with old friends and former hangout locations. Therefore, if a certain bar reminds a person of old habits, it is wise to avoid that place. In the end, the smartest way to avoid triggers is to cut ties with individuals who use means of temptation or encouragement to keep old habits alive. This is one of the many coping skills for substance abuse recovery.
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Create A Daily Routine
Starting new healthy habits can feel challenging at times, but youll create a new normal for yourself when you stick with them. Here are some benefits of building routines for recovery.
Routines help you avoid risky situations.
Good self-care routines will steer you towards healthy habits and away from old patterns. If youre hungry, emotional, tired or feeling unwell, youll be at a higher risk for relapse.
Youll feel more prepared for the day and less stressed.
Being able to relax is essential since stress is often a trigger for substance use.
Youll take better care of your body, mind and emotions.
Doing a few simple self-care activities each day will help you stay on track with your wellness. Some key elements of healthy routines include eating well, getting physical activity and spending time with people you care about.
Exercise Regularly & Live An Active Lifestyle
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins which help you feel good and stay happy. Physical activity also helps relieve stress, diminishes feelings of depression, and helps get rid of the chemicals and toxins your body has absorbed from drug and alcohol abuse. You should also make it a habit to treat yourself to a nutritious satisfying meal after an invigorating workout.
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Playing The Tape Through
Addiction is characterized by compulsive drug or alcohol use, and many people who struggle with addiction also struggle with impulsivity. Impulsivity can get you into a lot of troublesome situations. Acting on impulses to use substances can result in a relapse. Acting on impulses to engage in other negative behaviors can have its own consequences, too.
Playing the tape through is a cognitive-behavioral technique that encourages you to think about the potential consequences of your actions. Instead of impulsively using drugs or alcohol when you have a craving, this coping skill involves taking a minute to remember the reasons why you got sober in the first place as well as all of the bad things that can happen if you follow through with the impulse.
Exercise Nutrition And Regular Sleep
Exercise, nutrition, and a regular sleep schedule are all essential for a healthy, sober lifestyle. If youre hungry or malnourished, struggling with poor sleep habits, or not taking care of your body you could be at an increased risk for relapse.
- Exercise can reduce anxiety and depression, alleviate stress, and promote better sleep. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. This is even more beneficial if you can find some type of exercise that you enjoy.
- Balanced nutrition can reduce depression, boost your energy, and stabilize your moods throughout the day. Try not to eat too many processed foods or sugars. Incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein into your diet.
- Regular sleep will improve your mental health as well as your decision-making capabilitiesboth of which are extremely important when it comes to staying sober.
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