Stress often plays a key role in causing individuals to turn to drugs and alcohol. They need something to help them deal with overwhelming situations. Many people with addiction problems lack the necessary coping skills needed to navigate daily life. Learning different stress management techniques while in recovery can help you when you leave the routine and regulation of an inpatient program and transition back to the real world.
Understanding Your Stress
Before you put these helpful stress management techniques into practice, it is important for you to accomplish the following.
1. Learn How You Stress
What happens in your body when you feel stress? Is there a tightness in your chest? Maybe you experience headaches or other pains in your body? People physically and mentally react to stress in different ways. Some people feel their brain shut down and disengage from the world, while others feel nausea and the need to escape.
2. Figure Out the Source of Your Stress
What is it that brings on your feelings of stress? Is it the pressure of your career? Are you dealing with problems in your relationship with friends or family? Maybe you get worked up during the drive to work, or other situations you cannot control.
3. Prioritize Your Self-Care
The best thing you can do for stress is to make sure you take time for yourself. Figure out how to say “no” to demands detrimental to your mental health. Take a day off just to go to the beach and find solitude so you can relax.
Learning to Use Helpful Stress Management Techniques
Once you figure out your stress triggers and your body’s reactions, you can begin figuring out the most helpful stress management techniques to apply to different situations. Below you will find some suggestions to try out to keep yourself calm and under control.
1. Focus Your Breathing
Focused breathing helps calm some symptoms of stress, like hyperventilating or feelings of restlessness. Take slow, deep breaths while disengaging your mind from the current situation. Rid your brain of any distracting sensations and thoughts. Keep going until you feel mentally capable of stepping back into stressful conditions with more control.
2. Perform a Body Scan
The body scan relaxation technique combines the benefits of breathing focus on muscle relaxation. Perform a few minutes of deep breathing. Next, focus on one part of your body and mentally release the tension you feel built up there. Keep moving on to different body parts until your entire body feels more relaxed.
3. Use Guided Imagery
Guided imagery is great for helping you visualize the most positive aspects of your being. Think about something peaceful that makes you feel calm and relaxed. It could be a beach where you once took a vacation or a pleasant memory from your childhood. You can pull up pictures on your favorite device that carry personal significance.
4. Engage in Mindfulness Meditation
Lower yourself to a sitting position on the floor. You can use a yoga mat or other cushioning for comfort. Focus your breathing and put your mind’s attention in the present. Do not let yourself think about the past or the future. Keep yourself in the moment.
5. Employ Yoga and Other Flowing Movement
Ancient arts like yoga, tai chi, and qigong use rhythmic breathing while taking you through various poses and flowing movements. Focusing on the physicality of the movements distracts you from your thoughts while helping you increase your balance and flexibility.
Learn More About Helpful Stress Management Techniques
Phoenix Recovery educates our clients on different ways of managing stress in their lives. We allow them to practice the skills while taking part in one of our recovery programs.
- Residential Treatment Program
- Intensive Outpatient Program
- Sober Living Homes
- Aftercare Rehab Programs
Clients have those techniques in their toolbox for use in the real world. Contact us today at 855.232.8211 if you wish to learn more about our therapies and programs.