What is Stress Management?
Stress management is an effective form of therapy used in the addiction recovery process to help individuals suffering from drugs or alcohol abuse. Stress management is beneficial for people to prevent addiction relapse, identify the causes of their substance abuse, and learn new techniques for managing their stress.
By practicing stress management techniques on a regular basis, addicts will be better equipped to handle any difficult situations that they may face in the future.
Why is Stress Management So Important for Overcoming Addiction?
- Preventing relapse — Stress management helps to decrease the individual’s chances of relapse in the future. Relapse is defined as “a deterioration in someone’s state of health after a temporary improvement,” meaning that once they have been sober for a while, they will return to their drug or alcohol use. Relapse usually occurs for addicts when they face stressful obstacles in life, and this is because they don’t know of any other ways to manage their stress besides using drugs or alcohol to cope. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 40% to 60% of addicts will relapse, so it is important for individuals to learn the value of stress management so they can avoid relapse and find healthier outlets for stress.
- Identifying the root of the problem — Stress management encourages individuals to identify why they may have turned to drugs and alcohol use in the first place. Have they been having relationship problems, financial problems, or problems at work? The individual could be experiencing different changes in their lives that they aren’t used to. Maybe the individual is using dangerous substances to cope with the loss of a family member. Whatever the problem may be, stress management helps the person to figure out what the causes of their stress could be so they can come up with a necessary plan of action to help. This helps the individual to combat their obstacle head-on.
- Learning new stress management techniques — there are many benefits for learning new stress management activities. Stress can take a toll on a person’s physical health by inducing problems such as headaches, chest pain, stomach problems, sleeping problems, fatigue, muscle tension, and many others. A person’s mental health can be affected by stress by causing irritability, isolation from others, racing thoughts, focusing and concentrating problems, and more. Since there are so many physical and mental ailments that can result from stress, learning stress management techniques can drastically improve one’s physical and psychological health, and this can significantly improve the addiction treatment process.