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.
Stress management is a vital component of the addiction recovery process because it helps individuals who use substances as a coping mechanism to find healthier outlets for 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.
What are Healthier Outlets for Managing Stress?
- Exercising — exercise helps people “blow off steam,” cope with challenging situations in life and become more physically healthy. For people suffering from addiction, it can be beneficial to come up with an exercise routine to relieve stress. Running, walking, cycling, swimming, aerobics, dancing, and other activities are all effective forms of exercise.
- Meditation — meditation techniques can be used in the instance of a drug craving to help it pass, or on a regular schedule to relieve stress. By focusing on breathing and mindfulness, individuals will become more relaxed and less physically and mentally stressed. This is usually combined with yoga, which is good for the body.
- Healthy routines — By coming up with healthy habits for the morning, afternoon, evening, and bedtime, individuals will feel more productive and energized. Healthy habits may consist of eating a well-balanced diet, sticking to an exercise regimen, or sleeping well every night. Setting and sticking to a routine can help individuals lead healthier lives.
- Counseling — Counseling can be done either individually, in groups, or with families, and it can be an effective way to experience open and honest communication. By talking to others about your problems, you will be able to gain helpful insight and advice on how to deal with them. Counseling helps to relieve stress by allowing you to communicate the things you have been holding inside.
- Finding hobbies — Hobbies enable people to find enjoyment in new activities and help to get their mind off of their addiction. Common hobbies include writing, painting, listening to music, running, singing, or anything else the person finds enjoyable.
- Support groups — Support groups help those suffering from addiction to be surrounded by a group of like-minded individuals who have been experiencing the same things as them. By talking to people about difficult situations and how to get through them, individuals will learn how to manage their problems.
If you or a loved one is suffering from substance addiction, call A Forever Recovery at our toll-free number to get help today. We have various forms of treatment options available to help those suffering from substance addiction. Call today to get started on your journey to long-term sobriety!