Stress is a natural response to pressure. When triggered, it causes our body to switch to a fight-or-flight response. Stress has helped humans thrive in dangerous and difficult situations. This is since the chemical reactions that happen in our body cause us to act quickly and accordingly. But while stress response can be helpful in many situations, there are times when it can trigger lasting adverse effects.
Why Some Resort to Addiction When Dealing with Stress
They say people use addiction as a way of coping with stress. Some of us have greater self-control when stressed out. Others are more vulnerable to addiction.
Studies show that there is a direct link between traumatic childhood experiences and addiction. As the child who experienced traumatic experiences turns into an adult, they find it hard to cope with stress, making it easy for them to cling to addiction. This is not to say that everyone who has a traumatic childhood will grow up having addiction problems.
Drugs can create chemical changes in the brain, one of which is associated with stress management. Certain drugs help depress one’s fight-or-flight reactions, making one think they can reduce their stress levels through drug use. In an attempt to manage stress symptoms, they turn to substances or alcohol, making it harder to say no after feeling the effects of being high.
Stress Management: Why It Is Important When Staying Sober
Stress can put one at risk for abusing drugs and alcohol. It is only crucial that anyone trying to recover from alcohol and substance abuse learns to manage stress effectively. This way, it will be easier to say goodbye to your old bad habits and continue living a sober life.
Some people think that at the end of treatment, they are already ready to take on the new challenges life has to bring after rehab. But then, the real battle will only start after you manage to finish your treatment. The desire to get your life back on track is not enough to ensure you won’t fall into relapse.
About 90% of people who managed to finish treatment from alcohol and drug abuse are likely to relapse. This is why experts recommend going to a sober living home to achieve better results. Thankfully, there are sober living homes for men and sober living for women wanting to reduce their chances of relapse after treatment.
Part of the sober living program is learning how to deal with stress to avoid going back to your addiction. It is not enough that you develop the strong willpower to prevent exposing yourself to your trigger. Managing stress effectively will help you fight stress and stop yourself from resorting to your old ways to relieve stress.
Managing Stress for Sobriety’s Sake
The good news is, there are so many ways you can manage stress to aid your sobriety. What’s important is that you find the right tactics to help yourself focus on your goal, which is to say sober. Here are four tips that can help you maintain sobriety through effective stress management.
Find a Routine that Works for You
Sticking to a routine is crucial if you wish to stay sober. This helps remove the guesswork associated with living your daily life. The more structure you have in your day, the more control you feel, enabling you to improve your focus, attention, and productivity.
Incorporate Exercise in Your Daily Routine
Exercise may be causing stress on your body. But physical activity is proven to reduce one’s stress hormones. As it stimulates endorphins, your body finds it easier to relax, focus on breathing, and take your attention away from your triggers.
Allow Yourself to Have a Downtime
Today’s innovations make it easy to connect to social media, feed on so much information, and ruin one’s confidence and mood. Allowing yourself a couple of downtimes each day helps reduce overs stimulation, making it easier to focus on your goals.
Listen to Music
Music is known to have calming effects. When you feel like your mood is sour, you’re stressed out, and starting to crave your go-to alcohol or substance, stop and find ways to listen to your favorite music. Music is known to reduce stress, thus making stress management more manageable.
Trying to stay sober is nowhere easy. There is still a chance that people who managed to embrace sobriety for years would suddenly go on relapse. The more you learn how to effectively manage your stress levels, the easier it will be for you to hold on to sobriety. So, if you or a loved one is trying to fight addiction, be sure to learn how to manage stress so that you can achieve better results.