Has addiction recovery caused you to feel more anxious than usual? Don’t worry. That is a completely normal experience. In the first part of this guide, we explored Why Anxiety Is Common during Addiction Treatment.
Now we will look at ways to deal with anxiety during addiction recovery.
Find Healthy Coping Mechanisms
The coping mechanisms that work for someone else may not work for you. For example, some people benefit from journaling about anxiety. Others enjoy healthy distractions, like painting or reading a book. You may like a combination of solutions, depending on the type of anxiety you’re experiencing. The big takeaway here is that you need to find options that work for you. Make sure that your new coping mechanisms do not lead to old habits. If hanging out with certain friends makes you want to drink, find a different way to calm your nerves. Talk to your therapist about solutions that will work for your lifestyle and symptoms. He or she can provide personalized advice for you.
Meditate, Exercise, and Try Other Calming Strategies
Some lifestyle changes can reduce your anxiety symptoms as a whole. This may include meditation, yoga, or daily exercise. These calming strategies are designed to help you feel better, both physically and mentally. This will keep the anxiety at bay. You could also try taking a relaxing bath, sunbathing, or getting a massage. There are endless possibilities to help you de-stress.
Talk to Someone You Trust
Talking about your anxiety may ease your symptoms. Reach out to people you trust – those who will support you through addiction recovery. You may have close friends and family members you still feel comfortable talking to, or you may have people in your addiction therapy group. You could also discuss your anxiety with your addiction therapist to learn how to manage your symptoms when they arise.
Familiarize Yourself with New Environments
Anxiety symptoms tend to heighten when you are in an unfamiliar setting. If you are visiting a new place or spending time with new people, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the room. Note where the exits are and what the best route is to leave the building, if necessary. This lets your mind know that you have a way out, so you do not feel trapped in the moment. That sense of security will ease your anxiety.
Practice Steady Breathing
Breathing control is important for anxiety treatment. If you are experiencing a panic attack, inhale for 4-5 seconds, and then exhale for 4-5 seconds. Repeat this until your pulse slows and you feel more in control of your body. Breathing steadily throughout the day will also keep your anxiety at rest. If you notice yourself breathing rapidly, take a moment to pause and regroup. Breathe in slowly through your nose, and then exhale slowly through your mouth. You should feel a calming sensation flow over your body.
If you are looking for an addiction recovery program, contact MHR Memphis at (901) 682-6136. We use evidence-based addiction treatment techniques, tailored for each individual. Give us a call, and we will set you up with an addiction therapist near you.