Anxiety is something that the average person has to deal with on a daily basis. But, although anxiety is a normal emotion to experience, it can be a risk for those in early recovery. Relapse rates are highest in the days immediately following addiction treatment. And, anxiety can be a trigger to use drugs once treatment is complete. So, it’s important to have a handle on anxiety levels so that relapse doesn’t occur when it will undoubtedly manifest.
Figure Out What Makes You Anxious
Unless you suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, a mental condition diagnosed to individuals struggling with high levels of anxiety on a daily basis which interferes with the workings of daily life, you’ll need to find out what makes you anxious. Those who suffer from the mental condition may have anxiety attacks without a cause. But, if you have regular amounts of anxiety, it will greatly help you to remain sober in the early days of recovery if you can prevent anxious situations. Triggers to anxiety may include:
- New surroundings
- Meeting new people
- Starting a new career
Take Control with Anxiety Coping Strategies
Because anxiety can be a trigger to use and lead to eventual relapse, it’s not only important to recognize what makes you anxious, but how to prevent and deal with anxiety when these situations arise. Once you know how to defend yourself against anxiety, you’ll be able to enter into situations that may have once made you anxious with confidence. Remember, although anxiety coping strategies may not be easy to implement at first, with practice, they’ll become second nature to you.
Examples of Anxiety Coping Strategies for Early Recovery
Keep yourself distracted: Anxiety is often temporary. When you find yourself in a stressful situation, sometimes it is best to relieve yourself of the setting for a short while until you can calm down. Try to distract yourself with an exercise which helps to lower levels anxiety, whatever that may be. Then, once your anxiety levels are reduced, enter back into the situation renewed.
Keep a strict eating and sleeping schedule: Bodies that aren’t taken care of are often anxious bodies. Eating and sleeping will help the areas of the brain responsible for mood regulation, including anxiety levels. So, regularly eat well-balanced and nutritious meals and set a sleeping schedule that you stick to every night. With sleeping and eating schedules in place, you’ll soon see a difference in how often you experience high anxiety levels.
Utilize mindfulness meditation techniques: Mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga help to greatly reduce anxiety levels. Being mindful is the ability to remain in the present moment; not worrying about the past or future worries. It’s a helpful outlook to develop in recovery to reduce stress. When you are only worried about the present moment, anxiety for all else falls to the wayside.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help: Whether you have yet to attend treatment or you are a treatment graduate, there are always outlets for support. Even friends and family may be able to help talk you through an anxiety episode. If not, reach out to helpful online support groups, recovery peers at your weekly meetings, or trusted members of your church.
Set up an exercise routine: Exercise can also help to reduce levels of stress. This is because exercise produces endorphins, a critical element which helps the brain to regulate emotions. A good rule of thumb is to exercise at least three times a week for a minimum of 20 minutes. Get that heart pumping to see what exercise can do for your anxiety levels!
Anxiety Coping Strategies After a Relapse
If you find that your anxiety has lead to a relapse, you can get back on track with your recovery. And, the experts at The Wellness Retreat Recovery can help you develop the relapse prevention techniques you need to live a successful and long life free from addiction. Give us a call today to see what we can do to help you reduce anxiety and beat addiction at 888-821-0238.