Managing Stress at an Addiction Treatment Center
Deciding to enroll into an addiction treatment center is stressful enough, so managing stress during the duration of your stay is important to the success of your treatment. Early recovery can be extremely stressful for a number of reasons whether it be enduring withdrawal symptoms, leaving behind family and friends for a time, or simply the weight of starting a new life without the crutch of drugs or alcohol. Stress management techniques can help ease your stress during your stay at an addiction treatment center so that you are able to focus solely on your recovery.
The Dangers of Stress in Recovery from Addiction
Stress is believed to be the number one cause of relapse since it is a likely trigger amongst all recovering addicts. Drugs and alcohol were once used to self-medicate the individuals that are seeking sobriety, so when stress arises they are more likely to reach for their drug of choice to escape it. Because of the dangers of relapse, it is important to try to prevent it from happening at all costs. Learning to manage stress can help prevent a relapse from occurring. Along with being a cause for relapse, stress can have negative physical and mental effects on the body. The physical and mental side effects of stress include:
- Increased heartbeat and blood pressure
- Stomach ache
- Mood swings, irritability, and trouble controlling temper
- Development of anxiety and depression
- Inability to concentrate
- Muscle cramps and soreness
- Lapses in memory and forgetfulness
- Decreased abilities of immune system
Techniques to Reduce Stress
Take Care of your Body: Many people do not understand the importance of nutrition, sleep, and exercise when it comes to managing stress. Exercise can release endorphins that can help you manage moods. Sleep is needed for emotion regulation and stress control. Healthy eating can give you the energy needed to deal with stress. Ultimately, taking good care of your body will help you keep control of your stress levels.
Meditation: Spending time alone with yourself will help you identify areas in life that accumulate stress. Once you can identify these causes of stress, you can effectively learn how to approach these situations. Meditation can help the world to slow around you so that you can accept the things you cannot change and learn to change the things you can. Using meditation can also reduce levels of stress in real time, giving you time to calm down before reacting.
Let it Out: If you feel stressed during your stay at an addiction treatment center, do not bottle it up inside you. This could lead to negative side effects like a relapse or the multiple physical and mental dangers listed above. Instead, seek peers or counselors that will listen to you vent about your stressors and help you deal. If you don’t feel like talking about your stress with anyone, talk to yourself. A good way of letting out feelings without having to express them verbally is journaling. Releasing your stress will allow you to move on and continue to focus on your recovery journey.