What is Emotional Sobriety and How do I Practice It?
Emotional sobriety is a term coined by the 12-step community. While physical sobriety is the act of not using addictive substances, emotional sobriety is the skill set that aids a person not to utilize addictive substances. Without emotional sobriety, a person will have a very difficult time with physical sobriety.
What Emotional Sobriety is and why It’s Important
Certainly, staying away from drugs and alcohol to reduce the chance of relapse is the main goal of treatment. However, preventing relapse isn’t the only way to go about effective recovery. Addressing the negative emotions which may have led to the development of addiction is important. Plus, the emotions which stemmed as a result of addiction are imperative to address too. While negative emotions can definitely lead to a physical relapse, emotional sobriety is what’s used to manage these emotions so that relapse doesn’t happen in the first place. If someone is truly committed and focused on a life of sobriety, they’ll work toward establishing emotional sobriety.
Some Ways to Practice Emotional Sobriety
Throughout treatment, individuals have a chance to begin practicing skills needed for strong emotional sobriety. These skills are developed utilizing a number of tools including:
Behavioral Therapy: Most treatment centers utilize behavioral therapies to induce emotional sobriety. Basically, these therapies help to identify and address negative behavioral patterns. And, how various emotions may play a part in these behavioral patterns. This way, these emotions can be identified once treatment ends to negate negative behaviors.
Accepting Emotions: Addiction leaves nearly every individual struggling with negative emotions like shame and guilt. Furthermore, during recovery, individuals may still struggle with these emotions and even additional ones like anxiety and fear for the future. However, being able to deal with these various emotions is essential to preventing relapse. The first step to dealing with emotions is to accept them; both the good and the bad. Instead of being completely overwhelmed with emotion, emotional sobriety includes being able to step back, realize emotions, and accept them as they come.
Get Community Support: Going to peer group meetings like AA and NA can help to stimulate feelings of fellowship and establish support. This can help to keep emotional sobriety in check. When you have people on your side wanting you to succeed, you’ll be more prepared to do so.
Holistic Therapies: Along with behavioral therapies, holistic therapies can help to promote effective emotional sobriety. Holistic therapies help individuals with mindfulness, which is being able to live in the present moment. Too often, recovering individuals are negatively affected by what they’ve experienced in the past and worrying about the future. But, this can damage recovery efforts and could lead to relapse. To strengthen emotional sobriety, try utilizing a number of holistic therapies like chiropractic care, acupuncture, yoga, and meditation.
Looking for Treatment that Includes Stimulating Emotional Sobriety
Here at Wellness Retreat Recovery Center, we understand the need for emotional sobriety and provide our patients with the tools needed to establish theirs. If you’re serious about leaving addiction in the past, we can help you on your journey to establish both physical and emotional sobriety. To talk to us more about how we can help, contact us today.