Coping skills are tools that people use to deal with stressful situations in life. Not all stressful situations are negative, however. Things like moving to a new home or starting a new job are positive but stressful. People must have ways to manage these situations. When recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction, coping mechanisms become even more important. The problem is, they don’t come easily.
It’s important to remember that coping skills are different for everyone. What works for one person may not work for you, and vice versa. It may take experimenting with different strategies until you find the ones that work for you. Be patient, and don’t give up. The cravings and temptation can be persistent in early recovery, but there are ways to cope.
Let’s look at some different coping skills that can aid in your recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.
Exercise is one of the most helpful coping mechanisms. It allows you to maintain your weight, sleep better and lower the risk of developing certain conditions. Exercise also improves your emotional well-being. Physical activity releases feel-good chemicals in the brain that boost mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Meditation is often related to religion, but you don’t have to be religious to practice meditation. Taking just a few minutes a day to meditate can release negative thoughts and reduce stress and anxiety. As you get more comfortable with this practice, you can do it anytime, anywhere.
Deep breathing exercises are also effective coping skills. When you’re feeling angry, upset or stressed, deep breathing calms you down and eliminates negative emotions. Like meditation, the more you practice deep breathing, the better you’ll be at it.
Even if you’re not much of a writer, it’s mentally liberating to write down your thoughts and feelings. In a safe, private place, you can express anything you want. The more you write, the more insight you gain into your feelings. Journaling also prevents negative emotions from bottling up.
Gratitude is so important in recovery. It might not come natural right now, so you’ll have to consciously look for things in your life to be grateful for. It could be the ability to get out of bed or having a bright, sunny day to enjoy. You might even want to keep a gratitude journal to track the positives in your life.
There are no right or wrong ways to cope. It’s all about finding what works for you. As you practice different coping strategies, you will come to find the ones you like best.
Are you ready to start your recovery? Call The River Source today and speak with one of our representatives. Your call is confidential.