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It’s common and normal for those addicted to a substance to struggle as they recover. Addiction is a coping mechanism, so when they give it up, it leaves a void in their lives. This is why learning healthy coping skills for addiction recovery is so important.
Exercise is one of the best coping skills for addiction recovery. Along with maintaining weight, exercise improves sleep and reduces the risk of health problems. It also promotes emotional well-being. Studies even show that exercise reduces anxiety, depression and stress.
Those recovering can try different exercises to find a few that are their favorites. It’s more enjoyable and easier to stick with an exercise routine when friends join in, so ask a couple to join you.
Maintaining a positive outlook is essential for recovery. This is because negative thinking is typically a trigger for relapse.
Sometimes recovering patients have to dig deep into their lives to find the silver lining. This doesn’t mean that they should ignore or minimize the importance of things that don’t go their way. They should just look for the positive side to avoid relapse.
Another coping skill for addiction recovery that some therapists recommend is keeping a journal. This involves writing down negative and positive feelings and thoughts. Keeping a journal provides a safe way to express negative feelings so that they don’t get bottled up. Doing it on a regular basis helps gain personal insight too.
Knowing the triggers that compel those recovering to drink or use drugs is one of the most important coping skills for addiction recovery. Some common triggers to relapse are:
It’s hard for some to recognize their triggers, but the easiest way to prevent relapse is to avoid all of them for a time. Friends, family or therapists may be able to help.
Taking time to breathe and meditate on a regular basis helps to relax and relieve stress. When negative feelings arise, deep breathing can bring those feelings into check. People may relate meditation to religion. However, it benefits both the mind and body.
Looking for things to be grateful for might be one of the hardest of the coping skills for addiction recovery. Sometimes it just takes being grateful for a hot shower or a cool breeze when it’s hot outside. Writing these feelings in a journal is a great way to use this coping skill in recovery. Reading the thoughts when feeling angry, depressed or sad could boost spirits.
Everyone needs someone to talk to when they have a problem. Cravings for alcohol or drugs is certainly a problem, so having someone to talk to about it is helpful. The talk itself could relieve the feeling. The friend, family member, sponsor or therapist might also pinpoint the source of a trigger or craving so it can be avoided.
Rather than take out anger or pain on family and friends, recovering people can turn that energy into doing something useful. This might mean raising money for charities. Maybe it means writing about their struggles to help others recover. They could also volunteer with organizations that help recovering addicts.
Beaches Recovery offers programs and therapies that help those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction learn healthy coping skills for addiction recovery. Located in Jacksonville FL, we treat those struggling with alcohol or drug addiction. We make sure that they develop the skills necessary to live sober.
Don’t let unhealthy coping mechanisms keep you from recovering or trigger a relapse. Call 866-605-0532 where an addiction specialist is waiting to help.