During addiction, prioritizing drugs and alcohol increases interpersonal conflict and problems with friends, family members, and loved ones. Stress is also a major trigger for many mental health conditions, like anxiety. When you’re recovering from either, learning effective stress management techniques is a vital way to learn how to manage your symptoms with addiction treatment therapies in Texas.
If you feel overwhelmed with stress, you’re far from alone. Not only is stress unavoidable, but it can also make it easier to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. In fact, stress is one of the most powerful triggers during addiction and recovery. While 34% of Americans report that their stress has increased in the past year, that number is likely much higher among those struggling with a mental health disorder or substance abuse problem.
Addiction, Recovery, and Stress
Substance abuse disorders are chronic, meaning that symptoms will continue to get progressively worse until you receive addiction treatment in Dallas, TX. Drugs and alcohol are neurotransmitter inhibitors, which is why abusing psychoactive substances cause changes to your brain chemistry. Every time you use a substance, your brain releases more neurotransmitters than it should. Once the effects end, you are left with a sudden depletion of neurotransmitters.
When this happens, you can experience cravings as your brain wants to fix the imbalance. Unfortunately, addiction instead creates a constant neurotransmitter imbalance. Since your brain’s pleasure and reward center identifies your substance of choice with happiness and positive emotions, your brain rewards your substance use. It punishes abstinence by controlling the release of neurotransmitters.
These associations and changes to your pleasure and reward center make it very difficult to recover from addiction without help. During treatment and recovery, you must learn how to manage your symptoms, which include cravings and triggers. Being stressed out is one of the most powerful triggers you encounter during recovery because, during addiction, your substance use was utilized as a way to self-medicate negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Stress is also a daily part of life, so learning proper stress management techniques is imperative during the recovery so you can begin utilizing healthy coping strategies.
Stress Management Techniques
When you encounter stressful situations during addiction, drugs and alcohol provide a quick band-aid. During recovery, stress has the potential to put your sobriety and abstinence in danger. While stress isn’t always a bad thing, it can make you feel overwhelmed and emotional. If you have poor communication or conflict resolution skills, it can make it hard to find ways to deal with difficult situations or emotions without using or drinking. Inpatient rehab centers in Dallas, TX provide programs to mitigate stress through healthy activities.
Stress management techniques can include almost anything, such as:
- Deep breathing
- Working out
- Listening to music
- Watching television
The critical thing to remember about stress management techniques is that different things work for different people. If you love music, it can offer a great way to calm down or relax if you feel stressed out. Working out and exercising are also great stress management technique because it improves your physical wellbeing while affording you a healthy way to blow off some steam.
Finding effective stress management techniques is also an essential part of treatment. Learning how to identify your triggers, which can include stress, is the first step in building a strong foundation during recovery. Another great thing about stress management techniques is that they can involve simple activities like deep breathing and meditation, which you can use virtually anywhere.
Reaching Out for Help Today
When you are struggling with addiction, it can feel like your life is out of control and completely unmanageable. Stress can also make it easy to rely on drugs and alcohol as an unhealthy coping mechanism, which is why stress management techniques are essential to your recovery. Contact The Right Step Dallas to find out more about addiction and recovery. Call us today at 1.844.768.1161 to discuss your treatment options.