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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

7 Healthy Ways To Deal With Stress In Recovery

Recovering from addiction is a very transformative time in your life. As you become accustomed to a new and healthy lifestyle, you will face thoughts and emotions that you may have spent years numbing with drugs and alcohol.

Although the changes you are making to your lifestyle while in recovery are ultimately incredibly positive, you will no doubt face stress and unease during this time as well. Here are seven ways to help deal with stress during recovery.

1. Meditate
Meditation is an incredible tool for those in recovery because it allows you to become intensely aware of your thoughts and it trains your brain to recognize unhealthy thoughts as they arise and subsequently dismiss them. Meditation has also been shown to alleviate depression and anxiety.
2. Join a twelve step group
Twelve step groups are an integral part of many people’s recovery for a number of reasons, one of which is that interacting with other recovering addicts offers a chance to share experiences and put problems in perspective.
3. Journal
Writing down your thoughts and feelings can greatly diminish feelings of stress and anxiety. Many problems may seem much more manageable once they have been written down. Journaling also helps keep you aware of the reasons you may be feeling stress.
4. Exercise
Exercise is a highly effective activity for anyone experiencing feelings of stress. Exercise encourages production of endorphins, which naturally elevate mood and bring about a feeling of calm. Exercise is also a great way to feel more in touch with your body as you return to health.
5. Get a pet.
If you do not have a pet already, you may want to consider getting one. Animal companionship has been shown to reduce stress and help provide a general sense of happiness and elevated mood. Even if you cannot currently take on a pet because of your current living situation, you may be able to visit a local dog park or volunteer at a shelter.
6. Spend time with happy people.
In recovery, you separate yourself from the people and situations that are triggering you to use. As you rid yourself of unhealthy influences, you can begin to cultivate the relationships you have with happy people, which will put you in a more balanced mindset.
7. Be mindful of the things you have accomplished.
Recovery is a lifelong experience, and strides toward health are not always made at the pace that we would like them to move at. Rather than becoming discouraged by setbacks or what you view as endless obstacles ahead of you, try to stay focused on the things you have accomplished already.

Once a week, make a list of the things you did that week that were good for you and promoted your mental and physical health. You may even want to post this list somewhere you can see it often, like on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror.
By taking the time to manage your stress, you will have a much less bumpy and much more enjoyable road to health.
Cindy Nichols is an an addiction specialist and treatment advisor and specializes in alcohol intervention programs at Recovery Now.

Carolina Monroe Written by: Carolina
Way To Be Healthy Updated at: 9:48 PM

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