When people are in addiction treatment and recovery, they need to learn about and practice stress management. Stress is one of the core reasons why substance use can turn into an addiction. People will sometimes rely on substances, such as alcohol and drugs, to find relief from stress. The more substances they take, the more dependent they become until it becomes an addiction. Learning stress management doesn’t just help those recovering from addiction; it helps everyone. When stress is reduced, so do the health problems associated with it.
This is why at Painted Desert Recovery, stress management is taught as part of addiction treatment. Stress management is an important skill that makes addiction treatment and recovery more comfortable. To understand why stress management is so important, one has to look at what stress does to the body and psyche.
How Do I Know if I’m Stressed?
Stress is how our bodies respond to a cause beyond our control. For example, people often feel stress when taking on new duties at work or if they have a test to take in school. It can affect someone both positively and negatively. Stress can motivate someone to complete an important job, but it can also cause stomach upset and lack of appetite. It does go away once the situation is finished, but stress can persist if someone remains in a stressful environment.
As mentioned before, people will sometimes try to relieve their stress by engaging in substance use. This is especially true if the stress is so bad that it interferes with someone’s life, seems to always be present, or prevents someone from doing things they enjoy. Some symptoms of constant stress are:
- Tension, headaches, and/or body pain
- High blood pressure or increased heart rate
- Digestive troubles, such as loss of appetite or upset stomach
- Persistent feelings of unease and worry
- Loss of sleep
If someone experiences these symptoms and they do not go away, they are too stressed and need stress management.
What Does Healthy Stress Management Look Like?
Being able to practice good stress management is to cope with stress healthily. Stress is a normal part of life and will happen regardless of what anyone does. Everyone experiences stress, but it can be especially difficult for women in recovery. Undergoing treatment and therapy to address addiction can cause quite a bit of stress. That’s why at Painted Desert Recovery, steps are taken to reduce stress in our clients. Equine therapy and art therapy are all examples of therapies offered that can reduce stress.
Healthy stress management involves coping with stress in a way that brings no harm to themselves or others. For example, engaging in substance abuse is harmful and is thus not an appropriate way to deal with stress. Self-isolation, refusing to sleep, and lashing out at others is not a healthy way to cope with stress. It’s important to practice emotional regulation and not allow stress to cause harm.
Sometimes, stress management means leaving an unhealthy environment. That is why residential treatment programs are important. They allow clients to recover and detox away from many sources of stress. For some, this also means finding a healthier environment to live in, especially if their current residence is full of stress.
Tips to Practice Stress Management in Recovery
There are several ways someone can practice stress management while in treatment and recovery. Here are a few tips that can help someone reduce and cope with their stress:
- Keep a journal: Writing down your thoughts and feelings allows you to express and cope with negative emotions.
- Exercise and eat healthy: Taking care of your body is an excellent way to manage stress. This allows the body to better cope with stressful events because it’s nourished and healthy. Exercising increases brain health, which leads to better stress tolerance.
- Get plenty of sleep and rest: This allows the body to recharge and rejuvenate.
- Practice mindfulness techniques: Some examples include medication, yoga, and deep breathing exercises.
- Avoid overindulging in caffeine: Caffeine can exacerbate the symptoms of stress.
- Identify unhealthy and negative thoughts: Some psychotherapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help someone identify and change these negative thoughts into helpful, positive ones.
- Build a support network of people who love and care about you: Having a support network will give you a shoulder to lean on and a caring ear to listen to your troubles. Group therapy is a great way to find support in addiction treatment and recovery.
Of course, the caring staff at Painted Desert Recovery is always ready to help our clients practice healthy stress management. If someone is looking to manage their stress, they can always talk to a qualified mental health care professional for tips. Stress management is a form of self-care, and it’s important for a healthy mind and body. For more information about addiction treatment and how women can best manage their stress, contact Painted Desert Recovery. Nobody deserves to live in constant stress, especially yourself and the ones you love.
One of the biggest contributors to addiction is stress. When people are stressed, they will attempt to deal with it in the best way they know. Sometimes, this involves abusing substances, especially if the individual has seen a parent or role model deal with their stress in a similar way. Here at Painted Desert Recovery in New Harmony, Utah, we take stress management seriously. The less stressed a client is, the easier it is for them to achieve and maintain their recovery. We teach our clients how to manage their stress and practice healthy activities to reduce them. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, don’t delay; call (844) 540-0353 today.