How Stress and Addiction are Related
The abuse of drugs or alcohol can often relate to the stressful situations that occur throughout a lifetime. When you or a loved one is abusing a substance, it may be time to identify the root cause and start working toward realistic solutions. It is particularly important to control and manage stress during addiction recovery because it can contribute to a relapse.
Psychology Today (1) points out that stress can have a negative impact on the organs, immune system and even mental health. By taking measures to reduce or eliminate stress, it is possible to improve personal well-being and reduce the risks that may arise.
Avoid Stressful Situations
Help Guide (2) recommends identifying the source of stress and then taking measures to avoid or limit personal exposure to the situation. By recognizing a situation that may be potentially stressful, it is possible to take steps to reduce the impact on the body and mind. Avoid the situation if it is possible or take measures to make the situation easier to handle.
Eat a Healthy Diet
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (3) recommends eating a healthy and well-balanced diet as part of a stress relief program. By eating a healthy diet, the body has the tools to handle stress when it arises and there are fewer complications that may relate to nutrient deficiencies. Certain nutrient deficiencies can have an impact on the mental health of an individual. Eating a healthy diet plan can help reduce the risks and improve the physical health of the body.
Talk in Positive Ways
The American Heart Association (4) explains that positive self-talk helps individuals remain calm in a stressful situation. It provides a greater amount of control and allows the individual to put the situation into a positive perspective. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a treatment option in addiction recovery, focuses on changing personal thinking processes. By focusing on the positives or thinking about encouraging pep-talks, it is easier to reach personal goals and avoid stressful situations.
Enjoy a Hobby
Abusing a substance or engaging in risky behavior is a negative way to handle stress. Opt for a fun hobby when the situation becomes difficult to handle. For example, enjoy a sport or read a good book. Look for a rare baseball card or stamp. Focus on a positive and interesting hobby for a period of time each day. It can help clear the mind and provides time to put the situation into the right perspective.
The CDC (3) recommends regular exercise as a stress relief solution. Exercise will help reduce stress by producing endorphins in the body. It also improves the health of the body and physical strength so that an individual is able to handle the unexpected situations that may arise.
Create a Schedule
Psych Central (5) recommends scheduling and time management to reduce the number of situations that may contribute to stress. A careful schedule and daily plan will eliminate any questions about the situation and make it easier to accomplish tasks without feeling overwhelmed.
Relax Each Day
Relaxation is a key part of stress relief, even if there is limited time in a busy schedule. The American Heart Association (4) suggests that a relaxing activity will calm the mind and relieve tension in the body. For example, sit in a quiet location for meditation or yoga. The calming activities will have a positive impact on the stress levels in the body. If time is limited, then setting aside five minutes for deep breathing or meditation can be a powerful tool to help alleviate the concerns and focus on new tasks.
You Can Alleviate Stress in a Productive Way
Stress can be harmful to the physical, emotional and mental well-being of an individual. When stress levels are high, there is a greater risk of developing health concerns. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce stress by identifying the causes, limiting the situations that are stressful and taking measures to cope with the negative emotions when they arise. With the right tools, it is possible to maintain addiction recovery goals.