Stress is a normal part of life, but it can be troublesome for a person in recovery.  Financial, health, and family conflicts are just a few issues that you will deal with in recovery, and they can lead to relapse if you are not active in your recovery.  Most specialists believe stress is the number one cause of relapse. Research clearly shows that the brain of an addict is more sensitive to stress, which may explain why they used alcohol and drugs to cope.  There are several coping mechanisms for getting rid of stress and it is important you find the necessary tools to deal with them. When you enter a treatment program, there are several ways that you can learn stress management to avoid relapse.

Identify Potential Sources of Stress

If you are used to dealing with stress by using drugs and alcohol, you may have no idea whether or not you are stressed.  Some typical signs of stress include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Stomach Issues
  • Racing Thoughts
  • Irritability
  • Memory
  • Lack of Focus
  • Appetite

Now that you are aware you are stressed, what is the cause?  Can you define a particular person, place or situation that is the source of the problem?  If you’re unable to put a finger on it, you may want to speak with a trusted friend or keep a journal to document the times you are feeling stressed.

Learn Stress Management Skills

Stress is a sometimes unavoidable response to certain conditions and people.  When you learn to recognize these stressors, you may have a bit more control over how you respond.  Depending on the situation, you can use the 4 A’s of stress management: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.

Avoid-if possible, avoid any unnecessary stressors. Don’t put yourself in stressful situations

Alter– If you find yourself in a stressful environment, find a way to change it.

Adapt– If you’re unable to change the stressor, adapt by changing the way you deal with or approach the situation.

Accept– Sometimes you just have to “accept the things you cannot change,” and you may limit your stress in giving up the fight when stop trying to control what is beyond your power.

Other Ways to Beat Stress

Make sure you are taking good care of yourself.  If you are not exercising proper self-care of your body and mind, there is a strong chance that they will not take care of you.  Some ways you can cut down on stress include:

  • Limit your caffeine and nicotine intake
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get proper sleep
  • Meditate
  • Discuss your feelings
  • Keep a journal
Learn How to Effectively Handle Stress in Recovery

Just the absence of drugs and alcohol is not enough to maintain addiction recovery. Everyone has stress in their life, and you can learn how to effectively manage the stress in your life while leading a productive and fulfilling life.  Asana Recovery is an effective and modern addiction treatment center that offers a variety of options depending on your needs.  Contact us now to learn more about admissions to a treatment program that will fit your needs. 949-438-4504