In today’s world stress is ubiquitous. From the high powered CEO who makes millions of dollars a year but has the weight of the world on his shoulders to the single mom working a minimum wage job wondering if she should by food or pay the electric bill this month, stress is everywhere. In fact, it is these chronic stresses that have been cited as one of the reasons for the steady escalation in drug use and addiction over the last few decades. For those undergoing recovery, there is a new stress; the stress of remaining sober. Your old, unhealthy coping mechanisms are gone. You are dealing with repressed feelings, emotions, and possibly even repressed memories as well but you are unable to stick your head in the sand the way you once could. You are learning new and healthy ways of handling all these things that life is throwing at you and it is tough. It really is. Knowing some ways to reduce the stressors in your life that you ARE able to control will go a long ways towards assisting you on your path to recovery and healing.
PERFORM A ROUTINE TASK YOU FIND SOOTHING
For some people it may be rearranging the kitchen cabinets, vacuuming the carpet and getting those nice, straight lines, or maybe you enjoy knitting or some other type of crafting project. Crosswords puzzles, Sudoku puzzles, spending time with your pets, or maybe even tending your garden Any of these low brain power activities that you find soothing (it shouldn’t feel like a chore) will be highly effective at reducing your stress levels and calming you down at the end of the day, or whenever you need.
SPEND TIME IN NATURE
This is something that humans as a whole need to do more of. In fact, if I could implore you to follow only one bit of advice on this page, this would be it. Being in nature allows the prefrontal cortex of the brain to wind down and rest. Civilizations going back to the dawn of time have constructed gardens in which to relax. Many famous authors such as Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, William Wordsworth, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and John Muir have extolled the virtues and benefits of spending time unadorned and alone in the natural world. Nature is therapy for the mind and the soul. As John Muir once wrote, “Take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you.”
Laughter has the ability to increase infection fighting antibodies and immune cells. Laughter also decreases the amount of the stress hormone Cortisol in your body, and triggers the release of endorphins from the brain. Endorphins are your body’s naturally made “feel good” chemicals that serve to elevate your mood. They also have the ability to temporarily relieve pain and to improve your overall sense of well being.
Long term, steady recovery means that you are going to have to learn to find other ways to cope with stressful or unpleasant situations besides drugs and alcohol. Our team here at Asana Recovery is fully equipped to help you do just that. With the assistance of our staff, you can learn alternative, healthy coping mechanisms as part of your rehabilitation. Log on to our website or give us a call today and speak with a caring member of our staff and see what recovery options we have waiting for you.