Stress makes a person feel emotionally and mentally uncomfortable. Nervousness, fear, and even depression often result from stress. In times of difficulty, the mind can trigger stress responses in the body, like rapid heart rate, tremors, insomnia, and exhaustion. People in addiction recovery must manage their stress to avoid relapse and to feel optimistic about their new life clean and sober.
Why Are Addicts and Alcoholics Sensitive to Stress?
All addicts and alcoholics who have hit bottom because of their drinking or drugging went through the most stressful situations listed above—and the consequences of addiction lead to these horrible problems. However, once a person does find help at a treatment program, they are committed to staying sober. Unfortunately, these individuals are prone to stress processing their emotions, and past experiences have aggravated their lives. Did they lose their dream job because of drugs? Or did they become homeless? The point is that people in recovery need a lot of compassion and support to sustain their sobriety as they are re-building the wreckage from their former lives.
Where in the Body Does Stress Originate?
In addition to the central nervous system, the autonomic nervous system (ANS) plays an essential role in how the body shows signs of stress. There is a sympathetic nervous system and a parasympathetic nervous system within the ANS, and these two systems are responsible for many “flight or fight” responses within the body. Stress, however, is not necessarily bad. For example, when a car is zipping towards us, we need to feel fear so that we can move quickly, or when we can’t see where we are walking, we should feel stress so that we don’t hurt ourselves.
What Kinds Of Stress Are The Worst?
Stress is related to emotions and cognition. This means that while one person won’t feel stressed out or nervous about a job interview, another person will be sweating, and their heart will be racing. Moreover, the same two people may react differently to a near-death experience. For example, the one who was calm for the interview was the one who had a panic attack after the incident. Still, the particulars of how someone reacts to stress are not always individual. In general, most people get nervous before a job interview or after an accident. But the following situations are the most stressful to anyone:
- Job Loss
- Death of a Loved One
- Jail or Prison
- Financial Difficulties
What Does The Medical Community Say About Stress and Sobriety?
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health explain what stress is precisely and discuss its influence on addiction. They define stress responses as emotional or psychological.
Stress is a well-known risk factor in the development of addiction and addiction relapse vulnerability. Stress experiences can be emotionally or physiologically challenging to regain homeostasis. Examples of emotional stressors include interpersonal conflict, loss of a relationship, death of a close family member, and child loss. Common physiological stressors are hunger or food deprivation, sleep deprivation or insomnia, extreme hyper- or hypothermia, and drug withdrawal states. (NIH)
How Can I Reduce Stress to Support My Recovery?
Developing stress-reducing practices is one of the most important things anyone can do to support their recovery. The following are the best coping skills to minimize stress responses:
- Get Your Frustration Out by Exercising- Working out helps you eliminate tension and adrenaline from stress, leaving you in a more relaxed state.
- Meditate Regularly-By meditating often, you can transition from the stress and worry to peace the more it is practiced.
- Join a Support Group-By participating in a support group; you can also help others, which is another good way to relieve stress.
- Sleep Better- The importance of sleep for stress management cannot be overstated. Your body heals and restores mental clarity when you sleep. Those who are in early recovery are likely to struggle with insomnia.
- Establish Healthy Routines- Routines help us stay on task and not focus on our current frustrations.
- Having Fun is Key-Your daily stress levels can be reduced by participating in activities you enjoy.
Evoke Wellness at Cohasset Offers Stress Management & Comprehensive Treatment
We have the expertise and experience to help addicts and alcoholics remain clean and sober longer. Our evidence-based programs combine cognitive behavioral therapy and holistic therapy with stress and anger management programs. In addition, we offer mindfulness recovery practices and other stress-reducing therapy methods. We know how to give you the relief you are searching for. Do not let drugs and alcohol steal another day. The solution begins with comprehensive expert treatment in our in-depth addiction and alcoholism treatment centers.