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How Can I Learn to Relax in Recovery?

One of the biggest challenges in recovery is finding ways to relax that don’t involve addictive substances. Because you used substances as a way to wind down and take the edge off, now you have to find alternative ways to become calm. Our culture also tends to emphasize business and productivity rather than relaxation and self-care. This poses another obstacle to finding serenity and relaxation in recovery.

If you find yourself never having time to relax or being on the go all of the time, it is possible to fall into a cycle of negative thinking. Learning how to relax in recovery can be beneficial for keeping your mindset positive. When you’re relaxed, it’s easier to sleep, respond in healthy ways to stress, make good choices, and feel hopeful about your life.

With all of life’s obligations, it can seem like you do not have time for yourself. However, taking time for yourself is essential in recovery. Perhaps you have read articles about stress management and have even practiced breathing techniques. However, nothing seems to help you relax. This article will provide helpful tips for finding ways to relax in recovery using strategies such as yoga and meditation, conscious breathwork, and equine therapy.

Why Is It Important to Relax in Recovery?

Everywhere you look, people are rushing all around you. It is no doubt that today’s world can be stressful. This can feel difficult when you are stressed out or have anxiety. According to a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) fact sheet, stress is the physical or mental response to external stimuli. Some examples are being assigned a stressful task at work or having a car that needs expensive repairs. A stressor is linked to a one-time event that causes an emotional reaction.

Anxiety, however, can happen as a result of stress. It can also be present even when there is no current external event causing it. If left unaddressed, stress and anxiety build and can lead to triggers and cravings.

In recovery, your life is changing. Everything that you used to know and do has changed. This can be stressful for some people. It takes patience and ongoing effort to change your life from the inside out. The good news is that you can create your own recovery journey. Part of carving out a good life in recovery is learning to deal with stress. Incorporating some relaxation techniques into your life will benefit you no matter where you are in your recovery process.

How Do I Begin to Relax in Recovery?

Practicing stress management and relaxation is not a one-time thing. instead, it’s best to create a genuine healing environment for yourself and your recovery. Taking the time that you need to unwind and relax in recovery is essential for building the life you want to create.

You can start by taking several minutes in your morning routine to practice breathing exercises. Conscious connected breathwork is a great place to start. This method is adapted from pranayama, an ancient breathing technique of the East.

As you take time to relax and enjoy the movement of your breath, you bring your mind, body, and spirit more into alignment with each other. It’s easy to forget how important it is to breathe deeply. When you connect back in with your breath using this technique, you can find deep healing and relaxation.

What Are the Benefits of Relaxation in Recovery?

Practicing relaxation techniques regularly can bring many benefits to your life. Some of those benefits are:

  • Boosting confidence
  • Cultivating a peaceful environment
  • Decreasing stress
  • Maintaining a sense of calm
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Increasing focus
  • Slowing down the pace of life
  • Improving the quality of sleep

Four Examples of Relaxation Techniques

You are free to choose from a variety of relaxation techniques during your recovery. Not everything will work for everyone. There is a sense of freedom when you find what works for you. If relaxation techniques are a foreign concept to you, here are four examples to get you started in your journey:

  1. Journaling: Write down your thoughts and feelings to rid your mind of negativity. Research demonstrates that journaling significantly increases optimism and aids in focus. Journaling is a practice in which you relax your brain and body by putting words on paper. You are free to journal anytime throughout your day and can write anything that you want.
  2. Aromatherapy: Have you ever found that a smell completely overtook you? Certain smells can provide an immediate sense of relaxation. Think of your favorite smell and add it to your relaxation regimen. This will provide an easy dose of relaxation.
  3. Equine therapy: The healing connection between humans and horses is well-established. Connecting with horses using equine therapy can have a significant impact on your healing journey. It’s important to note that there is always a guide present to ensure your safety.
  4. Visualization: In doing visualization for relaxation, you can either follow a guided imagery recording or imagine a special place on your own. It is important to utilize as many senses as you can when engaging in visualization for relaxation. This has many benefits. However, the most important benefits are calming your mind and relaxing your body.

This world is full of people in a hurry. Taking time to recognize that you need to practice relaxation is half the battle. You do not need a lot of time for this. All you need is dedication. There are benefits to creating a specific time and place to relax. You can create your own plan using techniques that make the most sense for you. Some people enjoy breath work and others prefer something more active. There are many relaxation methods. At The Guest House, we know what it is like to be on the go and avoid relaxation. We can help you break through your barriers. Give us a call at (855) 483-7800 today.