incredible-marketing Arrow

How Can Our Emotional Responses Impact Our Sobriety? 

We tend to think of our sobriety as being comprised of behaviors, habits, choices, and decisions. While this is partially accurate, our sobriety also has to do with our emotions and our emotional responses. How we react to things emotionally can determine whether or not we’re able to stay on track with our sobriety. Our emotional responses can be major triggers for relapse, just as our behaviors and choices can. If we aren’t mindful of our emotions and treat them recklessly, the fallout can be disastrous. Let’s examine how our emotional responses impact our sobriety.

Fear-Driven Responses

When we react to difficult emotions with intense, fear-based responses, we’re compounding the negative energy of those feelings. We’re making them stronger, more emotionally charged, and harder to overcome. Instead of relying upon our inner strength and resolve to manage them effectively, we act impulsively and cause harm. When we panic, for example, we stop thinking clearly, and our judgment becomes impaired. Naturally, it’s easy to lose control of our decision-making faculties in such a state. We become less able to create solutions and resolve our issues when we’re focusing our energy on the difficult emotions we’re having.

Emotional Coping Mechanisms

In these difficult emotional moments, we’re likely to turn to our drug of choice to help us relax, to ease our minds, and to soothe our anxiety. For years, we’ve conditioned ourselves to treat stressful emotions with the pleasant numbness of drugs or alcohol. Because we’re resisting our emotions out of fear, we’re exacerbating the destructive hold they have over us. The more we resist our emotions, the more susceptible we become to relapse. In examining past incidences of relapse, we often find that intense feelings like sadness and anxiety are the underlying causes. 

Inventory of Our Emotional Choices

As we’re working to recover, we want to take full inventory not only of our behavioral choices, but also our emotional choices. How do we choose to respond to feelings that are difficult for us? Do we panic, or do we stay calm? Does anger govern our reactions, or do we practice compassion, understanding, and forgiveness? All too often, we resist our emotions by trying to numb ourselves and escape with our drug of choice. As we recover, we have to learn to practice emotional self-acceptance instead.

Learning new ways to deal with our difficult emotions is a long process. Sobriety, as a way of life, can’t be achieved overnight. Fortunately, you don’t have to go down this road alone. The Guest House is a welcoming and supportive recovery home where you will be met with open arms, wherever you are on your journey, without judgment or expectation. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.