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The stress we feel in our daily lives takes a toll on our health and can play a major role in our addictive patterns. We use our drugs of choice as a way of coping with our stress and all of the difficult emotions we have a hard time managing. Our stress can manifest as mental, emotional, and physical health problems, which can exacerbate our problems with addiction. The more stressed out and overwhelmed we are, the more we use our drugs of choice. The more we use, the more stressed out and unhealthy we become. We feel ashamed of ourselves for using. We feel disappointed in ourselves and stressed when we feel as though we can’t quit. We get caught in toxic recurring cycles of using our drugs of choice and mishandling our stress. How can we manage our stress in healthier ways?

Taking An Inventory of Our Stress

Part of learning to manage our stress is figuring out what the sources of our stress actually are. Sometimes when we’re overly stressed, it can feel like everything is going wrong in our lives, and we feel so overwhelmed by our stress that we can’t pinpoint what is actually causing it. Why are you stressed out? What is bothering you? What is making you feel upset, unstable, or anxious? Chances are you haven’t taken a clear inventory of the problems adding to your stress. You might have been avoiding thinking about them, out of fear that addressing them might make them worse. You might have been hoping that avoiding dealing with your stress would make it go away. What are the actual sources of your stress? Is it a relationship issue, or a problem at work? Is it financial troubles, or is your kid acting up at school? Get clear and specific about all the different sources of stress that might be at play.

Healthy Stress Management Tools

Once we’re clear on what’s causing our stress, we can explore healthy ways of managing it. We might want to get more exercise if a lack of movement and activity has caused our stress to accumulate and fester. We might want to look at our eating habits and sleep patterns in case our routines are contributing to our stress. We may want to try yoga, meditation, or energy healing practices like tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique). We can use positive affirmations, journaling, and spending time in nature to help us naturally manage our stress. We can work with our therapist, sponsor, coach, or spiritual guide to help us learn new ways of coping with stress. When we confront our stress mindfully and give ourselves the space to find ways of managing it, we empower ourselves to stay the course of our recovery. We find healthier alternatives to managing our stress than the very destructive addictions we’ve been using as coping mechanisms.

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 855-823-5463 today for more information.