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Dealing with Stress While Avoiding Relapse

Addiction issues are complex and challenging. There is no cure for addiction, only addiction management, which starts at an addiction center like Jackson House Addiction Treatment & Recovery Centers. Whether it is mild or severe, addiction can affect someone's quality of life, relationships, and success in their work.

When the initial phase of recovery is complete, it’s up to an individual to manage their addiction in the world, but they are not without support. Therapy and support groups can help people identify their stress triggers and develop the skills needed to manage them without substances.

Causes of Stress 

Stress is an everyday experience for most people. Whether it is the stress of getting to work on time or the pressures of a job or a relationship, we all have challenges that raise our cortisol levels. Stress is a form of fear which causes major changes in the body and nervous system. 

Stress can range from mild to severe, and most people have coping strategies to reduce stress once it is triggered; others find it difficult to recover from stress, especially when a substance is in use. It’s very important for people in recovery to understand stress and how it works for them. 

Causes of Addiction 

Addiction can be psychological or physical, but it often has an emotional driving force behind it. Someone might become addicted to a substance due to environmental factors such as peer pressure, but it can soon lead to a long-term psychological addiction as well; it is often caused by trauma. 

Substance addiction is a pattern or habit that becomes detrimental to the health and well-being of an individual. Addiction can be mild or severe, but it should never be ignored. Therapies and treatment plans exist to provide support and therapy needed for someone’s long-term recovery. 

Stress and Addiction 

When it comes to addiction, stress has an important role to play in recovery and relapse prevention. Someone with an addiction is at higher risk of relapsing when they encounter life stressors. It can lead to self-medicating in the absence of appropriate coping mechanisms. 

People working with addiction need to think about how they will manage stressful life events. Not only do they need to learn and practice coping mechanisms, but they also need to assess whether a stressful event is mild or severe. This work can be carried out in a therapy session. 

It’s important for people in recovery to realize that a stressful life event is not harmful in itself; it simply changes the way a person feels. There are always choices and ways to respond to common stressors, and substance use is only one of them. However, stress poses dangerous obstacles to recovery.

Managing Stress in Recovery 

Understanding the causes and triggers of personal stress is an important feature of recovery therapy. Not only can this work to prevent relapses, but it can also improve a person’s quality of life in the long term. A therapist will help someone in recovery to identify and work with the stress. 

Once the major stressors have been identified, a patient can change their lifestyle to support well-being and recovery. Lifestyle planning is paramount to reducing unpredictable situations that lead to stress triggers. Life planning in the recovery stage is delicate and vital.    

Identifying Triggers 

Triggers are strong emotional responses connected to deeper psychological traumas. Life events might be superficial, but a trauma response can be overwhelming. It’s important to work with triggers in recovery, but identifying and resolving them is a process that can take time. 

People who are emotionally triggered will feel an overpowering emotion and mental confusion. Someone might feel like they are reliving a past event, but it’s important to stay conscious of the process and follow the trigger to its origin. Knowing your triggers can support recovery.  

Coping Mechanisms 

People with an addiction issue tend to use substances to escape from stressful life situations or to change the way they feel at a given moment. Substance use is a coping mechanism in this sense, but it is not the healthiest. There are many coping mechanisms that a person can use that can both help and detract from a person’s recovery. 

When someone with an addiction is emotionally triggered or encounters a stressful life situation, they need some techniques and strategies to manage the situation. Mindfulness and meditation can help, and so can exercising, journaling, and staying busy in order to change a mental state.  

Support Systems 

The road to addiction recovery is a long and hazardous one. Not only do people need to confront their addiction and work with underlying emotional issues, but they also need to understand their stressors and learn coping mechanisms if they want to avoid a relapse. 

By following detox and some initial therapy, someone with an addiction still needs a system of support to protect them from relapsing. Support can take the form of family and friends, but it also takes the form of group support. Many people find solidarity and companionship in support groups.   

A support group is always available to people with addictions. When someone is feeling vulnerable to addiction, they can contact someone in the group that they are familiar with for support. Jackson House offers support groups for patients while teaching valuable coping skills.  

Resources For Any Stage of Recovery

Stress affects everyone every day. Someone might feel stressed when they are rushed in the morning, or they might feel stressed about attending a family engagement because of a personal situation. Most people have internal processes for managing their routine life stresses. 

People with addiction also have stresses that range from mild to severe; the difference is that stress can trigger a relapse in a person with an addiction. It’s important for these individuals to be able to identify their stressors and manage them in a responsible and appropriate manner. But when the stresses of everyday life become too overwhelming, a Jackson House Addiction Treatment & Facility Center can restructure your daily routine and offer you the help you need.

Key Takeaways: Stress in Recovery 

  • Stress affects everyone differently, but people with addictions risk relapsing due to stress
  • Addiction is caused by psychological and environmental factors that lead to dependence 
  • Stress and addiction are closely related; people often use substances to escape stress
  • An important element of addiction recovery is the ability to manage personal stressors 
  • Coping mechanisms and support systems are needed to support any addiction recovery

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