5 Tips On How To Stay Level Headed In Treatment
It goes without saying that treatment for recovery can sometimes be very hard and stressful work. You are having to go all-in working against every fiber of your being, fighting to let go of what used to be one of your main coping mechanisms for handling life. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula that can instantly make your addiction go away instantly. However, within yourself, you have the capacity to manage your stress, so that in the end you can both survive and thrive. Here’s a short list on some of the things you can do in treatment to make things less overwhelming and just a little bit easier.
1) Breathe deeply
We need to do it in order to stay alive, but most the most of the time we just do it mindlessly and automatically. By brining our focus to this simple task, you quiet the noise within your min and relax your body. Anywhere, anytime, you can take a few seconds to get a sense of clarity in even the most overwhelming of crises. There are a variety of different ways to breathe intentionally; one of the simplest is called 4-7-8. With eyes closed and the body in a comfortable posture, inhale counting to 4, hold your breath and count to 7, and exhale counting to 8. Notice how you feel, and then repeat.
2) Learn to listen to the inside of yourself
Whenever you feel angry, sad, ashamed, or stressed, resist the urge to try to bury those “negative” emotions. Unconsciousness brought on by drugs and alcohol can be a very efficient way of forgetting negative emotions, so letting go of a perceived need for these substances means learning how to really deal with these feelings, and get down to their root causes. Learn to be unafraid to ask questions of the feelings you feel afraid of, and think about ways you can deal with them more directly. Some people find it really helpful to write in a daily journal, learning how to express their feelings directly in a safe place.
3) Give your brain a “vacation”
But no one can handle delving headfirst into personal pain all the time, with no breaks. Give yourself a limited period of time to deal with and express the frustrating and hard things recovery brings up, but then don’t be afraid to live a little! You may no longer have drugs as an option, so experiment and figure out other ways you can enjoy life. Being surrounded by nature, doing art, listening to music, and exercise are all possibilities that can help you manage your feelings and learn to enjoy being alive.
4) Surround yourself with supportive loved-ones and friends
The radical change in lifestyle that a loss of an addiction entails is not meant to be undertaken alone. If you can find other people able to be supportive and listening and encouraging, they can reduce your burden, give you a new perspective to approach your issues in new ways, and otherwise be a breath of hope-giving fresh air. This will happen most directly within your support group, but any friends can also become a trusted confidant to listen to you and support you. One important part of recovery is working to restore and re-establish trust and respect among people who might have been hurt by your addictive behavior. Although these relationships might take time to heal, as they do, they can celebrate your new found freedom with you.
5) Use gratefulness and humor to focus on the good things
No matter how powerful the darkness may seem, there is always some light. Try to learn to focus on what that light is, choosing to dwell on what is positive, even in the midst of stress and hardship. Simply naming things you feel grateful for can be a really important exercise to bring your focus on the positive. Another important tool is humor. By trying to find the humor in a situation, you also take the focus off its hardship, and show the good in the world.