Before you reached recovery, you might have abused drugs or alcohol in part to help you suppress your emotions. Now that you’re working toward lasting sobriety, you’re worried about how a powerful feeling like anxiety is going to affect you. While anxiety is a normal part of life, it can convince you to jeopardize your recovery if it’s left unchecked.
Anxiety is closely linked to your fear response, and just thinking about it makes your hands start to sweat as your negative thoughts start to run wild. The road to lasting recovery is a challenge, and there will be times stress and anxiety will try to get the better of you. What if you could have health coping strategies ready to put into action when anxiety reveals itself? Let’s explore five ways you can manage your anxiety during addiction recovery.
5 Coping Strategies for Anxiety in Recovery
1. Talk to a Trusted Friend or Family Member
Anxiety feeds off isolation; the fear and panic that accompany it are great at persuading you that being alone is the only option. However, you’ll be surprised how helpful it is to unburden yourself by sharing your feelings with a loved one. Your loved one will be able to help you rationalize your thought process and provide support by offering advice without the fear of judgment. If you’re nervous about opening up, attending a support group can help. Once you see someone else share their experience, it can inspire you to do the same.
2. Practice Meditation
Meditation is all about becoming more in touch with the present moment, the natural counterpart to the chaos anxiety creates in your mind. One of the best aspects of meditation is that you can start with whatever you have. The first couple of times you meditate, go on YouTube and choose one of the many guided meditation videos. These videos will help you learn the basics and show you that when your anxiety starts to gain momentum, meditation will be there to help you relax and reflect.
3. Keep a Regular Schedule
When you have too much free time and aren’t taking care of your basic needs, your anxiety is more likely to gain momentum. Make sure you have a regular schedule in place to help your addiction recovery progress smoothly. Create a schedule for when you eat balanced meals, exercise and sleep each day. With a concrete schedule in place, you’ll start to notice any anxiety created by your recovery start to fade.
4. Exercise and Activity
There’s no doubt that moving your body is good for you, whether it’s going for a hike in a national park or attending a weekly yoga class. According to a study by The Journal of Clinical Psychology, exercise and physical activity have been proven to reduce anxiety. Regular exercise gives you a healthy outlet for any nervous energy that builds up during recovery. You can even ask your friends and family for some extra motivation to follow through with the activities you want to try.
5. Look for Volunteering Opportunities
One of the best things you can do when you’re experiencing anxiety is reach out and help other people. When you’re volunteering, there’s a sense of comfort that comes from doing an activity you know it right. The worry, panic, and fear will start to fade away as you become more focused on a purpose, such as serving people at a soup kitchen or donating your time to walk dogs at the local animal shelter.
A great aspect of volunteering is how it takes your mind and thought process outside yourself. The more you volunteer, the more you’ll realize just how powerful kindness is for anyone in need. Over time, you’ll start to learn how to apply the same kindness to yourself that you offer to others. Self-compassion is powerful tool to help regulate your mood and cope with anxiety in a healthy way.
Discover Personalized Support for Your Addiction Recovery in Arizona
If anxiety is getting in the way of you making progress in your journey to lasting sobriety, Fountain Hills Recovery is here to help. We’re a premier luxury addiction and mental health treatment center that can offer personalized support for your recovery. Contact our admissions team today to learn how we can help you reclaim your life from addiction and negative mental health conditions.