In early recovery, you might feel anxiety. Whether it’s a little or a lot, it’s something you’re going to need to learn to cope with in the future.
Anxiety is normal for people in recovery for a couple of reasons. For one thing, your body is adjusting to a “new you” that is substance-free. (Withdrawing from drugs or alcohol can cause mood swings as you adapt.) You’re also in a new period of life, which is also bound to cause some fears. It’s been a while since you were drug and alcohol-free, and facing life may feel like a challenge.
Many people used drugs or alcohol to cope with the effects of anxiousness in their daily life. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 20% of people with substance abuse disorders also have an anxiety or mood disorder.
Here are five tips to help you learn how to cope:
- Learn relaxation techniques. Mindfulness is one method of relaxation that helps you live in the moment. Breathing exercises can help you learn to breathe more slowly and deeply. Videos teaching these are easy to find online. There are also phone apps that can teach you mindfulness as well as relaxation.
- Get some exercise. Research has proven that exercise helps release endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that help give us a sense of happiness and well-being. Regular exercise will also help you sleep better.
- Do something you find soothing. This may mean surfing, reading a good book, playing guitar, cooking, or streaming your favorite show.
- See a therapist. While 12-step meetings might help you with your addiction, there is nothing wrong with seeing a professional to help you with mental health issues.
- Get out of thinking mode. Anxiety can cause you to obsess, which in turn can cause more distress. Call somebody on the phone that you trust. Make sure you also ask that person how they are doing and listen to the answers. You can also go to a meeting and consider going out with others afterward. Don’t isolate when you’re feeling anxious.
Anxiety isn’t the end of the world, although it can seem like an enormous task to overcome it when you’re in the midst of it. Take your journey with anxiety one day at a time, just like your recovery. If you’re working on it, you’ll make progress. Living in the moment can help you get through your anxiety and move on to new things.
Getting Help for an Addiction
Addiction and anxiety go hand-in-hand, but you can’t conquer anxiety when you’re getting high or drunk. Give yourself a chance. Call us at 877-228-2401 to learn more about your options. Recovery is possible!