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Managing Stress in Addiction Recovery

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Addiction recovery involves rebuilding a life that includes enhanced responsibility—that can increase stress.

Stress, like emotions, none of us wants to experience. What makes you strong and resilient in your recovery, however, is how you handle the unavoidable reality of life. Addiction recovery is all about driving the wave of life and not letting the big wave sway you back to escapism—or severely, relapse.

Importance of managing stress during Addiction recovery

Life is usually upside down due to previous behaviours in our addiction and so we are anxious to get things turned around towards the positive. We begin to worry about everything and that can produce stress. There are also the other set of symptoms that can occur in early recovery called P.A.W. which stands for Post Acute Withdrawal.

The Symptoms of Post-Acute Withdrawal (PAW):

  • Memory problems
  • Concentration problems
  • Physical coordination problems
  • Stress Sensitivity
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Emotional over-reaction or numbness.

People can experience any one of these symptoms as a result of a stressful situation. The symptoms can, in turn, produce more stress and it can become a vicious cycle. People in early recovery need to be aware of this and learn how to manage their stress levels so they can lessen the P.A.W. symptoms.

In fact, when someone has experienced a bad case of the flu they are offered of sound bits of advice like get plenty of rest, avoid stressful situations, eat right to rebuild your strength. This same advice is also wise for those in addiction recovery.

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Here are a few techniques to help you ride and manage that big wave of stress during addiction recovery.

4 Ways/ Techniques for Managing Stress in Addiction Recovery

  • Practice H.A.L.T Technique: One helpful tool that is sometimes used in recovery is called H.A.L.T. (hungry, angry, lonely, tired). When a person is feeling stressed they can go through the checklist of H.A.L.T. and make sure you are not feeling too hungry- angry- lonely- tired. Typically taking care of any one of these warning signs can lessen the stress and thus interrupt the cycle of internal dysfunction. Learn healthier ways to relax and manage stress that can be vital to maintaining a healthy recovery.
  • Don’t forget to try relaxation therapies: Taking a walk through nature may sometimes not exactly be an instant fix! But over time you begin to reap the rewards of trying to do things differently. Not only it will be good for physical health, but you will learn the value of spending time with yourself and how to quiet the mind.

  • Let your loved one know about it: Learn to not “beat yourself up” for having thoughts of drinking or using drugs, throwing temper tantrums. It is also helpful to let family and friends know that it is going to take some time for you to level out and stabilize. In fact, addiction recovery is hard and you need to take it one day at a time and do first things first.
  • Go therapeutic: Treating your mind and body during stressful times of addiction recovery is an important element of long-term recovery. Seeking treatments such as  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) can help you develop proactive coping tools to replace regressive behaviour.


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Meditation, establishing new friendships, and rekindling old hobbies are helpful in getting out of the stress mode and acquiring some balance in early recovery.

Working a 12-step program and learning healthy coping skills are essential to managing stress during addiction recovery. Expectations from others (or self) that you need to get life back together as quickly as possible are neither realistic nor helpful. Instead, focus on building a new life – the foundation that needs to be strong and built the right way.

If you require more information about addiction recovery in a rehabilitation centre or have any questions related to drug addiction treatment, do mail us at info@localhost. Or visit us at Cadabam’s Anunitha. Alternatively, you can also call us on our 24/7 helpline number- +91 96111 94949.

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