Many people’s addictions stem from the desire to cope with stress, anxiety, or depression, without the knowledge to do so in a healthy way. They turn to substances to quell emotional strife. Rehabilitation programs teach people healthy ways to cope with anxiety and stress without substances. Reducing and preventing triggers to begin with, however, can make it easier for someone to avoid relapse.
Develop A Positive Outlook
Working on your positivity can promote mental health stability. With a positive outlook, something that might have stressed you out before could now seem insignificant. Focus on replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. Find a new perspective that turns a problem into a challenge you can resolve. If you find yourself succumbing to a negative attitude, do your best to turn it around. Do something that makes you happy or take a mental break. Taking a little time to process an emotionally difficult situation can help you avoid having a toxic reaction to the issue.
Eat The Right Foods
What you eat could contribute to a bad mood. If you are not eating enough, you could notice increased irritability, headaches, lack of energy, and undue mental stress. If you are eating too much, or too much of the wrong foods, you could negatively impact your energy, health, and endurance. Eating balanced, nutrient-dense meals, however, could give you an edge during recovery. You could enjoy a better mood, more energy, and better mental clarity if you’re eating the right foods.
You also need to drink enough water to avoid physical deterioration and related mental strife. Adults should drink at least two liters, or half a gallon, of water per day. Drinking plenty of water will keep you hydrated and help you prevent stress. You should also avoid caffeine, as this can contribute to feelings of anxiety. Too much caffeine could also trigger a panic attack. Similarly, drinking sugary drinks could result in a sugar high and anxiety.
Exercise More Often
Exercise is a proven mood booster. Working out releases endorphins in your brain that can trigger a reward center reaction. Exercising regularly could reduce your risk of relapse by improving your mood, relieving stress, and enhancing your mental health. You could also get physical benefits that further improve how you feel about yourself. Next time you’re feeling stressed or anxious, go for a run or do a light workout. You could increase your cognitive function, figure out a way to resolve your problem, or simply get the break you need to think clearly.
Get Enough Sleep
Being overtired is a common cause of stress, anxiety, and depression. When you experience stress or trauma, you need even more sleep than the usual seven to nine hours. It’s important to keep up with a healthy sleep schedule if you want to reduce your stress. Getting enough sleep can help you physically, cognitively, and emotionally. Give yourself time to reset and refresh. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try sleeping on the problem. A good night’s sleep could be all you need.
Yoga and meditation practices can be important tools you use to combat stress and anxiety. Yoga unifies the body with the breath, giving you an opportunity to escape from mental troubles that might be causing anxiety for a while. It also lets you relieve any stress that your tissues and muscles might be harboring while you stretch and enjoy certain poses. Meditation gives you the opportunity to sit quietly and focus on your senses. Meditating can bring awareness to your thoughts and feelings. Practicing self-awareness can help you identify triggers and avoid stressful situations in the future.
Developing a deep breathing habit in times of stress can regulate your nervous system and help you prevent a panic attack or breakdown. Try stepping away and breathing slowly, in and out for five minutes if you are feeling stressed. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Inhale slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Deep breathing can slow your heart rate, lower blood pressure, and help you relieve stress in hard times.
Volunteer In Your Community
Sometimes trying to relax has the opposite effect. If you’re feeling down, it could be time to take action. Give back in your community to enjoy a break from everyday stress. Find a volunteer opportunity that lets you help others. Volunteering can help you focus on someone else, rather than examining your own programs. It could also put your struggles into perspective if you are helping the less fortunate. Engaging in your community also gives the added benefit of cultivating a support network around you.
Keep A Journal
Writing down your feelings could be enough to help you work through them in a positive and healthy way. Keeping a daily journal where you write about stressful or traumatic experiences can help you reduce stress afterward. Writing down your emotions or reactions to events can help you process them without the need to turn to substances.
Turn To Spirituality
Many people seek respite and direction from religion in times of need. Practicing religion or spirituality can decrease the likelihood of relapse. Spirituality does not necessarily have to mean religion. It can mean mindfulness practices such as yoga, meditation, or spending time in nature.