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10 Jan How to Develop Good Coping Mechanisms in Recovery

Addiction recovery is an incredibly trying time for every person who goes through it. Relapses are common for people throughout recovery, due to the changes in brain chemistry that are caused by substance abuse. The key to having a successful recovery is to learn coping mechanisms that work for you and help you repel the negative feelings that can spark cravings. Here are some tips on how to develop good coping mechanisms in recovery…

Don’t play the victim to yourself

First of all, even though addiction is a behavioral disease, and shame shouldn’t be utilized to push addicts towards positive behavior, this doesn’t mean that pity is any more effective of a tool. In particular, recovering addicts shouldn’t turn to self pity during their recovery. Self pity can make a person feel powerless, which undermines the foundation of self-esteem and empowerment that is needed to effectively live a life of sobriety.

Learn relaxation methods

Feelings of stress or anxiety are incredibly common triggers for people who have suffered from substance abuse. Oftentimes, substance abuse was a way for an addict to deal with these negative emotions. For this reason, you need to find a way to break out of patterns of stress and anxiety by using positive relaxation methods. These methods will be different for every person. Try learning what sorts of things help you calm down and regain control of your thoughts. A good starting place might be learning some helpful breathing exercises, which is a meditative technique.

Learn what high-risk situations are for you

In order to combat cravings, you need to learn what things are liable to spark those cravings, for you. Typically, this means self-reflecting and determining what a high-risk situation looks like in your mind. For people who engaged in substance abuse in social settings, certain parties or social gatherings with specific people might resemble a high-risk situation. Other times, being alone for extended periods of time without anything to do might be a triggering situation that causes a person’s thoughts to spiral in a dangerous way.

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