While in addiction recovery, our locale’s safe and welcoming atmosphere and surrounding beauty will most likely have a relaxing effect on you while in and help reduce your anxiety as compared to what it otherwise would have been, it is important to ensure that any changes that you make here are long-lasting and continue after you leave us. We will help you cope with anxiety while you are in addiction recovery and take those tools with you as you continue your recovery away from here.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is essentially being worried, fearful or uneasy about something. Everyone experiences anxiety, but some suffer from an anxiety disorder that controls so much of their lives for extensive periods of time. In fact, anxiety and addiction often go hand in hand as many who suffer from anxiety look into self-treatment options and decide to use, for example, alcohol or drugs as one.
A few symptoms of anxiety include restlessness, irritability, an inability to focus, headaches and tense muscles.
How Can Anxiety Affect Addiction Recovery?
Another way that addiction recovery and anxiety interact with each other is during the recovery process.
On the one hand, you are going through a significant change in your life, making your way from an addiction to a life without that or those substances, which can cause anxiety as any significant life change is apt to do. In addition, you need to be cultivating the tools necessary to deal with anxiety in other, healthier ways.
You can also experience anxiety in recovery as you encounter challenges, most likely including unexpected ones, and work through them.
Tools for Dealing With Anxiety in Addiction Recovery
The following tools will help you as you navigate handling addiction recovery and anxiety.
Get Adequate Sleep
Getting an adequate amount of sleep can have a tremendous effect on reducing anxiety. Conversely, experiencing little sleep or more shallow sleep tends to increase anxiety. In fact, the depth of your sleep is an especially important factor to consider as those who regularly utilize alcohol or drugs are often not able to experience the deepest, most restful states of their sleep cycles.
Reduce Caffeine Use
You may want to reduce caffeine use, but do keep in mind that reducing it significantly can result in significant withdrawal symptoms as well, so you may want to do this gradually. With that said, in general, consuming less caffeine tends to result in reduced anxiety and deeper sleep.
Another way that many handle anxiety in recovery is by exercising. This can involve going on walks or doing more extensive forms. Generally, this activity helps those dealing with addiction or anxiety by reducing cravings and an anxious state of mind. However, do take into account that increasing how much exercise you are doing significantly in a short time period can temporarily have the opposite effect.
Take Deep Breaths
Although this is a common tip for those suffering from anxiety or substance abuse, it is an important one to keep in mind. When you are suffering from some of the more severe symptoms of addiction or anxiety, stop, tell yourself to take some deep breaths, and do so. Also turn the focus of your mind away from what you were thinking about and narrow it towards the act of breathing.
One of the main reasons why deep breathing helps relax during these times is because it activates your vagus nerve, which helps counteract the anxious, stressful feelings that you were feeling instead.
Engage in Grounding
When your mind starts getting overactive, stop, and refocus it. A common way that people in this situation do so is through the 5-4-3-2-1 method, during which you look around you and find five things that you can see, and follow that up by also discovering four that you can touch, three that can be heard, two that may be smelt, and one that you can taste.
Interact With Animals
Having a pet has been shown to decrease symptoms of anxiety although you do not necessarily need to get one yourself. Spending time with a friend’s pet or perhaps going to a place such as a cat cafe can help you experience these animal-related benefits as well. Those latter options may also be preferred by those who do not want to take on the responsibilities of having an animal at home at this point in their lives.
Seek Help Today
One of the ways that anxiety and addiction recovery interlink is a person feeling anxious and hesitant about starting treatment. However, the best way to get past that fear and that sense of anxiety is to take it straight on. We can help. To learn more about the ways that we can assist you as you get a handle on your life again, reach out to us at 409-407-4976. Also feel free to explore our website and learn more about us.