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This past year may have been challenging for those who are struggling with an addiction. Even those who aren’t battling addiction have also been subject to developing unhealthy habits. It sounds ideal for anyone who has been stuck at home to choose all of the right foods, drinks, and exercises. The reality is that when you are having a hard time, those are typically the last things on your mind.
Starting and sustaining healthy habits can be difficult if you don’t develop preventative strategies. When you realize that you have unhealthy habits, it’s not too late, but it can be a little more difficult to reverse your patterns. Stress, depression, and anxiety can lead people to some unfavorable habits, so focusing on beating your triggers to the punch is ideal. Anything from potato chips, ice cream, pizza, drugs, or alcohol can be over-consumed and become harmful to you due to hardship.
Relapsing is a common part of recovering and not something you should be ashamed of. Some people even have several relapses before they can get back on track. Substance use disorders have a 40-60% relapse rate. This is why understanding your triggers to prevent a relapse is critical on the road to recovery.
How to Avoid Stress
Stress is known to be one of the key contributors to relapsing. Many people who are dealing with addiction end up using their substance of choice to cope with stress. In stressful situations, the cravings will grow strong, which is why dealing with the stress head-on is important. An effective way to battle stress is to evaluate your experiences. Pay attention to what triggers you, and then do your best to avoid triggers. You can’t avoid everyone and everything at any given moment, but worry about what you can control. Make a list of people, places, and things stressing you out, and then go from there.
Is it a toxic relationship? Is it finance? Figure out which one it is and make a change. If you change your lifestyle, relationships, and priorities, it can help reduce the number of stressful situations you are placed in daily. The less stress, the less you are triggered, and your chances of relapsing are lowered. You should try to avoid your stress and find healthy ways to manage the stress as well. Relaxing doesn’t come naturally to everyone, so training your mind to relax is key. When you balance your workload and relaxation time, there’s a lower chance of stress because your time will be well balanced.
Who Is Triggering You?
The people in your life who participated in the substance abuse with you are potential triggers that can lead to you relapsing. This goes for those who have even made the decision not to drink, as well. Some locations can remind you of your addiction, and it can be dangerous to visit these places. Unfortunately, even family members can be a trigger. Those family members make you feel like you are a child again, and you feel too vulnerable.
Develop skills to manage your emotions so that you won’t be triggered around these people. In reality, you will have to either limit the time you spend or stop hanging out with those who engage in activities that usually involve drugs or alcohol. If you don’t want to cut off those friends with who you engaged, encourage them to try new things that don’t involve alcohol. You can suggest going for a run, dinner, reading, hiking, or a movie. This can even help them branch out from the pubs and bars.
Managing Negative Emotions
Negativity is a part of life that is virtually unavoidable. Many of the negative things we experience in life are out of control. The only thing we can control is how we react and our emotions. This is why managing and making sense of your negative feelings is pivotal. The substances that get abused as a result of negative emotions are just a temporary escape from reality. Now that you can no longer rely on those substances, it’s time to learn to get comfortable with facing your feelings and emotions.
After experiencing a negative situation, the feelings you feel don’t have to indicate that it is the end of the world. These interactions and experiences of negativity aren’t things that just go away, so you need to figure out how to handle them in the healthiest way possible. If you can, try to view these emotions as an avenue for growth and understanding of yourself. No matter how old you are and whether or not you are battling an addiction, there will always be more to learn about yourself.
Avoiding the things that trigger you and your addiction is important. It all comes down to decision-making. When things in life get tough, simply avoiding may not be enough. This means that you need to develop a solid strategy that involves getting to know yourself on a deeper level. Take note of how you feel in moments of stress or anxiety. This is what can help you understand why relapse is not good for your journey. Evaluate yourself to better understand your triggers and who or what is triggering you. Many of these ideas are easier said than done. There are professionals out there who can assist you with any of your needs involving addiction or substance abuse. The Kimberly Center offers a plethora of options at our facility. Contact us at(855) 452-3683 to discuss our many treatment options. We can help you decide which treatment will work better for you or your loved ones.