Stress Management in Addiction Recovery
Stress can induce addiction, intensify it, and raise the likelihood of relapse, making stress management an essential component of addiction rehabilitation. Because stress plays a crucial part in addiction, it is essential that treatment plans for addiction incorporate stress management techniques.
Whether you are experiencing stress in your current life or have experienced chronic stress in the past, alcohol and drug usage can feel like an efficient technique to dull unpleasant feelings and enhance your mood. Regrettably, substance addiction is not an effective stress management method. It can lead to addiction, in which the individual seeking relief becomes dependent on alcohol or narcotics to feel functioning. In turn, they will likely suffer increased stress, which will likely lead to substance usage. And the cycle continues.
This article examines the relationship between stress and substance misuse, the warning signals of stress, healthy coping mechanisms, and the significance of stress management in addiction therapy.
Long-standing research has proven the correlation between stress and the desire to consume addictive substances. There is much evidence supporting a connection between psychological adversity, trauma, and persistent suffering, and addiction susceptibility.
To conclude, experiencing excessive levels of stress can lead to substance abuse and addiction in some individuals. Alcohol and medications such as tranquillizers, benzodiazepines, opiates, and hallucinogens frequently contain chemical constituents that change the effects of stress. These medications can temporarily replace stress sensations with anything from numbness to exhilaration.
The difficulty is that the stress persists. Chronic alcohol or drug usage is a severe problem if the individual does not develop alternate coping mechanisms. It is well established in the scientific literature that persistent stress is a risk factor for addiction.
Stress is unavoidable, and your body's response to stress is necessary, since it helps you remain vigilant and avoid danger. When you feel stress repeatedly, without intervals of relaxation, or in response to circumstances that do not upset other people, and you lack good coping methods, it can be quite unpleasant.
Often, when we refer to stress, we mean the physical and emotional response to experiencing pressure, tension, or overwhelm. These are instances of difficult situations:
- Relationship issues
- Losing a job
- Financial worries
- Chronic health problems
There are also several types of stress. Acute stress occurs in response to something occurring in the present and is typically brief. For instance, you may suffer worry or anxiety prior to a job interview, but it disappears as soon as you leave the office. Similar to chronic acute stress, episodic acute stress occurs when you often encounter high-stress events, such as a tough job. Then there is chronic stress, which occurs frequently in reaction to typical day-to-day activities.
You may have heard of the "fight or flight" response, which is a built-in stress response of your autonomic nervous system. Its purpose is to assist the body deal with stressful situations, and it can cause a variety of strange and beautiful changes in the body, such as modifying your heart rate, quickening your breathing, expanding your peripheral vision, thickening your blood, and decreasing your sense of pain. All of this can be beneficial in a truly difficult, one-time circumstance, but it can become problematic when stress is ongoing. Repeated activation of this stress response can begin to wear down the body and cause a variety of symptoms, such as:
- Sleep issues
- High blood pressure
- Muscle tension
- Feeling sick, dizzy, or fainting
- Digestive trouble
- Weakened immune system
- Changes to the menstrual cycle
- Irritability, anger, or impatience
- Sense of dread
- Mental health disorders like depression and anxiety
We have demonstrated that stress has a significant effect on substance abuse, including alcoholism and drug addiction. Developing a stress management toolset is therefore essential for overcoming addiction and maintaining sobriety.
In everyday life, stress is inevitable; therefore, the aim is not to eliminate stress but to create coping strategies. Rather than resorting to substance misuse to cope with stress, the following are some healthy coping strategies for dealing with life's unavoidable obstacles.
Due to the close relationship between stress and substance abuse and addiction, it is vital that therapy include evidence-based stress management techniques, such as:
Substantial research confirms that physical activity can increase your body's stress tolerance. There are numerous relevant elements. Exercise promotes blood flow and oxygen utilisation, both of which have good effects on the brain. Physical activity also boosts the synthesis of 'feel-good' neurotransmitters, such as endorphins, which are responsible for the euphoric runner's high.
Yet, you do not need to become an ultra-runner or bodybuilder to reap the stress-relieving advantages of exercise. According to research, merely taking a daily 30-minute stroll might reduce stress and improve overall mood.
A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) revealed that it can reduce stress levels while also decreasing ruminative thinking and anxiety and enhancing empathy and self-compassion.
Further research demonstrates that mindfulness-based interventions (MBI) can specifically aid in the treatment of addiction by enhancing natural reward cues (rather than addiction-related cues), enhancing top-down cognitive control, enhancing positive emotions and expression, and decreasing subjective and physiological stress perception.
By providing you with the abilities to recognise prior patterns of behaviour that led to addiction, therapy can help you manage stress. After attaining this level of self-awareness, it is possible to choose an alternative response. This is an essential step for not only managing stress, but also preventing a relapse into alcohol or drug dependence.
We offer a variety of therapeutic forms and techniques at Abhasa. With 5+ years of expertise assisting over 1,000+ individuals with their addictions, our team of addiction specialists will work with you to choose the best therapy for your specific needs.
Peer support is crucial for managing stress and preventing relapse from addiction. Groups can help by offering a vital sense of connection and accountability, which together enhance motivation and commitment, hence reducing the likelihood of a relapse.
Moreover, a peer support group might reduce perceived levels of stress. For some, it may be recognising that they are not the only ones struggling with the issue, while for others, it may be having a safe area to vent with people who understand.
It is common to neglect basic needs, such as eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and spending time outside, when experiencing stress. But evidence indicates that when our basic needs are not addressed, we are susceptible to stress and poorer health outcomes.
This problem is not unique to people struggling with addiction; it affects the majority of the population. Nevertheless, when it comes to addiction management, addressing these basic requirements becomes even more crucial, as failing to do so may result in relapse. While fulfilling your basic requirements will not eliminate stress, it will improve your ability to deal with obstacles.
To effectively manage your stress, you will need to establish processes and routines that support your new behaviours. Establishing a simple schedule for your day's basic anchor points reduces stress and increases the likelihood that you will adhere to them.
Your pattern will depend on your life circumstances, but it may include a night time wind-down process to increase your likelihood of sleeping at least seven hours. You may refrain from using devices, take a warm bath, or read in bed. Similarly, to support a balanced approach to food, you may devote one day each week to batch cooking in order to make eating healthily more convenient.
Incorporating stress management techniques is a holistic approach to addiction treatment that attempts to empower you with practical solutions for one of the most significant contributors to addiction development and relapse.
One has a greater chance of remaining in recovery and avoiding relapse in the future if they are able to recognise when they are experiencing stress and manage it with healthy coping mechanisms, rather than using substances.
Here at Abhasa Luxury rehabilitation centre, we provide a number of therapies for stress management. The ones you choose to pursue will depend on your personal objectives and preferences.
Our one-on-one therapy sessions are the foundation of our rehab programme at Abhasa rehab.
With Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), our therapists help you explore in a secure environment the factors that contribute to your addiction. CBT is very beneficial for stress management since it teaches you how to recognise stress, damaging thoughts, and typical behavioural patterns.
The shared experiences of peers enhance self-awareness in group therapy. During this time, you can explore potential future stressful circumstances and work with other group members to determine how to avoid relapse.
In addition to conventional therapy, patients have access to a variety of complementary and holistic treatments for stress management. Mindfulness Meditation and Relaxation Therapy, which emphasises living in the present moment, can help lower the chance of recurrence and manage stress.
National Institute on Drug Abuse-approved acupuncture works by generating endorphins, which enhance the immune system and alleviate pain, stress, and anxiety. According to our own research, 67 percent of patients felt calmer following Aromatherapy, with 20 to 25 percent stating that it helped ease stress and tension. Our Indian Head Massage treatment relieves stress and promotes relaxation, so allowing patients to rest more soundly.
In addition to drumming therapy, which has been shown to reduce stress, we also offer art therapy and creative writing, both of which can serve as beneficial stress-relieving outlets.
Given the indisputable, significant role that stress plays in addiction and relapse, it is imperative that you choose a rehabilitation facility that provides stress management techniques. Not only will knowing how to successfully manage stress set you up for success and reduce the probability of relapse, but it will also make life lot less daunting and more pleasurable.
Prepared by: Mr. Denny Prasad, Psychologist
LinkedIn Id: https://www.linkedin.com/in/denny-prasad-b55028124/a>