Before you begin your program, it’s important that you be prepared to deal with any potential feelings of anxiety as you move through your recovery process. After all, drug and alcohol use and anxiety often go together, since the use of many substances can change the levels of neurotransmitters in your brain that can make anxiety worse.
Recovery helps you with developing healthy coping skills to replace the drugs and alcohol you may have used in the past to deal with the anxious feelings you were experiencing. Here are a few ways you can more effectively deal with anxiety that you might encounter during the recovery period.
Anxiety: What Is It?
Anxiety is a natural response by your body to fear or stress. Some of the most common ways that anxiety manifests itself both physically and mentally include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Trouble sleeping
- Digestive issues
- Rapid breathing
- Obsessions over certain thoughts or ideas
- Difficulty thinking clearly or focusing
It’s normal to feel anxious every so often, but if you feel like anxiety is impacting your quality of life, then you definitely need to talk to a healthcare professional about how to best cope with it in a way that will best support your sobriety.
Talking to Someone About Anxiety
One of the advantages of professional recovery programs is that it you have ready access to the resources you need to be successful, including someone to talk to when you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious.
When you’re trying to get clean and stay sober, it’s critical that you don’t push your feelings away or try to act as if they’re not there. Instead, talk to someone about how you feel and bring your feelings into the light. Then, you can examine them, give them a voice, and make them more manageable.
How Exercise Can Help Alleviate Anxiety
Time and again, studies show that those who are physically active have lower rates of anxiety than people who are not.
That’s because exercise releases chemicals in your body that help you to feel good, boosting your mood and decreasing feelings of anxiety. Exercise can be especially helpful during recovery. So, when you feel anxious, go for a walk or a jog and it may just help you to feel better.
Journaling for Help with Anxiety
For many people, anxiety can produce thoughts that seem to run through your mind a mile a minute. To help you work through this, consider starting a journal and writing these feelings down. Seeing your thoughts on paper can help you to feel better and see things a bit more clearly.