Life is challenging, with numerous stressors affecting most people each day. For people with addiction, it’s difficult to manage those stressors without healthy coping skills. Anyone can benefit from developing more effective ways for managing stress, addiction cravings, and mental health disorders. For those in recovery, doing so is even more important. At Oceanfront Recovery, our team works closely with you to ensure you have access to these skills and tools during and after treatment.
What Are Healthy Coping Skills for Recovery?
Coping skills are behaviors or patterns that help enhance a person’s ability to adapt to what’s happening around them. Stress is one of the most common causes of relapse. By learning to manage it healthily, it’s less likely relapse will occur. There’s more to coping skills. For example, learning how to manage addiction symptoms helps a person feel better, builds self-worth, and encourages long-term physical health.
Negative coping mechanisms for stress include substance abuse and avoidance behaviors, spending too much money, sleeping all day, or not focusing on the underlying problem. Negative thinking is one of the worst types of unhealthy coping. It’s evident when a person is constantly complaining, gossiping, blaming others for problems, or being judgmental.
Developing Healthy Coping Skills Starts with Understanding Triggers
Triggers are experiences, people, thoughts, or behaviors that bring back memories of drug or alcohol use or, in some way, encourage a person to use. One of the components of behavioral therapy is to learn what these are. Addressing them head-on allows a person to create a plan for managing those triggers should they occur. Some of the most common triggers in addiction recovery include:
- Poor self-care (including being alone, hungry, angry, and lacking sleep)
- Avoiding problems or denial of them
- Uncontrolled and managed stress
- Negative thought processes often leading to them spiraling out of control
- Isolation from other people
- Being around people and places where you used to use
- Exposure to previous trauma
Once a person’s specific triggers are understood, it’s possible to develop strategies for avoiding them or managing them more effectively. For example, therapy can help avoid problems and deal with stress in a meaningful manner simply by creating an opportunity for someone to talk to. For those who have difficulty around specific places and people, avoidance is essential. Strategies for managing self-care may include creating a routine to stick with daily.
What Are Other Healthy Coping Skills?
You can make many changes in day-to-day life that may help manage addiction recovery, stress, and mental health needs. Some key strategies to take include:
- Recognize and stop negative thinking, a common cause of behavioral problems. You’ll learn this process during therapy. Utilizing it later gives you the ability to minimize risks.
- Avoid falling into old problems by connecting with (and maintaining relationships with) counselors and therapists, engage in support groups, and go back to rehab if you need to.
- Constantly work to manage stress. If you can’t avoid stress, find ways to fight back against it, such as using meditation, gardening, massage therapy, or yoga.
Know that sometimes, you may need more help. That’s okay. When you find yourself overwhelmed by life’s challenges, reach out to our team. Even if you are using again, we can help you overcome these challenges through programs such as:
Seek Help Along the Journey – Call Oceanfront Recovery
Having healthy coping skills is one of the components of treatment at Oceanfront Recovery. When you leave care with us, you’re empowered in every way possible to achieve your best outcome. Your goal is to take that first step to get help. Call us at (877) 296-7477 or connect with our team online.