Coping skills are the behavior patterns we exhibit when faced with problems. For most people suffering from the disease of addiction, their only way of coping with external stressors was by using drugs or alcohol. In sobriety, however, it is imperative that we develop healthy mechanisms and behaviors to handle these stressors. Anxiety and fear drove us deeper into our addictions because we saw substance use as the only means of attaining a feeling of relief. Rather than face our problems in a healthy way, we chose to change our own perception through intoxication. In early recovery, we must begin to develop healthy coping mechanisms that allow us to properly respond to stressors as they present themselves in our lives, rather than simply react to them. We have become so accustomed to intoxication as our only means of handling stress and anxiety that it becomes second-nature, and we often face the nearly overwhelming desire to use substances whenever we are beginning to feel overwhelmed. To counteract these desires, we focus on the development of healthier ways to handle the situations which used to drive us toward drugs or alcohol. There are a variety of possible ways to handle our stressors in ways that not only keep us from falling victim to relapse, but also help us progress on our journey of recovery. Meditation, prayer, and spirituality can help us diminish our feelings of anxiety and fear while also bringing our awareness into the present moment. When we pray and mediate, our fears of the future and anxiety about situations begin to dissolve, leaving us in a state of peace of serenity. Exercise and physical activity are also helpful as a way of coping with our stressors, as these activities release endorphins that make us feel better and provide natural stress-relief. In the early stages of recovery, we should work with professionals, our sponsor, or trusted friends in our chosen recovery program to develop coping skills that we are able to rely on when we begin to feel our fear and anxiety reaching a point where we feel in danger of becoming overwhelmed.
Relapse is avoidable if we can learn how to respond to our stressors in a healthy way. Your story can be one of redemption and serenity through recovery. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in Orange County, California, offers an opportunity to achieve sobriety in a peaceful and beautiful beachfront environment. For more information about treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777