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How to Manage Stress during Addiction Recovery

Stress is a common relapse trigger. For people trying to overcome addiction, stress can lead to feelings of sadness and anger, and they may start abusing drugs again to cope with mental and emotional pain. Too much stress can cause anxiety and sleep problems – two common relapse risk factors. In addition to increasing your risk for relapse, stress can affect your physical and mental health.

Here are some teachings that our staff use to help the members of our addiction recovery community in Petaluma combat their stress. 

Get Active

Research shows that physical activity can help reduce stress. When you exercise, your brain secretes feel-good hormones such as endorphins and serotonin. These chemicals promote happiness, improve your mood, and help you relax. In addition to reducing stress hormone levels, exercise can help you sleep better. A good night’s sleep can improve your body’s ability to fight stress and anxiety.

Set aside 30 minutes a day to include any of these forms of exercise throughout your day to help relieve stress.

  • Walking uphill or hiking
  • Light jogging
  • Cycling
  • Dancing
  • Swimming

Adopt a Healthier Diet

What we put into our bodies has a huge impact on how we feel. Unhealthy processed and sugary foods can cause mood disorders and stress. Replace unhealthy foods with healthy foods such as tuna, salmon, eggs, Brazil nuts, veggies, and pumpkin seeds. These foods are rich sources of essential vitamins and minerals known to help reduce stress symptoms.

Practice Deep Breathing

There are several health benefits of deep breathing. It reduces stress, relieves pain, boosts the immune system, and stimulates the lymphatic system. Before you get started, choose a place devoid of distractions. Wear loose, comfortable clothing.

Take deep breaths in and out through your nose. As you breathe in, your stomach should rise. As you breathe out, your belly should fall downward. Take a minute to watch your breathing if you ever feel stressed or overwhelmed.

Connect With People

Social isolation and loneliness are associated with high-stress levels. Make spending time with your loved ones and friends a top priority. When interacting with people, your body releases hormones that ease your fight-or-flight response system, inducing relaxation. At Life-Rock we have a supportive addiction recovery community in Petaluma that believes the road to recovery is not a lonely one. We host social events that allow you to share your experiences with others who are also facing similar challenges. We promote an openness to learning from the experiences of other group members.

Try Yoga 

Yoga has been shown to reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety. There are several types of yoga. The types that focus on stretching, deep breathing, and slow movements are best for lowering stress. In addition to reducing stress, yoga improves strength and balance, eases arthritis symptoms, and relieves back pain.

Life-Rock has built an inclusive addiction recovery community in Petaluma. We are committed to helping recovering addicts stay on the right path. Have questions about our addiction recovery program? Call (707) 575-9100 (men’s helpline) or (707) 575-9599 (women’s helpline).