How to Deal with Anxiety in Recovery

Entering early substance abuse recovery requires a major lifestyle change along with a renewed sense of self awareness. Transitioning into sobriety will push a former addict to face many new emotions they may have previously avoided or numbed with drugs and alcohol.

Treatment Alternatives, a drug rehabilitation center in New Jersey knows one of the strongest, most commonly experienced feelings in recovery is anxiety. Anxiety is a mixture of feelings associated with worry, unease, stress, and fear, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. These feelings can sometimes become strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities.

At Treatment Alternative’s drug rehabilitation center in New Jersey, it is critical that our clients know how to recognize anxiety, and how to deal with anxiety in recovery.

Here are the facts on anxiety:

Anxiety is normal – Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety at some point. You are not alone.

Anxiety is adaptive –  Anxiety is an instinctual response from our bodies to deal with danger – even if it’s only perceived danger and not real danger. However, if a person’s body is constant in fight-or-flight mode, it causes negative health effects.

Anxiety can be treated – Anxiety is temporary. It can be minimized and treated. Learning how to deal with anxiety in recovery can eventually decrease your feelings of unease entirely, and help you focus on a successful recovery.

Recognize the signs of anxiety:

  • Stress that is out of proportion
  • Restlessness
  • Racing thoughts
  • Rapid heartbeat / breathing
  • Sweating
  • Feeling Dizzy
  • Nausea / Upset stomach
  • Choking sensations
  • Numbness
  • Chest pains

How to deal with anxiety in recovery:

  1. Ask for help. The staff at our drug rehabilitation center in New Jersey are licensed, medical professionals who can provide you with a strong support system during your recovery. Talking to another person can help ease your worry.
  2. Breathing is one of the most useful tools to combat anxiety. Consciously breathing helps the brain tell the body to relax. Practicing meditation can help the brain to rewrite the body to stress less. Simply give yourself 20 minutes of peace and quiet, where you can focus on breathing exercises.
  3. Set goals. If you are experiencing anxious feelings in your recovery, try writing down your goals to help you organize what lies ahead. Create a list of things you need to do, things you want to accomplish, and small goals for yourself each week.
  4. Focus on the now. Stressing yourself out about past situations, or the unforeseeable future can cause unnecessary feelings of anxiety. Try focusing only on the things you can control right now and try to mentally set aside the things you have no control over.
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