Managing Stress Aids Recovery

Managing stress during recovery from drug or alcohol abuse is extremely helpful in having a good recovery outcome. Stress can manifest in the forms of finances, family, triggers, and many other factors. Also, research shows that those who struggle with drug addictions are more prone to stress. Although stress cannot ever be entirely eliminated from life, certain measures can be taken to lessen or prevent it. It’s also well known that stress is one of the main causes of relapse, so learning to avoid, prevent, or manage stress better is definitely helpful in making a full and successful recovery. Below are a few ways to manage stress on a regular, if not daily, basis:

1- Exercise: Whether it’s inside a gym or outside on the road or a bike, exercise is a great way to boost those feel-good hormones and keep you calm. Even light exercise, such as a leisurely walk will help

2- Think of a phrase or mantra: Repeating a simple positive affirmation or phrase can help you focus on what’s important, breathe, and relax when stressful things arise in your life.

3- Get enough good sleep: Aiming for 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night will help your body be ready for the stress it may encounter the next day.

4- Find activities that calm you: It might be reading, walking, listening to music, yoga, or art –whatever you find that calms your soul, do it often.

5- Write out your thoughts and feelings—good and bad: Sometimes seeing the words on paper helps to put stress in its place. It can also help to release stress from your mind and so you can focus on other things and let go of the stress.

ExerciseHelpsAnxietyandDepressionExercise Helps Anxiety & Depression

If you suffer from depression and/or anxiety and are looking for a solution, consistent exercise may be key. Research shows that our physical, emotional, and mental parts are intertwined very intimately and can strengthen and support one another. Specifically, evidence points to three types of exercise that target alleviating anxiety and depression: running, hiking, and yoga.

Running has a reputation for improving mood. It also burns calories, reduces food cravings, and lowers your risk of heart disease. Further, running has been shown to mend troubled dispositions while increasing serotonin and norepinephrine output during and after exercise. These powerful neurotransmitters aid in lessoning depression, lowering stress, and alleviating anxiety.

Hiking has also been shown to have many health benefits. Not only does nature calm our minds, but hiking gets the heart pumping as well. Studies show that when immersing oneself in nature, around plants, trees, streams, etc., participants felt less anxious and had increased memory function.

Not surprisingly, yoga has shown to alleviate depression and anxiety symptoms. Some research recommends yoga be a complementary treatment for depression in fact. The focus on breathing while doing yoga really helps with anxiety because it is difficult to feel stressed or anxious when you are focused on breathing.

More and more research points to exercise to lessen the difficult symptoms of depression and anxiety. Although it may not be surprising, sometimes getting up and participating in yoga, running, and/or hiking may seem daunting to those dealing with depression and anxiety. However, if individuals can find someone to go with and encourage them to get out and exercise, or can find the drive to do it themselves, the benefits are enormous.

 

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