It is no secret that many addicts and alcoholics lack in the coping skills department. This is not a dig at people who suffer from addiction, but it seems to be that very often, people who enter into recovery lack the fundamental skills necessary to process and navigate the variety of emotions that life can bring. It makes sense that this is the case because for many addicts and alcoholics, their only means of coping before they got sober was to use drugs or alcohol in order to numb themselves. If they felt something that was unpleasurable, they would use in order to feel better. If they were stressed out at work, they would drink in order to take the edge off, and if they were having problems in their relationships, they would hide in substances until the storm passed.
Once they get sober, though, they are left without this most basic of coping skills and so in order to have a successful recovery, they must learn new and healthy coping mechanisms. They must learn how to face life on life’s terms otherwise, they run the risk of resorting back to drinking or using drugs as a means to deal with life.
Luckily, one of the main aspects of recovery is finding new ways to cope with life. In fact, I would venture to say that a recovering person who truly gives themselves over to the recovery process will be able to learn coping skills that are bar none above that of many people on this planet. They will be able to meet any and all of life’s demands with a peace about them that is almost supernatural and they will be able to be an example for how others can go about coping with life.
So let’s take a look at 10 coping skills in sobriety that can help improve your recovery, and also help improve your overall quality of life. Learning how to implement these things into your life takes time and effort, but doing so is not impossible if you have the willingness to try.
10 Coping Skills in Sobriety
Prayer and Meditation
Probably one of the greatest ways to cope with life is through prayer and meditation. While both can do wonders on their own, when both are implemented into an individual’s life, it creates an ‘unshakeable foundation for living.’ Through prayer, you can talk to your higher power about what is bothering you and in meditation, you can silently wait for the answer. With prayer and meditation, there is nothing on this planet too big for you to handle.
Sometimes praying and meditating isn’t enough to deal with the stresses of life and you just need to burn off some extra energy. This is where exercise comes in and if you know that you are a person who has a lot of nervous energy, and in the past you used drugs in order to deal with this, then exercise can do wonders for your overall wellbeing.
Being Honest with Others
Talking to other people about what you are going through is one of the most important things a person can do for their mental health. Keeping anxiety and fear bottled up inside is a recipe for disaster, but by expressing how you feel to another person, you are better able to cope with life.
When talk and exercise fail, writing your thoughts down can be the answer to your problems. There is something about putting pen to paper that just slows your mind down and being able to see what ails you in black and white on the page sometimes takes the power away from the situation.
Staying in the Present
Often times, our worries are about something that hasn’t happened yet. We worry about not having enough money or we worry about something not playing out as we had hoped, but by staying in the present, we avoid these worries and are better able to cope with what is going on in the here and now.
Getting in Touch with Your Feelings
Before getting sober, many addicts and alcoholics have little to no idea how they feel. Their feelings are a jumbled mess that is further confused by the substances coursing through their body. Once they get sober they must get in touch with how they feel so that they do not let their emotions rule them. Being able to identify how you feel at any given time will allow you to process your emotions better and allow you to move past them when necessary.
While this may not sound like a coping mechanism, it is because it allows you to meet with an objective third party who can help you cope with whatever it is you are going through. Sometimes people in recovery need this extra support and therapy can really help tremendously in sobriety.
Working the Steps
One the best ways to learn new coping mechanisms for life is working the Steps. The Steps will allow you to have a completely new outlook on life and besides just expelling the obsession to drink or use drugs, they will show you what in your past helped cause your downfall.
Creating a Support Network
Left to our own devices, often times our minds can do strange things, but by having a solid support network to bounce ideas off of, or to just help us through the rough times in life, we can learn to cope with anything.
Taking a time out
When emotions run high, we are bound to make mistakes or act rashly, but learning to take a step back can do wonders for our ability to cope with troublesome situations. Simply taking 5 minutes to calm down can make a world of difference in how we handle situations.
Seeking Treatment For Substance Abuse
If you find that you cannot stop using drugs or alcohol even though you would like to, then you may be suffering from an addiction. Addiction is an actual recognizable disease and as such, you’re inability to stop on your own should not be a cause for shame or guilt. There are millions of people every year who need to seek help for addiction and alcoholism, and many have made it through their struggles to a life of recovery. So if you think you need help then call the professionals at Dream Center for Recovery today at 1-877-978-3148. Our trained staff is standing by to take your call, to help you in any way we can.