Pathways Wellness

Managing Stress and Anxiety in Recovery

Managing Stress and Anxiety in Recovery
Raul Haro
May 30, 2023
Part of being alive means dealing with stress and anxiety. It's impossible to avoid either in your life, but there are ways to deal with them. The healthy way to do it is to learn coping skills that not only help with stress and anxiety but make you feel happy too.  However, sometimes people will […]
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Managing Stress and Anxiety in Recovery

Part of being alive means dealing with stress and anxiety. It's impossible to avoid either in your life, but there are ways to deal with them. The healthy way to do it is to learn coping skills that not only help with stress and anxiety but make you feel happy too. 

However, sometimes people will cope with stress and anxiety in very unhealthy ways. One example is self-medication. This is when someone uses a substance to cope with negative symptoms and feelings without the oversight of a doctor. Self-medication is dangerous as it can lead to substance use disorder (SUD), which can become an addiction

Facilities like Pathways Wellness Center understand that many causes of addiction can be traced back to not only stress and anxiety but trauma as well. To treat this, a client can enter a treatment program, which can teach them healthy ways to cope with their stress and anxiety. These coping skills are vital not only to the healing process but also to help someone stay in recovery after their treatment is over.

But how do we deal with our stress and anxiety? To learn how we must first understand what stress and anxiety are.

What Are Stress and Anxiety?

When we feel stress and anxiety, it is a response to something difficult for us to emotionally and physically deal with. They are somewhat different from each other but can share similar symptoms.

Stress is often how we respond to pressure. Many things in our life can cause pressure. Perhaps the most common is knowing a test is coming up in school. Sometimes pressure can be a motivator to accomplish an important goal. But pressure can also be negative, and can wear down on a person's body and mind. For example, being around people that constantly fight can be stressful and wear down your ability to deal with it. Stress typically goes away once the situation causing it has been resolved. It can pile up on someone, and if it's not managed, can cause negative symptoms.

Anxiety is a fear response that protects us from danger. Most people feel anxiety around dangerous situations, such as crossing a rickety bridge or being around large animals. This is how the body protects itself by preparing for us to fight or flee when danger happens. However, sometimes someone's nervous system can become overreactive and be in this dangerous awareness state without being able to turn it off. This is often the result of a traumatic event and is difficult to resolve without proper mental health treatment. 

Both stress and anxiety can cause symptoms such as:

  • Constant feelings of doom, panic, fear, and worry
  • Head, muscle, stomach, and chest pain
  • Difficulty sleeping and nightmares
  • High blood pressure and increased heart rate
  • Feelings of unease and tension
  • Becoming more irritable than usual

These are difficult symptoms to deal with, but people don't have to deal with them on their own.

Finding Treatment for Stress and Anxiety

If you are struggling with symptoms of stress and anxiety, call your local mental health care facility. These are places that treat issues related to mental health. They work by helping their clients find the treatment they need to help them cope with the stress and anxiety in their lives. 

Pathways Wellness Center primarily treats addiction and its related co-occurring mental health disorders. One such disorder is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is an anxiety and trauma disorder. There are many kinds of anxiety disorders, so it's important to be evaluated to find the specific treatment you need to treat yours. If a mental health care facility doesn't have the specialization to treat your needs, they will help you find the one that does.

Most facilities have a website that features their contact information. The usual method is to call the facility by phone, but there are other options available to those with hearing and speaking impaired. Email, web form, and web chat features are a part of many mental health care facility websites, helping everyone to reach out for help when they need it.

Utilizing Coping Skills in Recovery

By seeking treatment from an accredited mental health care facility, you gain the skills you need to stay in recovery after treatment is finished. These are known as healthy coping skills. Some examples include:

  • Taking care of your body, by exercising and having a good diet
  • Getting plenty of sleep and rest
  • Picking up a hobby or craft
  • Practicing mindfulness techniques, such as meditation
  • Going outside and enjoying nature
  • Practicing affirmations

You can also join a support group or peer network. These are people who have undergone a similar situation as yourself and are also in recovery. They have experience dealing with stress and anxiety and can help you deal with yours too. It's also easy to get into a hobby where you can find joy and satisfaction among fellow peers. Stress and anxiety are at their worse when we are alone. So it's important to not isolate yourself and continue to engage with others.

Perhaps the most important skill to deal with stress and anxiety is to utilize the resources given to you through treatment. Many treatment programs have an aftercare program to get them in touch with alumni resources. These are people you can call or places you can go to should you ever need help again. It's never shameful to seek help. If you feel as though you need more treatment, just ask. You will never be belittled or judged for needing extra help. Knowing that you can get help whenever you ask for it gives someone the peace of mind needed to stay in recovery.

Don't let stress and anxiety control your life. Act now and call for help today.

Stress and anxiety are common parts of life that, when left to fester, can cause serious mental health disorders. Many people will sometimes turn to abusing substances to cope with their anxiety and stress, which can become an addiction. Here at Pathways Wellness Center in Azusa and Glendora, California, we know that teaching our clients how to manage their stress and anxiety is vital to achieving recovery. We offer an extensive residential treatment program where those struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders can learn the skills they need to succeed. If you or a loved one are feeling overwhelmed by stress and anxiety, don't wait for it to get worse. Call us today at (888) 771-0966.

About the Author

Raul Haro
Raul Haro is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with sixteen years of experience working in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. As an LMFT, He has trained in trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy and EMDR. Raul has furthered his training in the drug and alcohol field by obtaining a Masters in Drug and Alcohol Counseling through CCAPP. Raul has a background in nursing where he has been an LVN for over 25 years. Recently, he has returned to school to complete a degree in Registered Nursing. Future plans are for Raul are to eventually complete a degree as a Nurse Practitioner combining his therapy practice with his nursing skills.

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