Coping entails tolerating or adjusting to negative realities or life events while maintaining your emotions and self-image. Humans instinctively create coping mechanisms to adapt to stressful situations. Thus, individuals in drug and alcohol addiction recovery need to pay special attention to developing and using positive coping mechanisms.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), a negative life change, such as losing a loved one or a job, often leads to psychological stress. However, even positive changes can cause anxiety as it takes time to fully adapt to a new situation, such as having a child or getting married.
Common Coping Strategies
Change is part of the world, but sometimes it’s too drastic, and people are unable to cope. In some cases, people develop physical illnesses or existing illnesses are exacerbated when their capacity to change is overwhelmed.
However, there are numerous strategies people use to cope, such as:
- Lowering expectations
- Asking from assistance from others
- Being accountable for the situation
- Engaging in brainstorming and problem solving
- Maintaining supportive relationships
- Expressing distressing emotions or maintaining emotional composure
- Attempting to eliminate the source of stress
Mental health experts agree that these coping strategies are processes, not events. Therefore, you may alternate between several strategies mentioned above when coping with such an event. People differ in personalities, and these differences are reflective of the coping styles.
The Significance of Stress Management
Everyone – children, teens, and adults, experiences stress. Anxiety kicks in when a person feels threatened, but finding healthy coping mechanisms is no easy feat.
Stress at home, school, or work may seem unavoidable, but there are steps you can take to regain control of the situation. It’s essential to manage stress because living with it risks your entire well-being. Stress affects your emotional equilibrium, plus your physical health.
The first step is identifying the source of stress. Once you identify your stressors, try to avoid the situations or find other healthy coping strategies.
Keep in mind that you’ll never control your stress levels if you don’t accept your role in creating or maintaining it. Keep track of your stressors using a journal.
The best way to manage stress is to seek the help of mental health professionals. In a rehab facility, you’ll benefit from a variety of specialized treatment programs, including:
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Women’s addiction treatment program
- Men’s addiction treatment program
- Family therapy
- Aftercare programs
Healthy Coping Mechanisms for Stress
Children and teens suffer as they’re not capable of coping with stress. Adolescents can be overwhelmed when the pressure is related to a traumatic event, such as community violence, school shootings, or family loss. Parents, educators, and rehab facilities can take steps to offer support and stability for the youth.
A healthy way to manage stress is to take care of yourself. Eat well-balanced meals and exercise on a regular basis to enhance your physical health. You can also train your mind to stay calm in chaotic situations through yoga. For optimal health, get enough sleep every night.
Although drugs and alcohol might seem to ease the pain, they’ll only worsen the situation. You’ll feel even more stressed when you’re not intoxicated. As a result, you’ll experience a cycle of addiction and depression.
Always avoid harmful coping mechanisms as they’ll only lead to more problems. Still, don’t let stress spiral into depression, talk to someone. Take the step to visit an all-inclusive rehab facility, and you’ll get the vital professional help you need.