Dealing with emotions in recovery is an essential and fundamental focus of any high quality treatment program. Negative emotions like anger, resentment, boredom, and frustration are classic signs of the first stage of relapse, known as emotional relapse. Dealing with emotions in recovery effectively will help you out of emotional relapse as well as improve your mood, quality of life, and chances of successful long-term recovery.
How Emotional Management During Recovery Helps Prevent Relapse
In many cases, it’s a lack of emotional management during recovery that leads to relapse. Negative emotions leave you feeling contrary and cross, and they shrink your resolve to stay sober. Your attitude shifts, and you’re more likely to just give up and use to make the negative emotions go away. But once relapsing individuals learn how to cope with emotions in early addiction recovery, they often return to sobriety much stronger and more motivated than ever to achieve long-term success.
How to Cope with Emotions in Early Addiction Recovery
It’s not easy coping with unpleasant emotions, but using again only makes things worse: It leads to even more negative emotions like guilt and shame, and drugs and alcohol take a toll on your overall mental health. Dealing with emotions in recovery not only reduces your risk of relapse, but it also improves your quality of life and sense of wellbeing.
To prevent relapse and improve your mental health, here are 5 tips for dealing with emotions in recovery.
1. Take care of yourself.
A high level of self-care is one of the most important considerations in early recovery. Taking care of yourself helps to keep negative emotions at bay. A lack of sleep causes a rash of negative emotions and results in a cloudy head. Likewise, poor nutrition and a lack of exercise leave you feeling sluggish and tired. Neglecting hygiene produces negative feelings like self-hatred and frustration.
One of the best ways of dealing with emotions in recovery is to engage in a high level of self-care every day. Eat healthy food throughout the day. Exercise regularly, and get adequate sleep every night. Take care of your hair, teeth, and skin, and wear clothes that make you feel good about yourself.
2. Stay mindful and vigilant.
In treatment, people become very familiar with HALT, an acronym that helps promote self-awareness and mindfulness surrounding your emotional state. HALT reminds people in recovery to stop and assess their emotions: Are you hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired? Staying mindful of these negative emotions throughout the day can help you correct them before they lead to a relapse.
3. Exercise every day.
Exercise has been shown through a large body of research to improve your mood. In fact, recent studies show that a half hour of exercise each day, five days a week reduces feelings of depression as effectively as medication. Whether you walk, jog, bike, swim, play soccer, or get some work done in the garden, physical activity is one of the best methods for emotional management in recovery.
Meditation is a powerful tool for improving your mindfulness, self-awareness, and mood. It helps you improve the way you deal with stress, and it helps you quickly identify negative emotions and take steps to reduce uncomfortable feelings. Daily meditation has been shown through research to be a highly effective complementary therapy for treating addiction. Strive for fifteen minutes of meditation each day, and after a couple of weeks, you’ll notice your emotional state is much more even-keeled.
5. Talk to someone.
Persistent negative emotions may require therapy. Therapy helps you identify negative emotions and their sources, and it helps you work through the issues that are causing the negative emotions. If your negative emotions are related to clinical depression, anxiety, or another mental illness, getting that illness under control through a combination of medication and therapy will go a long way toward preventing relapse.
White Sands Treatment Can Help
Emotional management during recovery is crucial for long-term success. A high quality treatment program through White Sands Treatment can help you develop the skills and strategies you need for dealing with emotions in recovery. Contact us today to start your recovery journey and enjoy a happier, healthier life.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.