Coping With Negative Emotions in Sobriety

How to Deal With Feelings Post-Recovery

When you have finally overcome your addiction and reached a level of sobriety, you may be overwhelmed by emotions, both good and bad ones. You may even have flashbacks to your former substance abuse days which can trigger fear, anxiety, and pain. This is all part of addiction recovery and knowing how to handle these emotions is imperative to your success in long-term sobriety.

When you were formerly using, you may have dealt with emotions through drinking alcohol or using drugs; this was your emotional outlet and coping mechanism. Now that you are a sober individual, this is no longer an option. Knowing how to properly handle your emotions can help you maintain your sobriety.

Dealing With Emotions

While you may use to self-medicate when you experienced certain emotions, sobriety means that you will have to refer to your new coping mechanisms in order to handle them. What used to bring you relief, whether it was drinking or alcohol, only brought you periods of relief and once the substance wore away, those negative emotions would creep back.

Without turning to drugs and alcohol, there are a number of ways to cope with stress, anxiety, and negative emotions that are conducive to sobriety.

  • Asking for Help

Instead of resorting to drugs or alcohol and putting yourself at risk for relapse, consider connecting with a therapist or counselor. Building a relationship with a therapist can help you turn to them in times of need and in times of temptation and fear. These individuals can assist you by providing therapy and help which can assist you in coping with your emotions. Feelings just as depression are not things that go away with the use of substances, rather, they can be mitigated by simply speaking to a therapist.

  • Start a Workout Routine

Studies show that when you begin to feel negative emotions creep up, exercising can boost your mood and lessen the feelings of anxiety, depression, and doubt. Working out releases endorphins which are the body’s natural response to feeling great. There are tremendous mental health benefits of working out.  

  • Massage Therapy

Massage therapy has proven to be beneficial to those who are struggling with their mental health. Massage therapy can aid in self-awareness and is a holistic means of dealing with negative emotions.

  • Partake in Self-Care

Taking part in self-care activities can increase your awareness a promote the best version of yourself. When you connect with the foundation of your emotions and work to overcome them through positive affirmations and self-care, you are making a true effort to overcome your struggles. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has proven to be advantageous in those who are working toward overcoming their struggles and negative emotions.  

Avoid Self-Medicating

Individuals should never resort to self-medication in order to deal with their emotions as this will trigger a relapse which can put you back at square one. There is always an alternative to dealing with negative emotions which are holistic and effective. When your mental health is under control, you are better able to make sound choices and also better able to handle your emotions. The key to getting better is getting help today.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20615179

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery

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.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.