We have all experienced anxiety at some point in our lives. Anxiety is typical during recovery but does not have to be debilitating. Of course, the person experiencing anxiety symptoms may think it is anything but ordinary.
Individuals who have never experienced excessive anxiety in the past may develop withdrawal-related restlessness, nervousness, and angst. However, a person can minimize anxiety symptoms with some awareness and self-efficacy. Let’s discuss ways to help you or your loved one feel better and less anxious while in recovery.
Managing Anxiety With Healthy Living
Healthy eating is the secret ingredient to treating many illnesses, including anxiety. Research shows that a healthy lifestyle should include a whole-food, plant-predominant diet and regular physical exercise. Adequate sleep and stress management also aid in a person’s overall wellness. A robust and well-fueled body gives us the energy we need to tackle challenging life situations.
Make sure to include some protein with breakfast. Protein helps stabilize blood sugar levels and provides energy. Stay hydrated and include complex carbohydrates in your meals. Carbohydrates release serotonin which calms us. Avoiding caffeine can help since it is a stimulant and can cause nervousness. Healthy eating is adhering to a well-balanced diet. And, of course, don’t forget your fruits and vegetables.
Simple Steps to Manage Anxiety
During recovery, you are learning how to live sober. Sometimes you may think about everything at once and feel like your anxiety has taken over. You feel anxious about being anxious. If that sounds familiar, you are not alone. Some of the solutions lie in your thought processes. A change in attitude and some mental exercises can help you manage stress, which will lessen anxious moments.
An important thing to recognize is that recovery and its accompanying successes will take a while, but your efforts will be worth the time. Below are some simple exercises you may find helpful.
- When anxiety surfaces, try reciting your favorite poem or singing a song in your mind.
- Focus on a simple activity for a few minutes, such as watching the autumn leaves fall or birdwatching.
- Stay in the moment. Try not to dwell on the past.
- Practice controlled breathing, especially during an anxiety episode, to slow your breathing and get the proper air to your lungs.
- Keep your mind occupied—play chess or other brain-stimulating games.
- Relax. If you cannot relax your whole self, mentally focus on relaxing one section of your body at a time.
- Count backward, solve a puzzle, read, or write in your journal.
Attempting any or all of the suggestions above will move your focus to the positive. During recovery, you are taking back control of your thought processes. As your healing progresses, anxiety should subside.
The benefits of meditation for coping with anxiety and depression are well known. Meditating can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Several forms of meditation exist, but mindfulness meditation is a simple step toward self-care that can provide relief. This type of meditation dates back over 2000 years and is rooted in eastern philosophy. Mindfulness meditation is mental training and affects emotion regulation. It lessens stress and manages the rollercoaster effects of emotional lows and highs related to recovery.
Anyone interested can learn the essential components of mindfulness meditation through self-study, but introductory classes or groups are recommended. It may be a familiar technique if you are currently in recovery. For inquiries, consult your doctor, sponsor, or peers connected with your recovery.
After learning the basic skills, you can practice mindfulness meditation anywhere. Mindfulness meditation is a safe practice, easy to understand, and affordable, and it may affect a positive quality of life.
Yoga is a natural medicine that uses physical positions to connect the mind, body, and breath to focus on well-being. Approximately twice as many people practice yoga now than ten years ago. This indicates its growing popularity and positive mental and physical health benefits. Yoga is offered in treatment facilities and included in many treatment programs. Everyone can benefit from yoga due to its wide range of benefits, including reducing stress and accompanying anxiety.
Self-reflection is essential in all phases of life, including recovery. Your introspection affords you the knowledge and insight needed to heal and improve, resulting in high quality of life. Reflection is simply thinking about something, and self-reflection is assessing yourself. Knowing oneself is a vital component of developing balance.
Seeking Help for Anxiety
Consider asking for help if you are not experiencing balance in your life. Reach out to a friend or loved one, or touch base with a peer who has experienced similar struggles. There is a multitude of professional services available to you. No one should face recovery from debilitating stress, anxiety, or depression alone.
Anxiety on its own can be terrifying, but when coinciding with addiction treatment it can feel overwhelming. When it seems like everything is hitting you at once, managing that anxiety isn’t easy. Fortunately, there are methods by which you can manage your anxiety and remain focused on healing and recovery. Here at Destiny Recovery Center, we provide multiple levels of care for addiction treatment and dual diagnosis. We provide yoga, mindfulness, and nutritional counseling during treatment to help you implement these methods into your daily life. By learning these skills during treatment you can begin to practice them so they are second nature as you adjust back to life outside treatment. Call us at (909) 413-4304 to get started.