Stress goes hand in hand with addiction. Often, it’s one of the reasons clients begin to use in the first place. Once you get clean, you still deal with stress. It can be difficult to know how to cope with stress in a healthy manner, particularly when you are used to using drugs, alcohol, or behavior as a coping mechanism. Stress management techniques are beneficial to everyone, but they are absolutely essential for recovering addicts.
What Are Stress Management Techniques?
Stress management techniques are things that you can do to help relieve or cope with stress.
Some of the best techniques are:
- Time with friends and family
- Spend time in nature
Meditation is an excellent stress management technique. It can be performed anywhere without the need for special equipment. All you need is yourself, and preferably a quiet place. Guided meditations are an excellent starting point. Visualizing relaxing imagery can be helpful. Deep breathing and focusing on your breath can easily bring you into a meditative state. The more you practice, the more you will find that you can meditate anytime you are in a stressful situation.
Yoga is an ancient practice that has regained popularity in recent years. Any form of exercise is great for stress relief, but Yoga is one of the best. Yoga essentially couples meditative practices with physical movement and breathing techniques. It increases your overall health and flexibility in addition to relieving stress. If yoga isn’t your cup of tea, try pilates or Tai Chi. These have a mindfulness aspect to them as well.
Another ancient practice that has become mainstream is aromatherapy. Aromatherapy uses essential oils, which are distilled from plants. The oils are usually meant to be smelled, but some can be applied to the skin as well. What makes it one of the best stress management techniques? It is thought that when you smell essential oils, sensors in your nose send chemical messages to your brain. Depending on the oil, this can cause you to relax, feel more energized, or happy.
Hobbies are an often overlooked method of relieving stress. Spending time doing something you enjoy helps you to relax and let go of stress. Hobbies can take many different forms, but some of the most common types are:
- Physical: sports, exercise
- Creative: woodworking, painting
- Relaxing: bubble bath, reading
The only requirement for using a hobby as one of your stress management techniques is that you enjoy it, and it relieves more stress than it creates.
Time With Friends and Family
Spending time with loved ones is another way to relieve stress. Family outings or a night out with friends can help you bond and keep in touch with your support system. Doing something together brings you out of your everyday stresses and allows you to focus on having a good time together.
Spend Time In Nature
One of the greatest stress management techniques is one of simplest. Get outdoors and spend time in nature. Being in nature lowers cortisol levels, blood pressure, and pulse. However, checking your email raises them, so leave your smartphone at home or at least turned off. Hikes are a great way to relieve stress, but even a few minutes sitting on a park bench can have a positive impact on your stress levels.
Mindset is a very important aspect of stress management techniques. Gratitude helps you to focus on the positive, instead of the things that cause you stress. Try starting a gratitude journal, where you write 5 things you are thankful for each day. You can also simply ask yourself what you are grateful for when you find yourself getting stressed. See how many you can list.
Relief at Santé Center for Healing
If your struggling with an addiction and finding yourself overwhelmed with the stress in your life, contact Sante Center for Healing. We work with you to create long term healing. Contact us at 866.238.3154, and find out how we can help.