Coping skills are ways that you handle your emotions in the short term. When you are going through difficult times and experiencing a lot of stress, coping skills can help to relieve some of your physical and mental pain. Some people have great difficulty with anger, anxiety, or sadness. Many in early recovery experience these types of emotions because of the events that led up to their sobriety. Managing them can be challenging, but doing so is very important in recovery.
To succeed in recovery, you will need to know how to manage your emotions and thoughts effectively. One way is using practical coping skills that allow you to think more clearly and feel better about yourself. These skills can help you feel in control and reduce stress and anxiety when you need it most.
1. Positive Self-Talk
In many recovery groups, there is a great emphasis on positive self-talk during the early part of recovery. This type of talk differs from saying things like “I’m strong” when someone goes to take a drink or says how bad their life was when they first started treatment. They are talking about learning to change your internal dialogue and focus on the positive aspects of yourself and your life. You can use this type of positive self-talk when feeling down or going through a stressful time.
Positive self-talk is telling yourself things like “This will pass,” “I will be OK,” and “I am strong.” It would help if you said these things to yourself as you are experiencing negative emotions. The idea is that these messages will eventually replace the negative thoughts, and you will be able to think more clearly about what may have caused your stress in the first place. You may not feel better immediately, but if you start practicing it often, it will become a natural part of your thinking process.
2. Social Support
An essential part of early recovery is finding a sponsor (a person in recovery who helps guide you along the path to sobriety) and an individual therapist. When you are feeling down, you should talk to someone about your feelings so that they can help you process the information and figure out what caused them. You should realize that this is not a time to be alone, no matter how badly you think you are doing in recovery. The support of people in recovery will enable you to make it through your early recovery stage.
3. Distraction Techniques
Many people find that they are better able to handle stress through several distraction techniques. These are some of the coping skills that you can use when you feel as if you need to escape your emotions. It might be through exercise, reading a good book, or going out with friends. The idea is that these activities take your mind off of the problem and give it something else to focus on. It is not that the problem will automatically cease to exist, but it may allow you to think about something else while you deal with it.
Distraction techniques work well when trying to avoid drinking or using drugs because they will help prevent you from relapsing. They are great for keeping yourself out of toxic environments so you will not be tempted by those still using in early recovery.
It is a common misconception that early recovery is all about meeting your treatment goals and then going home. It is also erroneous to think that once you are clean and sober, you will have no more problems. The truth is that even after you have gotten sober and are doing well, there will always be times when you feel the need to self-medicate some of those old emotions. Therefore, the first step in getting well at this stage involves understanding why these feelings appear in the first place. Call us at 833-680-0165 in case of any query related to alcohol or drug addiction rehabilitation, or you can also chat with us online.
You may wonder what happens to the emotions inside you after you are entirely drug-free and have turned your life around.