Overcoming substance use disorder (SUD) is incredibly difficult, and such a tumultuous time is riddled with personal challenges. From urges and cravings to the continued effects of mental health disorders, each individual will be tasked with processing many different stresses. However, anxiety can be one of the most prevalent and difficult aspects of recovery to overcome, and being able to process and cope with feelings of anxiety is paramount for each person’s continued sobriety. Outpatient treatment is instrumental in helping those in recovery address feelings of anxiety while incorporating effective strategies for coping with anxiety in daily life.
The Prevalence of Anxiety in Daily Life
Anxiety disorders and substance use are often connected. For some, the use of addictive substances can birth new feelings of anxiety, while others already experiencing elevated levels of anxiety may look to addictive substances to placate their minds, despite its negative consequences. Anxiety can affect every aspect of daily life, with pervasive feelings of worry or fear that impact everyday situations. Even as an individual navigates their sober lives, these emotional challenges can still persist throughout each person’s entire recovery journey.
Whether experiencing resting anxiety or worrying about the myriad of changes and uncertainties throughout the recovery process, being prepared for anxiety in outpatient recovery is necessary. Work, education, social anxiety, overcoming stigmas, navigating social situations, and much more can all be incredibly anxiety-inducing situations throughout recovery, and those in recovery experiencing elevated levels of anxiety may also have their other coping strategies compromised, increasing the chances of relapse.
Anxiety is also common among those overcoming SUD as their typical method for addressing anxiety, the use of addictive substances, becomes compromised. It can be difficult to know how to cope with these intense emotions in the face of such change. Those in recovery may not have prepared strategies to replace addictive substances with something else, further intensifying the feelings of anxiety. Effectively coping with anxiety throughout outpatient care involves not just eschewing the use of drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism, but also replacing their use with new, effective, and personalized strategies.
Overcoming Anxiety in Outpatient Recovery
Consistent dedication to continued outpatient recovery is essential for coping with anxiety throughout daily life. Not only can outpatient programs provide those in recovery with access to professionals to discuss the complexities of anxiety, but outpatient treatment also offers a community of peers to explore new strategies. Learning to incorporate effective practices at home to process anxiety and stave off its destructive effects is instrumental for maintaining each person’s hard-earned sobriety.
Identifying the Signs
Anxiety will affect each individual differently, and understanding the various signs of anxiety in each individual is paramount. There is no one, single, uniform way in which anxiety may manifest. Employing mindfulness strategies and techniques to better identify the signs of anxiety can inform an individual of when it may be necessary to employ dedicated anxiety-processing skills.
Paying attention to a person’s own heart rate, checking for consistent or inconsistent breathing patterns, tracking a person’s thought patterns, and identifying overly worrying language or persistent feelings of fear are all amazing skills to develop in outpatient treatment. An individual may not always be able to recognize all of these signs themselves, especially while influenced by feelings of anxiety. Working with supports, family, and friends, and using other strategies like journaling to help identify these signs can help each individual better cope with anxiety in daily life while managing their sobriety.
Create a Self-Care Routine
Self-care is a core part of recovery. Anxiety can often build beneath the surface until it manifests with compounded fears, stresses, and worries that can all affect a person’s emotional state. Regular use of self-care as a daily outlet, rather than reactively to cope with a particular stressor, is necessary to prevent feelings of anxiety from building beneath the surface and manifesting in sudden and dangerous ways.
Yoga, meditation, watching a show, listening to calming music, and more can all be great self-care outlets for those in recovery to process and expel pent-up anxiety. Others may turn more to artistic outlets. Regardless of the form self-care takes, making such practices consistent and accessible is necessary for coping with anxiety while outside the walls of a treatment facility.
Stay Physically Active
Physical activity is paramount throughout addiction recovery. Keeping physically active can be instrumental in providing anxiety with a regular outlet. Exercising and moving the body can challenge feelings of stagnation that may be prevalent while creating new opportunities for replacement hobbies and activities. Walking, hiking, or engaging in personal or team sports activities can all be great ways to keep the body active while also expelling pent-up feelings of anxiety and stress that may otherwise influence a person’s sobriety.
Coping With Anxiety at Redpoint
Overcoming SUD demands a comprehensive healing process, and effective outpatient care is necessary to challenge urges and cravings and the prevalent feelings of anxiety that are commonplace throughout recovery. Redpoint’s commitment to this comprehensive form of healing to address each person’s needs in sobriety, mental health, and more is necessary to create a truly transformed life in sobriety. Between the professionals, peers, and an inviting and sympathetic atmosphere of healing, Redpoint’s outpatient programs are designed to help you address the challenges of anxiety in recovery while replacing destructive coping strategies with new outlets, mentalities, and practices for a sustainable sober life.
Anxiety can be a dangerous and common experience for those overcoming the use of drugs or alcohol. Redpoint is ready to help you identify and overcome the effects of anxiety on your recovery for a healthy and sober future. We believe in the need for a comprehensive approach to recovery, addressing not just the immediate symptoms of substance use, but its effects on mental health as well. Incorporating proven therapeutic strategies, spiritual practices, mindfulness exercises, and much more makes our programs equipped to help you pursue the wholly transformational experience needed for sustainable sobriety. For more information on how we can help you, or to speak to a staff member with any questions, call us at (303) 710-8496.