The popular Internet and T-Shirt meme has a catchy and shareable nature to it; Keep Calm and… The phrase is usually followed up with some activity but the central idea of this viral idea is that only when you take a breath and calm your agitated nerves can you truly enjoy what you’re doing, whatever that may be.
Stress and Anxiety are two of the most common agitators of substance abuse and ongoing addiction. Pressure from home, work, school, and life in general count take a toll on a mind over time if there is no pressure valve to let off some steam. We get caught up in our daily lives, hustling to make money or make grades or raise a family. It all gets knotted up inside us and when we don’t think we can take it anymore, we reach for something to help the pain go away. Could be drugs, or alcohol, or some other vice that consumes your every waking thought.
What we call stress is the sum total of all the environmental factors weighing in at you. Anxiety is a physical response to these outside forces. It’s a natural mechanism to keep us alert and ready when there’s danger or something of interest. However, a constant state of stress and anxiety will gradually wear down our brain’s natural thinking processes and a build-up of cortisol, the stress hormone, accumulates in our blood. It’s physically unhealthy to endure stress and worry.
This is why it’s so important to balance your life with something that brings you joy and allows you a moment to keep calm.
When you find yourself in a moment of stress or anxiety, take a deep oxygen-rich breath and exhale it slowly.
Close your eyes.
Block out sounds and thoughts to focus on just one thing. It could be counting your breaths, a word of focus, or the sensations of connecting to the floor or chair. Just focus your mind and calm your heart rate with slow breaths. This simple practice, carried out daily (or several times throughout the day) can decrease your stress levels and release the feel-good euphoria we all need from time to time as a break from the chaos of life.
Ready to kick your drug habit and take your life back? We’re ready to help. Contact LEAD Treatment Center for options for your recovery 800.380.0012.