Stress happens, quickly and unpredictably.
We can’t always prepare ourselves for overwhelming feelings of stress, of feeling trapped and pressured. Many times, we react by becoming highly emotional, to the point of overreaction. We all lose our temper sometimes—most of us, at least.
Addicts can become stressed just like anyone else, but their stress presents a higher degree of risk. For them, stress can be a trigger, to engage in drug use for relief. Bouncing back from a relapse is no easy feat. It’s a challenge that is worth taking pains, learning strategies, to avoid.
Firstly, move. Get outside, go for a walk, be active in one way or another. The less active we are, the less oxygen gets into our lungs, the less blood flows, the less nourished our brains are. If you have some time, go for a walk. If you don’t have time, do your work while you stand. The bottom line? Breathe. Yoga is healthy for a reason. Controlled breathing has a lot of merits.
On that note, pay attention to your poster. This too helps with blood flow to the brain and organs. What researchers from Columbia and Harvard call “expansive posture,” they actually found to reduce stress and increase confidence. Ever hear that smiling actually makes us happier? If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a sudden and unexpected situation, stand up tall, with your back straight, and face it that way.
Try to ground yourself, too. Situations are seldom as bad as they seem. Negative emotions feed on themselves, the sense of bleakness builds quickly and comes off stronger than it is. We get stressed over stress. Take a break from the chaos to exit the room or situation, take a deep breath, and assess the situation in a detached, non-biased manner. If you can keep yourself from panicking, then you can get to careful, calculated thinking. At that point, you can really begin to help yourself. Remember the words “This too shall pass.”