Content reviewed by Christian Losch, LCSW, LCADC, CEO of Pinelands
Gaining and maintaining sobriety is not an easy lifestyle choice to make. The path of addiction recovery comes with various challenges and rewards. Amidst the difficulties that addiction recovery presents, finding and keeping your inner peace becomes more important than ever.
Recovery can be a stressful time.
It is common for those in addiction recovery to experience significant stress. This can be due to various factors, including:
- Emotions: Identifying, feeling and processing your emotions without the crutch of drugs to numb the pain or distract you can be incredibly stressful. In most cases, people do not know how to accept and healthily process their feelings. Relearning how to perceive and navigate these emotions can be a significant learning curve that can cause stress for many individuals.
- Change: Resisting change is nothing new for humans. Craving what is known and understood is typical for many people, even if it is harmful. Willingly seeking out dramatic lifestyle changes is uncommon and highly challenging for many people. Experiencing such intense changes can feel wildly uncomfortable and cause many people to feel stressed out.
- Loneliness: Although individuals may have a team of people helping them and supporting them along their journey, it is still common to experience loneliness. Many people find that the friends or even family members they were close with while using addictive substances are no longer ideal individuals to have in their lives. This loss in connection can create feelings of unwanted loneliness. When alone time is not a choice, this experience may become a source of stress for many individuals.
Experiencing stress during this time is expected. However, if not handled properly, it can lead to concerning outcomes, such as relapse or other unhealthy behaviors.
There are many ways to capture and maintain your inner peace while in recovery.
While stress may be unavoidable, it does not have to cause negative consequences. There are many ways to live with anxiety while keeping your inner peace. By ensuring that your mind, body and soul are at ease no matter what outside sources come your way, you are protecting your well-being and your sobriety. Below are four ways to begin ensuring your inner peace amidst stressful circumstances.
#1. Practice meditation.
Daily meditation practices can be extremely helpful when going through stressful situations. By being in silence without any distractions, you can clear your mind and focus on the peace created within yourself. You may find it beneficial to focus on your breath by slowly breathing in and out. Doing so can help calm your nervous system rather than let it be in a constant state of alertness.
Perhaps you find it helpful to use a mantra during your meditation practices. A mantra is a single word or phrase that you find to be inspirational and calming. Repeating this mantra while in a relaxed position as you slowly breathe in and out can be an effective way to restore your inner peace.
#2. Engage all of your senses.
It can be incredibly grounding and calming to do activities that engage all of your senses without overwhelming yourself. Doing this is crucial because it can be easy to let your imagination rule your thoughts in stressful situations, thus creating more stress and anxiety.
Try lighting some candles, incense or essential oils to engage your sense of smell. While doing this, you could brew a hot cup of coffee, tea, hot chocolate or any other appealing, warm beverage that engages your sense of smell and taste. Next, maybe turn on some relaxing sounds or music while looking out your window and snuggling with a cozy blanket. When done all at once, these activities can help restore peace into your body through grounding strategies.
#3. Take a long bath or shower.
There is scientific evidence that shows how bathing in warm water allows for feelings of calmness and relaxation. Being submerged in warm water helps the body relax, release tension and reduce stress levels. The next time you need to bathe, keep in mind that this can become a fun, relaxing activity rather than another chore.
Whether you prefer baths or showers, try giving yourself extra time to soak and relax your body by enjoying the warm water. Focus on how the warm water feels against your skin while letting your body rest. Perhaps you could use soaps or shampoos with calming scents such as lavender, sage or vanilla. Bathing can be a special time for you to relax and reconnect with your body.
At Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford, we prioritize stress relief amongst our clients. At our facilities in Medford, New Jersey, you can expect to receive hands-on treatment while also getting the necessary time to relax and find peace. We want to ensure your good health by helping your stay sober and peaceful. Please call today at (877) 557-5372.