There are many things that can derail our recovery, and stress is at the top of the list. Whether it is family or relationship conflicts, work issues, financial worries or health concerns–the stress of everyday life can wear us down, make us physically and psychologically weary and prone to relapse down the road. For all people, stress is an unfortunate and normal part of our lives–and for those in recovery from substance abuse stress is a common trigger that leads back to active substance abuse/
While it is an inevitable part of everyday life, there are ways that you can combat stress and restore proper balance. The following are 8 natural stress relievers for recovering people that can easily be incorporated into your daily routine and your overall plan of recovery.
One of the most popular natural stress relievers for recovering people is the practice of yoga. Yoga is an ancient spiritual and physical practice that combines controlled breathing, various series of yoga poses and meditation. Through regular practice, those who are in recovery can learn new and healthy was to cope with daily stress through focus on breath control. Being able to control one’s breathing will help people better control their thoughts and emotions.
Yoga also helps those in recovery develop and cultivate both patience and self-discipline which is important in controlling impulsive thoughts that can lead back to active drug use. A great benefit of yoga practice is that anyone can take part–regardless of age or fitness level. Beginners to yoga practice start off with beginner yoga poses such as cat-cow pose, tree pose or standing mountain pose and can progress to more difficult poses and series of poses.
Creating a Healthy Daily Schedule
If you are in the first few months of recovery, you can easily become overwhelmed by the daily grind. It seems as though there are too many things on your collective plate with work duties, family duties, chores around the house, projects or to-do lists. While we live in a society where multi-tasking and being everywhere at once is the norm, being spread too thin will quickly wear you out and stress will quickly enter the picture.
The main focus in early recovery is your recovery, and in order to ensure that your day is filled with activities that strengthen your recovery and eliminate unnecessary stress you must learn to create a healthy daily schedule. For starters, eliminate all but essential recovery activities such as 12-step meetings, continuing counseling and healthy hobbies or other past times. Start simple and work your way up. Additionally, also want to incorporate some downtime where you do absolutely nothing.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Another popular natural stress reliever for recovering people is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Cognitive Behavior Therapy focuses on our thinking behavior which focuses on the ways we act, think and respond. With CBT, people learn to control stress by first realizing their maladaptive thoughts and feelings are at the center of their stress, and when left unchecked these can contribute to behaviors that keep them stuck. By identifying these underlying sources and obtaining the tools to modify these thoughts, people can look at situations differently and as a result they can reduce the anxiety they may feel when those stressful situations and events are encountered.
Eat Healthy, Eat Right
Nutrition and recovery go hand in hand, and it is one of the most popular ways to naturally relieve stress. When we eat right and putting the necessary nutrients in our bodies, we are truly restoring or bodies and minds. Proper nutrition goes a long way in helping our vital organs and tissues repair themselves, and it also helps to restore the proper balance of neurochemicals in our brain so we are able to improve our mood, feel better and be better able to cope with day-to-day stress.
There are some basic nutrition tips that you can follow that will help you reduce stress. You should eat a good breakfast that is full of proteins, fiber and healthy fats. You also should eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoid foods that are highly processed and contain refine sugar. You should also adequately hydrate yourself and drink plenty of water to flush toxins from your system. Additionally, you should drastically reduce or eliminate your caffeine intake.
Take Time for Mother Nature
Another one of the great natural stress relievers for recovering people is Mother Nature herself. When we decide to get out into nature and explore, we experience a sense of renewal. We are able to separate ourselves from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind and take stock and the grand scale of what nature offers. When we experience the forces of nature, we realize that we are but a small part of the bigger picture and that allows us to surrender control of those things in our lives we have no control.
Connecting with nature also helps us strengthen our bonds with the Higher Power of our understanding. We can’t help but to be in awe with the natural beauty of forests, rolling hills, mountains, rivers and other natural wonders. We also notice how nature is interconnected and how the various components work together so beautifully without outside intervention. When we realize we are a component of a bigger world, we develop a sense of humility which is a cornerstone in nurturing our recovery.
When we are able to incorporate natural stress relief techniques in our recovery, it will help us maintain calm and better equipped to handle daily stress. These techniques also serve a bigger purposes in allowing us to become more well-rounded human beings.