We all have stress. Whether it’s related to work, family obligations, or your social life, we all feel anxiety and stress at one time or another. These feelings are only natural, and you should never feel ashamed or isolated for being overwhelmed. However, excessive stress and anxiety can quickly give way to damaging coping mechanisms that can impact your ability to function in day to day life. At Wyoming Recovery, we aim to help people who have been addicted to drugs and alcohol cope with their stress in healthier ways. Located in beautiful Casper, WY, our recovery facility has helped numerous people detox and return to their normal life happier and healthier. Learn more about how you can identify negative coping mechanisms and how you can turn those into positives.
What Is a Coping Mechanism?
Let’s start with a basic definition of “coping mechanism.” Since we all experience some degree of stress, we all develop our own strategies for dealing with that discomfort. These habits are referred to as coping mechanisms. They can be positive or negative, healthy or unhealthy, depending on the action and how often you use it. Sometimes, coping mechanisms give us a reason to avoid stressors and dealing with what’s really bothering us. Often, these mechanisms serve as a distraction, keeping us from taking stress head-on. However, not all coping mechanisms are bad. With the proper techniques, you can develop coping strategies that allow you to address the cause of your stress without being overwhelmed.
How Negative Coping Skills Relate to Addiction
Wyoming Recovery is a well-known facility for treating those struggling addiction. So, what do coping mechanisms have to do with addiction? When faced with high degrees of stress, many people turn to drugs and alcohol to alleviate that stress. Unfortunately, these are examples of negative coping strategies. Recovering from addiction often means rewiring your brain to respond to better, more positive coping mechanisms. While changing such a fundamental aspect of your behavior is a challenge, it can be done. You don’t have to live with unhealthy coping mechanisms that can impact your ability to enjoy your life in the long run. Our experienced team is here to help you change your behavior and replace the negatives with positives.
Negative Coping Methods Have Numerous Consequences
Those who use drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms, especially in excess, run the risk of becoming addicted. Addiction is difficult to overcome, and recovery is often a lifelong process. You may you’re yourself checking into an inpatient treatment program or requesting outpatient help. However, if you were formerly addicted to a harmful substance, you can change your coping mechanisms into more positive ones. Continuing with negative coping skills can rapidly turn into health issues that will affect your life in the long term. Our best advice for those with poor coping strategies is to seek help from an accredited treatment center.
The Importance of Aftercare
Aftercare is a crucial part of the addiction recovery process. Once you’ve completed your inpatient or outpatient treatment program, it’s time to put your new, healthy coping mechanisms to use. Even without direct medical supervision, it’s imperative you keep up the good work and continue to avoid the addictive substance. While you’re with Wyoming Recovery, we’ll work with you to build good coping mechanisms for stress, ones you can apply to your daily life outside of our facility.
Exploring Your Options for Healthy Coping Skills
Getting rid of unhealthy coping mechanisms is a continuous process. However, you have a plethora of methods you can try to find the right fit for your lifestyle, circumstances, and tendencies. First of all, a strong support network is an essential part of coping with stress. You might already have supportive family or friends, but we understand that not everyone has this privilege. If you can’t count on a preexisting network, Wyoming Recovery is here to provide you with one. Our team of dedicated staff members strives to support each patient, and you’ll also have the chance to build relationships with others who have struggled with addiction.
Using Journaling as a Coping Tool
Perhaps social interaction isn’t the best way to cope with your stress. In that case, you might benefit from journaling. When you write down your thoughts and feelings, it’s much easier to gain a clear picture of what you’re thinking. This practice can reduce your stress over time, as it allows you to feel a sense of control over your actions and your response to events happening around you. You can better interpret your feelings and make adjustments to your reaction as needed.
Get Moving with Daily Exercise
You’ve probably heard this one before, but exercise is indeed an excellent way to relieve stress. Exercise releases endorphins, which improve mood, as well as self-control and concentration. Many patients report feeling more positive after an hour of exercise. Whether you enjoy riding your bike, swimming, or just going for a walk, regular exercise can help you cope with pent up stress.
Feeling Stressed? Do Something You Love
It’s no secret that having fun reduces stress. However, when you’re feeling especially burdened, it can be difficult to see the fun in activities you used to love. Those who struggle with addiction often let their hobbies slip and dedicate that time to securing drugs or consuming alcohol. With professional treatment, you can learn to forego drugs and alcohol for those activities you once found entertaining. You might rekindle your love for fishing or gardening, or you might prefer to broaden your horizons and try something new. Whenever you’re feeling stressed, you can look to one of these activities to brighten your day and ease your burden.
Helping Others Can Help You Cope
If you’re recovering from addiction, you might enjoy helping others recover as well. Not only does being of assistance increase your self-esteem and sense of self-worth, but it can also bolster your support network. When you have reliable friends and a strong sense of confidence, your chances of relapse are minimized. Some sources even suggest helping others can lower your blood pressure and reduce chronic pain. If you’re interested in helping other people struggling with similar issues to yours, ask us about how you can get involved.
Combine Different Coping Methods for a Thorough Approach
As you can see, you have several options when it comes to replacing bad coping mechanisms with the good. Some patients feel daunted by the sheer variety of coping methods to use. However, try to see the variety as more of an opportunity. If you don’t find much success with journaling, perhaps you’ll feel better after talking to friends or confiding in a professional. Many Wyoming Recovery patients are benefited from a multi-faceted approach to positive coping methods. Instead of just choosing one strategy, you might do well to combine multiple methods and use them to cope with different stressors. Maybe a stressful day at work can be alleviated with exercise, while a negative social encounter might be made better with some meditation. Healthy coping mechanisms are all about finding what works for you.
Don’t Let Relapses Discourage You
Healthy coping habits are essential in recovering from alcohol or drug addiction. Nevertheless, it’s not uncommon for those bad coping strategies to rear their head every once in a while. Should you have a relapse while you’re trying to recover from addiction, do not let it deter you from getting back on track. In fact, up to 60 percent of those addicted to drugs or alcohol will relapse at least once while trying to recover. Relapse is not a failure, and instead, is an obstacle to be overcome. Whenever you need extra help on your journey toward addiction recovery, reach out to the compassionate team at Wyoming Recovery.
Receive Professional Help at Our Facility
At Wyoming Recovery, we’re committed to helping you develop the strategies you need to recover from drug or alcohol use. Addiction is a mental health issue, not a matter of willpower. With this in mind, we’ll work with you to create a plan to address your hardships. Our team can help you replace bad coping mechanisms with some of the positive ones we mentioned earlier. We know it’s an understatement to say overcoming addiction is difficult. Nevertheless, you can triumph over substance use. Our facility in Casper, WY accommodates inpatient and outpatient treatment, whichever will best serve you as you work toward recovery. If it’s time to get professional help with conquering your addiction, contact our experienced team today.