Dr. Cali Estes - The Addiction Coach ®

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Stress Management is So Important to Your Sobriety!



There are obviously many different types of addiction. There is addiction to drugs and/or alcohol and there is gambling addiction, sex addiction and food addiction. Now, there are a lot of contributing factors to these destructive addictions but there is one common contributor to them all, and that is stress.
For years doctors have been telling us that stress is the “silent killer”.  But when we think of stress killing us, we think of high blood pressure, heart attacks and maybe a stroke. But how many of us think about stress being that deadly link between our sobriety and addiction? The doctors were right. Stress is a killer. Stress is a killer in many ways, but for now we are going to discuss how stress triggers addiction and how we can combat its attempts to sabotage our sobriety and keep us shackled by addiction. Stress can sneak up on us causing us to feel smothered by our stressful days and before we know it we are searching for and using our drug of choice and we are back in a deadly cycle of addiction. Instead of talking about our stressors, I would like to give you a few methods on how to control or lower your stress level to a point where using drugs or drinking doesn’t seem like the only way out. Some of these ways to reduce stress are so simple that they might make you laugh at first, but they really do work!
Here is a list of stress reducing actions that will help lower your stress level and contribute to keeping you clean and sober.
1. FOCUS ON GRATITUDE– It is so easy to get tunnel vision and focus on all the bad things that are happening in your life at the moment but try this. Try finding two or three things that you are extremely thankful for in life and focus on them during your stressful time. This relieves the bad feelings of stress and makes you thankful.
2.PRACTICE SELF COMPASSION-most of us are harder on ourselves than anyone else could possibly be. So practice self-forgiveness a little more. Give yourself a break and don’t blame yourself for every little thing that goes wrong in life.
3. TAKE A LONG BATH– this is something I have witnessed personally over the past 12 years. My wife runs an international high intensity company and every day is a stressful day and she ends every day with a nice hot bath. The warm water mixed with other relaxing agents can set you up for a great night of sleep that your mind and body desperately need.
4. SET ROUTINES– one of the biggest contributors to stress is the feeling of being out of control. And the way to keep your days feeling in control is by setting routines and following them daily. This gives us the feeling of control and the feeling of accomplishment. This will definitely keep your stress level at bay.
5. EXERCISE– now this is a biggie. We have spent a lot of time talking about how regular exercise releases the same feel good endorphins as drugs and alcohol do. What we haven’t talked about, in depth, is how regular exercise decreases your stress level tremendously. Our health and physical appearance are major contributors to our stress level. They go hand in hand so it is completely necessary to exercise regularly to keep stress levels down.
6. PET/INTERACT WITH YOUR PET– this is my favorite. I have always said that I could be transported to a place where it was just me and dogs and I would be just fine. I am obviously kidding to a certain extent, but NOTHING reduces my stress like seeing my 2 dogs and playing with them for a while. It has been scientifically proven that petting your beloved pet also releases feelgood endorphins. So play with your pet regularly to reduce your stress level.
So above we have listed several different ways to reduce your daily stress level and these are proven ways to reduce stress levels. The thing about stress that you have to remember is that it is called the silent killer for good reasons. Stress can sneak up on you and bad days can quickly add up to a place where you find yourself using drugs and/or alcohol before you know what hit you. So manage your stress in a safe and healthy way. Now, don’t be ashamed to ask for help dealing with stress. We here at The Addictions Coach have many programs to help you deal with stress that can contribute to addiction and relapse. You can find all of our recovery-related programs by visiting our website at http://www.theaddictionscoach.com or by calling us 24/7 at 1-800-706-0318. Don’t let stress sneak up and derail your sobriety or keep you from reaching sobriety all together. Call The Addictions Coach today!
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