Stress is a common part of daily life. Stress is incredibly prevalent from the stresses of maintaining sobriety following one’s treatment program or the stresses of the workplace. However, learning to manage stress is essential for those continuing their recovery journey. When stress is not appropriately managed, it can contribute to worsening health problems and relapse. Therefore, it is crucial to establish effective daily practices that foster resilience to better navigate stress and anxiety without turning to the use of addictive substances. 

The Dangers of Constant Stress

Stress takes many forms, and it can be impossible to prepare for every way in which stressful events could occur. For some, anxiety manifests through constant battles with urges and cravings to reengage with addictive substances. Others may find new stresses as they explore their identity, interests, and hobbies or are in the middle of ingratiating themselves in a new lifestyle or culture in sobriety. 

Stresses can also be external, especially for those living independently and navigating the real world. Commercials for alcoholic beverages, iconography or signs while out on errands, or even passing by places one used to frequently engage with additive substances all bring unwanted stress to daily life. Navigating workplace expectations, the complexities of personal relationships, and much more are all common stressors, especially for those balancing these aspects of their lives with their ongoing sobriety. 

However, if left unchecked, the dangers of constant stress can take a massive toll on one’s health. Anxiety and depression are common results of stress, as is difficulty sleeping, nightmares, and more. For those navigating recovery, it can be normal to want such stresses to stop by any means, increasing the chance of slips and relapse throughout one’s recovery journey. Embracing daily grounding strategies to strengthen one’s mindfulness is necessary to avoid turning to more destructive coping strategies. 

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Daily Grounding Strategies

Being able to ground oneself during feelings of stress or anxiety is crucial. Not only does this help an individual remain in control and accountable for their actions, but it also highlights one’s ever-strengthening resilience in recovery. However, the techniques that each individual uses will be wholly their own. Finding one’s best personal strategies can ensure the most effective plans for keeping grounded amidst stress and anxiety. 

Take a Breath

Breathing is a powerful tool in recovery. Slowing down one’s breathing and taking a few deep, deliberate breaths can be instrumental in grounding oneself before taking action in the face of stress or anxiety. Deep breaths, counting exercises, and more all force individuals to pay attention to their bodies while providing time to process stresses before deciding how to respond. This empowers each individual to think through their best actions and can help avoid inadvertently slipping or relapsing in the face of such stresses. 

Practicing these breathing exercises daily, even when not in the face of stress, can help an individual effectively employ the technique in other situations. Using breathing techniques while stopped at a red light, in the morning as part of one’s morning routine, and more can all normalize the practice and make it as effective as possible. 

Take Inventory of Your Environment

Simply naming things in one’s environment can also help process stress and anxiety. Identifying simple, obvious things like the lamp in the corner, the curtains covering the window, or a picture on the wall are all ways to reinforce one’s current place and time. Anxiety and stress can cause an individual to perceive their environments differently. By situating oneself in a clear sense of reality, one can better understand the sources of one’s stresses without allowing such feelings to overtake one’s perception. 

Get Outside

Feeling the breeze of the air and the openness of the natural world can all help alleviate stress. By detaching oneself and getting away from physical walls and barriers, this feeling of freedom can extend to one’s mental state. In turn, it can help to stress by removing the sources of one’s anxiety. Going for a walk along the beach, hiking, or just going on a jog around the block are all great daily practices to ensure that one never feels physically or emotionally trapped by regular stresses or anxieties. 

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Using Music

Music is a powerful tool for communication and expression. However, it can be just as effective for navigating stress and anxiety. Listening to the lyrics of a song, the melody, the background instrumental, and more can all give an individual a myriad of enjoyable things to focus on in the face of anxiety. This is also an incredibly personal way to release stress. While some may look to serene, peaceful music to reflect their desired mental state and create a calm atmosphere, it is also possible to use higher-energy music like rock or metal to get one’s body moving and active to release pent-up stress. 

Stress and anxiety are common experiences across all walks of life. However, they can still have a myriad of negative effects if left unaddressed. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we champion and empower each individual to find their own best practices for navigating these challenging feelings. We are ready to help you develop your most effective recovery plan today. From helping you navigate stress and anxiety to using addictive substances, trauma, and more, we take a comprehensive approach to your needs and goals. From individual therapy to using nature and new cultural experiences, we can create a plan that is right for you. For more information on our treatment programs in Hawaii, call us at (866) 390-5070.