Relapse Prevention – 5 Tips for Dealing with Negative Emotions in Recovery
Negative emotions can undermine months and even years of hard work trying to stay clean. In addiction treatment programs, there is a significant focus on dealing with negative emotions in recovery in order to prevent the progression of the stages of relapse. The first stage, the emotional stage, is an important stage to focus on to stop a relapse from occurring. The skills needed to master negative emotions can not only prevent relapse, but it can help to improve the overall quality of life the person has in their long-term recovery from addiction.
The Journal of the American Medical Association released findings showing that first year recovering addicts have relapse rates as high as 60 percent. This shows how important managing emotions in recovery can be.
In this article, we will look at several tips on managing emotions in recovery.
1. Regular Exercise
Exercise is one of the best ways of dealing with negative emotions in recovery because it is completely natural and can have as significant effects on a person’s mood as prescribed medications do. Studies point to around 30 minutes of mild exercises a day for five days a week as being an optimal amount of exercise to take advantage of the benefits.
2. The Importance of Self-Care
Taking care of yourself can help in dealing with emotions in addiction recovery. This includes things such as getting enough sleep so that your brain can operate at an effective level and not be prone to negative emotions. Similarly, a healthy diet can help your body to get all of the vitamins and minerals it needs to operate effectively. Poor hygiene can also be a cause of frustration and self-hatred, further showing the importance of proper self-care.
When you eat well, get a good night’s sleep and take care of your appearance, it can make you feel healthy and happy about your position in life.
Meditation has been a way to improve a person’s mood and attain emotional balance for centuries. It is known to be an effective way to deal with stress. Stress, of course, can be a trigger to the relapse process. After a couple of weeks of regular 15-minute meditations, people experience an improved emotional state that is much more balanced.
4. Vigilance and Mindfulness
Dealing with negative emotions in recovery can be achieved through the HALT method that is often learned during treatment at rehab. It stands for “Hungry”, “Angry”, “Lonely” and “Tired”. People are taught to recognize these strong feelings in order the “halt” them in their tracks. Dealing with emotions in addiction recovery by using the HALT method is about recognizing the negative emotions, and through the acknowledgment and correction of them, it can help to stop the relapse process.
5. Ask for Help
The techniques for dealing with negative emotions in recovery by yourself may not always work the way you want them to. In these cases, finding help before relapse has occurred is essential. This can be done by seeing your addiction treatment therapist again and going to support groups to talk about what is bothering you.
The negative emotional response that you are experiencing may be as a result of something that happened in your life recently. The therapist may suggest that you use medications for that time along with frequent therapy to ensure that you make it through without relapsing.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.