Handling Stress

We all experience stress throughout the course of our lives. No one lives a stress-free life. However, how we cope with recovery is the difference between a happy, healthy life and a life of stress and relapse. Key stress factors could include: financial concerns, family dramas, and crises, death and work problems.


Stress and Addictions

Many people, not just addicts, lean toward nicotine, alcohol or some other drug, like marijuana, to help them relax. During times of high stress, from long days at work to the death of a friend, many turn to alcohol. When there is a constant source of upset, non-addicts might fall into the habit of drinking on a regular basis. They might only intend to have ‘just one,’ but the continued use, or abuse, can lead to a dependency.


Stress and Addicts

Not understanding or realizing trigger points can create additional stress on a recovering addict. Subsequently, we may find ourselves acting out in other ways: anger, sex, cigarettes, gambling, etc. Also, we often don’t see that stress is moving us in the direction of a relapse. For a recovering addict, the potential for relapse is always there. Therefore, it’s important to stay vigilant in our recovery when faced with stress.


If you feel stress building, be okay with it.

Admit it! And then do something about it. So, here are some great tips on how to relieve stress:

  • Play music, dance, sing!
  • Cook something healthy
  • Clean your house top to bottom
  • Take a walk with a friend and/or your dog
  • Get some exercise
  • Cut down on some commitments
  • Do breathing exercises
  • Pray or meditate
  • Take a nap or a bubble bath
  • Take a mini-vacation or staycation
  • Call your sponsor or sober friends
  • Go to an AA meeting
  • Revisit or make a list of recovery goals

Not dwelling or obsessing on the cause of your stress, even for a short time, can help. When you stop thinking about your problem in a healthy way, you most often find the best solution.


D’Amore Healthcare is a dual diagnosis and substance abuse addiction treatment center in Orange County, CA.

We provide information and treatment for people dealing with the life-shattering cycle of mental illness, substance abuse and addiction. If someone needs immediate help, call 24-hours a day at 714.375.1110 or contact us online.