Essential Coping Skills for Addiction Recovery: Comprehensive List

Gratitude is important because it reduces stress, benefits the healing process, and helps you maintain a positive attitude while staying sober. Having a positive attitude can do a lot to overcome addiction challenges and maintain long-term sobriety. It is all too easy to get caught up in negative thoughts about your life, especially early in recovery when you might still be facing consequences from past drug use. When you practice gratitude, you take the time to acknowledge the things that you are grateful for.

This includes identifying and addressing unresolved trauma or stress and changing negative thoughts and beliefs about oneself. If addicted people could simply make the decision to get sober, snap their fingers, and turn their lives around, they would. Recovery is not easy and most people require addiction treatment to reclaim their lives once they become addicted to drugs or alcohol. harbor house sober living Sometimes, it’s necessary to distance yourself from friends who still engage in substance use to avoid being tempted or triggered by their behaviors. Additionally, setting boundaries with individuals who may enable or have codependent relationships can protect your sobriety and promote a positive support system. Learning to avoid triggers is a key skill for a successful recovery.

  1. When you leave, you’ll have an arsenal of tools at your disposal to ensure that life’s inconveniences don’t disrupt the progress you’ve made.
  2. Develop a plan where your client focuses on their favorite coping skills, and figures out specifically how they can implement them into their life.
  3. Seek out resources, books, or online articles that offer insights into addiction and coping mechanisms.
  4. While in a cognitive behavioral therapy session, for example, your therapist will listen to you, offer tips, and help you work through negative thoughts.

Many people in recovery from substance use disorder learn the tools to manage stressful triggers and go on to lead balanced, fulfilling lives. That is because the brain is plastic and changes in response to experience—the capacity that underlies all learning. In one set of studies looking at some measures of dopamine system function, activity returned to normal levels after 14 months of abstinence. Over time, reward circuits regain sensitivity to respond to normal pleasures and to motivate pursuit of everyday activities. Areas of executive function regain capacity for impulse control, self-regulation, and decision-making. Gaining the skills to avoid relapse is a necessary part of the recovery process.

Support System

The uncertainty of a person’s behavior tests family bonds, creates considerable shame, and give rise to great amounts of anxiety. Because families are interactive systems, everyone is affected, usually in ways they are not even aware of. When a person goes into treatment, it isn’t just a case of fixing the problem person. The change destabilizes the adaptation the family has made—and while the person in recovery is learning to do things differently, so must the rest of the family learn to do things differently. Otherwise, their behavior is at risk of cementing the problem in place. Many people believe that they are powerless to change their own addictive behavior, and often it is a belief that keeps people addicted.

Call to Action: Embrace a Life Beyond Triggers

Life’s greatest stresses are not going to go away because you are in recovery. Life’s challenges might be even harder to manage without the blanket of drugs or alcohol to numb your feelings. Recovery from addiction is not a linear process, and increasingly, relapse is seen as an opportunity for learning. Such triggers are especially potent in the first 90 days of recovery, when most relapse occurs, before the brain has had time to relearn to respond to other rewards and rewire itself to do so. Learning what one’s triggers are and acquiring an array of techniques for dealing with them should be essential components of any recovery program.

Using Coping Skills in Challenging Situations

That’s because physical activity triggers the release of endorphins, which are brain chemicals that promote a sense of well-being. Engaging in activities that bring you joy is an excellent way to cope with triggers when they arise. We also offer skills groups, such as our dialectical behavior therapy skills group. Our DBT Skills Group, is a therapist-led module driven group that will provide you new skills to replace behaviors and emotions causing friction in your daily life and relationships.

As you recover from addiction challenges, you have to stop lying and develop a habit of telling the truth instead. Being fearlessly honest is one of the most important skills you need to master for successful long-term addiction recovery. If you’re dealing with intense cravings, ask your sponsor, counselor, or sober community for support. Regardless of the situation, making the decision to be honest will help maintain your sobriety. Therapy is an essential step to learning to identify and manage your triggers. A therapist can help you identify triggers and walk you through various methods that can help you overcome those triggers.






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