Stress is a known risk factor in addiction relapse. Finding the right coping skills is an essential part of creating a relapse prevention plan. For many, the stress triggers in their life are the underlying cause of drug or alcohol use. For others, it’s the stress of maintaining their sobriety that leads to relapse. Either way, managing that stress is paramount. What are some coping skills for addiction recovery?

Mindfulness Training

Mindfulness training tops many lists for those dealing with addiction, what does it mean to be mindful, though? Put simply, being mindful means being aware of what is happening in the present time. In other words, living in the moment.

Being mindful pulls your mind away from things like anxiety, stress, and urges. It allows you to focus on the sensations you are experiencing at the moment, such as:

  • What do you smell?
  • What do you feel on your skin?
  • How does your breathing sound to you?
  • What do you feel at this very moment?

Mindfulness is a type of meditation, but it is also used in exercises like yoga. It can offer a way to control and change eating habits, too.

Breathing Exercises

Using breathing exercises as coping skills for addiction also brings your mind back into the moment, but you focus only on your breath. When you feel stress, you take in a deep breath, one that causes your chest to rise and your belly to push back towards your spine.

Listen as the air rushes into your lungs and then slowly release it. Feel your muscles expand as you inhale and relax as you exhale.

Keeping a Journal

Understanding your triggers is an essential part of recovery, as well. Keep a stress journal with you and write down each trigger as it happens. Just focusing on the writing will help ease your stress. Write what caused the stress and how it made you feel. Also, create some ways you can avoid that trigger in the future.

Regular Exercise

Exercise comes with many benefits when you are creating coping skills for addiction recovery. For one thing, it makes you feel good. Exercise releases endorphins that naturally improve your mood.

It can help relieve chronic pain, too. As the muscles around your joints become stronger, you move better, making exercise a natural alternative to pain relief.

Staying active will also help you feel stronger, healthier, and more confident. Working out with friends creates social opportunities that are not about drug or alcohol use, too.

Get Support and Coping Skills

It’s important to get support and to develop coping skills not just for your addiction recovery but for any mental health issues that might exist, as well. Westwind Recovery offers:

  • Six residential beds
  • Six detox beds
  • 80 outpatient beds

Westwind specializes in mental health treatment and can serve as your primary mental health practice. You’ll find that Westwind Recovery has some stress relief programs that can improve your coping skills for addiction, as well.

You can enjoy our adventure therapy program, for example. Westwind offers outings each month, weather permitting, that includes camping, snowboarding, and hiking. They also do ziplining, water sports, and planetarium trips. Their virtual reality meditation program allows you to spend some quiet time at the beach or in a forest without ever leaving the facility.

Westwind Recovery in Los Angles, California, began with three friends who opened a recovery residence in Hancock Park in 2014. Today, there are 15 locations throughout California for those looking to live a sober life.

If you have questions about sober living, addiction treatment, or developing coping skills, call 855.340.8832. Westwind Recovery® is here to help you find a way to improve your recovery.