Addiction Recovery: Dealing with Anxiety

When you become dependent – or addicted – to drugs or alcohol, a lot of chemical changes actually take place in your body. Your brain literally rewires itself and creates new pathways to pioneer pleasure trails for the drugs or alcohol.

Of course, this can play a negative part in your addiction because it makes it even easier to get addicted to drugs or alcohol when your brain is literally depending on it and craving it – just like food, porn, caffeine, etc.

However, this also presents a whole set of problems when it comes to addiction recovery too…

Do you remember being little and when your mom or dad would drop you off somewhere where they were not staying you would get upset and anxious? That is a form of anxiety called separation anxiety.

Well, when you decide to come off the drugs and alcohol you might experience something similar to that… It is almost like you are having separation anxiety from the drugs or alcohol.

So, when you decide to go into addiction recovery you might feel stressed, anxious, and even depressed as your body is learning that you are now living without those things. Because the body is still craving them – just like how you were still craving the company of your parents – it freaks out without them.

As a result, this can be addiction recovery extremely difficult for some people as they struggle to deal with their anxiety…

But, there are ways to help relieve this anxiety without drugs or alcohol:

  • Exercise: Especially if you have been an addict for a while and have put your body on the back burner in your life, you could use the exercise to help get yourself back in good health. But, exercise also burns those stress hormones that might be triggering your anxiety. In addition to getting rid of the bad hormones, it causes the release of the good neurotransmitters that promote an uplifted mood.
  • Distract yourself: There is huge value in finding a hobby – something healthy like art, crafting, or sports. When you find something productive to focus on, you will notice that you feel more relaxed – getting rid of some of your anxiety – and productive, therefore putting you in a better mood.
  • Meditate: Meditation is not only great for addiction recovery but just great for life in general. It teaches you to be mindful and become aware of your body. It allows you to quiet down and be still for a moment, just allowing your mind to think and do its thing.

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