Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Relapse Prevention and other Substance Abuse topics.
Many people use drugs to mask underlying problems in their lives -- problems that are still there once they have become drug-free. One common trigger for relapse is having inadequate skills for managing stress and anxiety.
In therapy and in working with supportive others, addicts can learn these skills. They include:
-- Dealing with uncomfortable feelings and situations when they occur, instead of letting stress build up. Often, this can be as simple as acknowledging them: "I'm unhappy that I have to work late, and I feel tired."
-- Taking pleasure in everyday life. This can include planning good meals, time for exercise, and time for hobbies or activities the person finds relaxing and renewing.
-- Attitude of Gratitude
-- Identifying support people with whom you can talk out stressful situations.
-- Planning your responses to high-stress situations (such as being offered a drink or a hit of a drug).
-- Recognizing and planning responses to stressful feelings (loneliness, anger, boredom).
I think that being able to express your feelings in a stressful situation and having a good source for support and someone that will really listen is key. Often when we can't quite figure out a solution, all it takes is another persons perspective, (someone who is not actualy dealing with the same pressures as you are) and it's supprising how often the solution is simple and obvious, all you needed was to express your issues and the answer comes out as you speak.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|