A coping mechanism is a psychological strategy that you use to deal with stress. Coping mechanisms can be healthy or unhealthy, as in the case of drug or alcohol addiction. Many people turn to substance use for an escape when the stresses of life become too much to handle, and this is when addiction becomes a crutch that’s needed to deal with stress. However, drug or alcohol use is not a healthy coping mechanism, and one of the many important lessons you’ll learn in rehab is how to manage stress in more productive and less dangerous ways.
1. Controlling Anger
Anger management is a very important coping mechanism because anger in and of itself is something that needs to be managed and addressed. Otherwise, it can lead to regrettable decisions, substance abuse or relapses, and sometimes even violence. In drug rehab, you’ll learn anger management techniques such as mindfulness and controlled breathing to reduce anger.
2. Relaxation Techniques
One of the best ways to manage stress is to combat it with relaxation, but forcing yourself to relax can seem near impossible when you’re stressed out. You can learn proper relaxation techniques in rehab, where they’ll teach you about breathing techniques that will slow your heart rate and help relax your muscles, meditation, and other stress-relievers.
3. Using Exercise and Physical Activity
Everyone knows that exercise is good for your body, but not everyone realizes how good it is for your mind, your stress levels, your self-esteem, and your overall mood. Alcohol rehab will help you get on track regarding a regular exercise program, will help you understand the connection between a healthy body and a healthy mind, and will teach you that exercise is an important part of your long-term recovery.
4. Taking Advantage of Support Programs
One of the best coping mechanisms you can learn is that support programs like AA are your friend. When you need someone to talk to, your support groups are there. When you need advice, the counselors and group leaders are available. When you feel like you’re getting too stressed and are on the verge of relapsing, you’ve got others around who know exactly how you’re feeling.
5. Learning to Focus on the Present
Stress becomes problematic when big or little things compound and seem to drown you in responsibility. For example, having to find a new job may be a manageable task for you, but when you also have to find a new place to live and have debts you can’t pay, these many responsibilities create a stressful situation, and then you become overwhelmed with worry.
Right now, you may deal with that stress by getting high or drunk, in which case everything gets deferred until later, and nothing ever gets dealt with. But in rehab, you’ll learn how to interrupt your panic to focus on present tasks at hand, which will allow you to break up responsibilities into smaller jobs that can be accomplished one at a time.
6. Changing Your Perspective
Another thing that you’ll learn in rehab is how a change of perspective can change your life. Right now, you might be completely stressed about the fact that you have to find a new job, and you’re worried about finding a job that you’re qualified for, having to learn new skills, and having to get used to new coworkers and a new work environment.
But with the help of rehab, you can learn to see these situations as opportunities for new experiences, and instead of being worried about new things, you’ll start to welcome the changes that life brings your way.
There are many ways that rehab can help turn your life around, and one of those ways is by teaching you crucial coping mechanisms that you can use to manage stress and negative emotions. By learning healthy coping mechanisms, you can slowly let go of your destructive ones, which include drug and alcohol use. And by learning to manage your stress better, you’re more likely to stay sober, live longer, and be healthier. If you or a loved one is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, call Beachside Rehab today 888-998-2578.