Managing Anxiety During Addiction Recovery

Addiction and anxiety go hand-in-hand. A lot of addicts use to control anxiety, not realizing it
only leads to more anxiety. Alcohol, for example, changes serotonin levels and other transmitters
in the brain, which can elevate anxiety. When the drug of choice wears off, it’s typical to feel
even more anxious than before you used. A study from Healthline showed that 20% of people
with social anxiety disorder also suffer from alcohol addiction. Because anxiety is such a large
part of the recovery process, let’s take a look at some ways you can manage during your
recovery.

Meditation

Meditation seems like a simple practice, but it has the power to transform. Some dismiss it as too
simple, but after trying quickly realize its power. The great thing about meditation is that it
doesn’t have to be perfect to be helpful. You can start anywhere at any time. All you need to do
is close your eyes. If you have a smartphone, you can download a number of apps that have
guided meditations and music to help set the mood and get you in the zone. Meditation is a
powerful tool to help you relax, reflect, and breathe when you’re feeling anxious.

Yoga

Yoga is soothing and healing. A lot of different types of yoga include meditation as well. Yoga
can calm your anxiety with affirming chants, stretching, and forcing you to be in the moment.
There is even Yoga for 12-step Recovery, which combines yoga practice with the 12 steps and
recovery themes. Being in tune with your body in a healthy way is a great way to feel in control
and relieve anxiety.

Talk to Someone

Anxiety hates company. One of the best ways to attack anxiety is to talk to someone when
you’re feeling anxious. Shinning a light on it and exposing it gives you a sense of control and
diminishes the power of anxiety. Even when you think it’s silly to feel anxious about something,
it will help to talk it out. Giving a voice to it and speaking it aloud makes it more manageable,
and you might even receive some good advice that will give you a new way of looking at
something.

Healthy Distractions

Another way to deal with anxiety is by engaging in a healthy distraction. If you’re an addict
using drugs or alcohol used to be a distraction. Instead of using substitute it with something
beneficial like exercise. Exercise is a healthy way to distract yourself and create mood-lifting
endorphins. You can also try writing, reading, listening to podcasts, or creating art. There are

many healthy distractions you can try. Although healthy distractions are good for getting you
through the moment, it’s important to get to the root of what’s causing anxiety and learn how to
prevent it.

Are you or a loved one struggling with alcohol or other drugs? Call us to speak confidentially with a recovery expert now: (901) 521-1131 or visit our website serenityrecovery.org

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