Positive coping mechanisms are important in keeping you on the right track, especially as you go through your recovery journey.
Giving up an addiction can be very difficult for you. It leaves you with a hole in your life, which was once filled by your addiction. However, that doesn’t mean that the void needs to stay. There are actually many ways you can fill up that void, through healthy and positive coping mechanisms.
While before, you turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with your problems until your substance abuse become the problems themselves, now you need to learn how to cope in a healthy way. These coping mechanisms may be something new to you, but hey, you are in your recovery. You have turned a new chapter, a new leaf–this may also be high time that you get out of your comfort zone and try out new things and develop new, healthy habits.
Here are positive coping mechanisms that you can use:
- Gratitude. One of the things many people in recovery swear by is the practice of having gratitude, or as some would call it, an attitude of gratitude. This means you have to constantly and consciously look for things–big or small–to be grateful for. This helps you avoid taking things for granted and to make positivity a habit.
- Positivity. Many relapses are caused by negative thoughts. Therefore, you should strive to be positive. This means looking at the silver lining even in the most negative situations.
- Journaling. Keeping a journal allows you to write down your thoughts, feelings, and plans. This is a great way to express yourself and have an outlet. This also allows you to gain insight into yourself and to reflect on yourself and on any situation you are in.
- Exercise. Exercise is not only a great stress-reliever, it also is a great coping mechanism. It allows you to be physically fit, be active, maintain a healthy lifestyle, sleep better, and have less chances of getting illnesses due to a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise has also been proven to help alleviate depression and enhance self-esteem. Whether it’s just in the form of walking or cross-training, exercise does wonders for your body and mind.
- Meditation. Meditation is like exercising the mind. However, it isn’t only confined in religious or new age practice. Meditation can be done by simply taking a few minutes each day sitting in a quiet place, taking deep breaths, and focusing on one thing such as the sounds of your environment or your own breathing. Done regularly, meditation can help you reduce stress, develop mindfulness, and improve sleep.
- Breathing exercises. Deep breathing has always been known to calm and relax you. Practicing breathing exercises, especially when you are upset, angry, stressed, panicky, or anxious. Practice proper breathing techniques such as breathing deeply from the diaphragm.
- Positive conversations and sharing. It’s important to let out anything that is troubling you. Have a trusted confidante whom you can talk to about your feelings and thoughts. A trusted listener can help serve like a sounding board so you can work through your own problems and issues. They can also give you advice to help keep you on the right track.
- Giving back. There’s a saying, “The only way to keep it is to give it away.” This is the same with positivity. The only way to keep positivity is to share it. Be kind to others, brighten their day even in the littlest things, or better yet, give back to your community. Join volunteer or charitable organizations or share your experiences to help inspire others. This allows you to channel any negative feelings and replace it with positive ones.
There will always be challenges and problems in life. It is how you cope with them that tests your character and defines you. As someone who is in recovery, it is especially important that you use these positive coping mechanisms so that you live a fuller life and you lessen your chances of falling back into your addiction.