Managing Your Feelings Without Substances

Whether you’re planning on attending drug and alcohol treatment or have attended already, learning to manage negative emotions is essential to a successful recovery from alcohol or substance abuse. It’s okay to feel such emotions, in fact, it’s completely normal. To cope with negative feelings, you have to understand them, first, in order to act on them accordingly.


Negative Emotions Don’t Last Forever

Often when negative feelings arise due to situational circumstances, it seems like they’ll last a lifetime. When these feelings seem overwhelming, it’s important that you know that these emotional states are only temporary. Times of sadness, anger, frustration, and grief if dealt with over the appropriate amount of time and in a healthy manner are certain to fade!

Know That Negative Emotions Serve a Purpose

If you feel you’re prone to negative feelings, you should take comfort in the fact that this is not only entirely usual, it’s necessary to function properly. Just as positive emotions have a role in reinforcing behaviors, negative emotions share different, but equally important roles in behavior.

Try out New Methods to Manage Your Feelings

There are plenty of methods that can be effectively used to cope with negative feelings in a healthy way. Experiences may vary between person-to-person, but eventually, you will find a routine that works for you, without depending on alcohol or drugs. Popular coping tools that prove effective for many includes:

  • Keeping a journal or log of negative emotions
  • Meditation practices can promote a sense of calm during bouts of anxiety, stress or anger
  • Exercise is often overlooked but provides an excellent outlet for intense emotions
  • Engaging in stress-reducing hobbies such as playing music, creating art or writing has been helpful for many in the recovery process

One very important thing to realize is that using substances to ‘deal’ with negative emotions is actually the opposite. Using a substance during times of distress is actually merely masking the problem, leading it to resurface later on. A plan for recovery involving a personalized coping plan alongside a comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment has time-and-time again shown to be an effective plan of action for a long-term recovery.

If you need help dealing with these and other challenges of drug and alcohol abuse or finding the appropriate Addiction Treatment Center, get in touch, we’re here to help.

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