Experiencing strong, dangerous emotions in recovery can be alarming and difficult to deal with. One of the most important parts of starting a healthy recovery journey is to learn how to deal with powerful negative emotions without turning to drugs or alcohol.
Why Is It Challenging to Stay Sober While Experiencing Strong Emotions?
Coping without alcohol and drugs can be very difficult for someone in recovery. Often, one of the reasons they started using in the first place was self-medicating to deal with stress, sadness, fear, or other powerful emotions. Over time, this becomes your outlet—your way to numb or change the way you’re feeling.
Once you enter recovery, you suddenly don’t have that coping mechanism available to you, making it incredibly difficult to stay sober when you feel powerful emotions.
How You Can Cope While Sober
If you’re looking for new ways to cope with strong emotions while sober, here are four healthy choices that can benefit you on your recovery journey.
1. Talk to a Therapist
One of the best ways to learn how to deal with strong emotions, negativity, and other feelings that previously drove you to use is to see a therapist. Even if you’ve completed a rehab program, regularly meeting a professional experienced in helping people in your situation can help you develop healthy coping mechanisms, address the source of your emotions, and learn how to understand why you feel the way you do.
2. Lean on Friends and Family
If you have a tight-knit family or friend group, or a positive familial influence, leaning on these friends or family members can help you share and get through the negative emotions you are feeling. Friends and family are also more likely to understand why you may be feeling the way you do and recommend healthy ways to deal with these emotions.
3. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness and addiction recovery go hand in hand. Recognizing when you are spiraling or beginning to feel negative can help you find ways to cope earlier on. Methods like meditation, journaling, and reflection can help increase your mindfulness of your own emotions and the outside factors that cause them. This can help you allow yourself to feel without reacting to the emotions you’re experiencing,
4. Find an Emotional Outlet
Art, sports, swimming, and hiking are all great outlets for negative emotions. Participating in hobbies you enjoy regularly can let you express yourself in a healthy, non-destructive way and find joy in a sober life.
Adelante Recovery Center Can Help
Staying sober can be incredibly challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. Adelante Recovery Center offers a range of treatment programs and services that can teach you the skills you need to cope with strong emotions and keep yourself focused on your recovery. If you or a loved one needs help, reach out to our team at (949) 427-9099 to get the assistance you need.