Healthy Coping Skills in Recovery

Healthy Coping Skills in Recovery

Strong, healthy coping skills are an advantage for anyone in today’s fast paced society, and particularly for individuals in recovery. Coming to terms with addictive behavior involves confronting how routine reactions and responses have substituted for stronger and more productive alternatives. Deliberate practice of healthy coping skills in recovery will reinforce the ability to manage stress and confront difficult situations without the need to escape.

The simplest practices provide space to evaluate; take a step back, take a break and learn to ask for help when needed. Spend a quiet moment meditating or call someone in recovery to talk. Be honest and learn to identify the signals of your mind and body; sometimes just getting a good night’s sleep or a healthy meal can have positive impact on attitude. Creating space for self discovery and identifying your own needs allows for room to choose responses to situations carefully, which will have productive results. Protecting oneself from destructive people, environments and substances will mean sometimes having to set firm boundaries. Make the most of positive alternatives, such as reading, taking a walk during lunch or attending treatment. It is important to create new habits and to challenge catastrophizing or negative thinking. We have the ability to re-write the inner dialogue and story we create for ourselves.

At some point, escaping through the use of drugs and alcohol has ceased being effective and the use of any mind-altering substance has become destructive, so developing healthy coping skills in recovery concedes a character strength which takes time to develop. Affirming words and images, as well as acknowledging gratitude every day for recovery will have a positive impact in promoting a meaningful life without drugs or alcohol.

About the Reviewer: Chris Barnes

Chris BarnesChristopher Barnes has worked in health care for over thirty years. He is a graduate of Alabama State University where he earned a double Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work and Psychology in 1982. Christopher Barnes is currently the Director of Clinical services at The Discovery House where he has been employed for the past five years. Because of his extensive experience in health care & substance abuse he has an excellent rapport with constituents, clients, and other professional organizations in the counseling/social service community.

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