Welcome back to our continuing series on anger and addiction. In our previous posts, we've talked about the ways that anger plays into substance abuse and addiction for many people. Often those who have anger issues have underlying causes like childhood trauma or undiagnosed mental health issues that can cause them to be unable to react to certain situations or people in healthy ways. Add in a battle with substance abuse, either as a way to self-medicate for the undiagnosed mental illness or to numb the pain of trauma, and you have a vicious cycle that many struggle to break. If you need Raleigh drug rehab that you can trust, call Legacy Freedom.
Healthy Ways To Deal With Your Anger
Learning to control your anger while managing your addiction can be challenging, but as we learned in our previous posts, there are many benefits to learning to control your anger. Beginning to live a sober lifestyle with your anger in control offers you the opportunity to repair your damaged relationships, heal your old traumas, and learn to communicate effectively with friends, family, and coworkers. Being able to ask for what you need and convey your feelings in a productive way will help you feel supported and understood during your journey to recovery. During your therapeutic process, you will be introduced to numerous ways that you can confront your anger in healthy and productive ways.
Choosing ways to channel your anger into positive forms can initially be difficult. Many people have a hard time remembering what they used to enjoy before their lives were taken over by addiction or undiagnosed mental illness. Beginning with your initial conversation with your care team, you can rediscover the things that you enjoy in life and the activities that motivate you. Tapping into previous activities that you enjoyed is a great way to reconnect with yourself and give your anger and energy a place to go to when you are feeling out of control or overwhelmed during your recovery process.
The activities listed below are just some of the ways that you can channel your anger into a positive and productive form. Many of these activities promote a calming effect or trigger the body to counter the anger you are experiencing. The next time you are feeling triggered, try one of these activities to help you regain control. If you need Raleigh drug rehab, be sure to call Legacy Freedom.
- Meditation or Focused Breathing - When you are angry or upset, you may lash out and say and do things that you will regret or feel guilty about later. As you feel yourself becoming angry or frustrated, step away from the situation or the person and practice these simple techniques. Perfect for use anywhere, yoga and focused breathing force you to clear your mind and center on your breathing. Practicing these things regularly at home or in a group setting will help make these practices feel like second nature to you so that when you do need to rely on them to calm your anger and quiet your mind, you can utilize these skills quickly and easily.
- Painting, Clay Molding or Other Forms of Art - You don't need to be Michelangelo to pick up a paintbrush or experiment with art. Maybe you were the kid who doodled in the margins of his notebook in high school or the girl who decorated her book covers with intricate drawings for each class. Art may be an outlet for your anger and frustration during your journey towards sobriety. Working clay with your hands or focusing on a watercolor painting may help you slow your mind and return you to a place of calm. Art is an excellent tool to help you think through challenges or difficulties that you may be facing in your recovery process that may be frustrating you and causing you to feel upset or angry. Even if you've never created art before, pick up a paint brush or put your hands on some clay and see if this is a good option for you.
- Journaling - Many people find that writing their feelings down is therapeutic. Being able to think through feelings and thoughts clearly and slowly allows you to process and identify those feelings and where they are coming from. Using writing or journaling as a way to measure successes and progress through recovery is a great tool for those hard days when you feel like you are not getting anywhere or when you are frustrated because you have hit a road block. Being able to look back on your previous entries can serve as a positive reminder that you have come so far and overcome so much.
- Get Moving and Stay Moving - Addiction and substance abuse take their toll on your body physically, emotionally and spiritually. Healing your body, mind, and spirit is critical to the success of your recovery efforts. Channeling your anger and frustration into exercise or physical therapy helps you use the energy in your body to create a positive outcome with long term benefits to your health. Anger raises your heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure in negative ways. During exercise, your brain releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins that help boost your mood and help you control your anger. Set goals for yourself and utilize your recovery process and the anger you feel to help motivate you toward those goals. Whether the goal is to lose weight, run a charity marathon, or just to get fit, exercise is one of the most positive ways to combat anger throughout recovery.
There are other important things to know about facing anger during this crucial time. Many of them seem like common sense, but when you are learning to manage your anger in healthy ways, these tricks can help jump start the process to move on to a more productive activity. When you feel yourself getting angry, or you are angry and dealing with a situation, remember to remove yourself from the situation, wait before you speak and use this time to recenter and focus on your new coping skills. Taking a break from the situation or the person allows you to address your anger in a calm and rational way so that you can communicate effectively to them why you became angry and what your frustrations are. Know that fatigue and anger don't mix. Address your anger after you've rested or early in the day when your mind is fresh. Insomnia and anger go hand in hand. So do fatigue and anger. If you are tired you are more likely to be angry and you are less likely to sleep. This cycle is why addressing anger and the issues around the situation that caused your anger should be done long before it's time to turn in for the day.
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