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Processing Stress In Recovery

Nobody likes stress. In fact, no body likes stress. Stress, it has been proven hundreds of times over, is incredibly bad for your health. Stress is one of the leading causes of disease, heart failure, and poor health throughout the world. To deal with stress, the body produces adrenaline, which stimulates the fight or flight response. Inherently we don’t even really “deal” with stress, we either fight it off or run away from it. Going against our survival instincts and choosing to work through stress is a major part of growing in recovery. Life can be stressful, but the stress does not have to win. Here are some tips for learning to grow through stress rather than run from it, fight it, or be consumed by it to the point of ill health.

Failure Happens

“Progress not perfection” is a popular saying in the rooms of recovery and twelve step meetings.  The Big Book of Alcoholics in Chapter 5 titled “How it Works” reads, “No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.” The truth is, nobody is perfect. Trying to bear the responsibility of being that one perfect person is just too much for anyone’s back. As alcoholics and addicts, we tend to convince ourselves we’re “special”. We have to succeed because we are capable of it, even if nobody understands. Consequently, we begin to view failure as stress and stress as failure. Stress is a natural reaction to life. Being the wonderfully imperfect beings that we are, we get stressed and sometimes we “fail”. It’s okay.

Give It Away To Keep It

Stress is actually a gift of recovery. In early recovery, we work hard to keep our stress at a minimum in an effort to support our treatment. We continue to grow and begin living our life again. Jobs, responsibilities, all the little pieces of life come trickling back in, and cause us stress. The truth is, we worked hard to get here. We’ve earned our stress because we’ve developed an entirely new manner of living in which to handle it- even if we don’t always handle it well.

Being of service is a critically important component in recovery. One of the quickest and most sure-fire ways to get out of self when you are super focused on your stress is to be of service to another person. You might be thinking you don’t have time to be of service because you are too busy with all the stressful things you have going on. Usually, that’s the strongest indicator that you need to make the time. It will significantly help you reduce your stress by helping you get grounded and grateful for the life you have created!

Enlightened Solutions compassionately treats each patient with the therapeutic skills necessary to help them build a new spiritually founded life. Our treatment programs for addiction and dual-diagnosis disorders are integrative, combining twelve step philosophy with effective therapy models and holistic healing modalities. Call us today for more information 833-801-5483.

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