In recovery, there are a lot of emotions that you go through, especially when you are new. Feelings are something you will need to learn to manage as you get more time clean. Some people also have mental health disorders that they’re working with as they learn to live life without the use of alcohol or drugs. Emotions and symptoms such as anger, depression, and anxiety are universal, especially after you have completed a detox program.
Anger management is an integral part of navigating your new path and learning to live life clean and sober. There are many reasons you may be angry, but living within the anger can be a toxic roadblock that can eventually lead to relapse if you aren’t actively working on it. Managing anger is an essential skill for those in recovery from addiction as well as mental health disorders.
Let’s take a look at how you can wade through negative emotions while developing healthy coping mechanisms.
Some methods of managing anger may include:
- Breathing techniques. Mindful breathing can help you collect your feelings and thoughts as you decide what to do. Many times, if you’re feeling anger or rage, it’s best to walk away from the situation until you calm down. Take ten deep breaths, counting backward from ten. Breathe as slowly and deeply as possible, each time.
- Try new communication techniques. Nonviolent communication is an excellent way to learn to communicate with others and will teach you how to de-escalate a situation. Better communication can help you in all aspects of life, but it takes patience and practice.
- Exercise: Exercise can help by elevating the endorphins in your blood, leaving you with more “happy feelings” and less anxiety. Many people with anxiety disorders may accidentally lash out at others when they are feeling symptoms. Exercise helps you “work it off” without taking your emotions out on others.
- Avoid your triggers: People, places and things can trigger angry, especially if they’re from your “old life” and you start feeling resentful. Don’t tempt yourself or expose yourself to these. Avoid them and call your sponsor instead.
Everyone deals with anger, and that’s a simple truth. If you’re in recovery and feeling angry, make sure to share with your support network. Try some of the techniques above, and remember, this too shall pass. You never have to use if you don’t want to. If you have trouble expressing your anger healthily, try talking to an addiction therapist or member of your support network to learn better coping skills.
Therapy and addiction programs can help you learn more about coping with painful feelings and help you learn new skills that can last your whole life.
If you need help with a substance abuse problem, don’t wait until you’re in too deep. You can get help no matter what or how much you use. Reaching out is a healthy first step to seeking recovery. Give us a call to learn how you can help at 1-888-959-3277.