The focus on sobriety and recovery tends to lean towards physical health. When a person with addiction quits using drugs or alcohol, emotional stability is of equal importance to staying healthy for the long term. As the body adjusts to functioning without drugs or alcohol, the individual can slowly begin to concentrate on what is most essential to recovery.
Finding emotional stability is a crucial step in the overall recovery process. On this page, we will look at some things that you can do to find and maintain the emotional stability to be successful in recovery.
What Is Emotional Stability?
Emotional stability is, essentially, the ability to regulate one’s emotions and mood. Emotional stability can refer to how well a person deals with strong feelings without turning back towards addictive or compulsive behaviors which were destructive. Without this, it is very difficult to maintain physical sobriety.
Individuals who remain physically sober but not emotionally sober may not drink or use alcohol but still exhibit destructive behaviors which are harmful to themselves or others. Physical sobriety is concrete and tangible while emotional sobriety is an abstract concept.
How Can I Increase My Emotional Stability?
Many different pathways exist to achieve emotional stability. Many people with addiction receive help through AA, NA, or other 12-step programs, but 12-step programs are not the only solution. Mental health therapy from professionals who understand addiction can also foster emotional sobriety. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that one can achieve emotional stability during the recovery process and maintain said emotional stability even after treatment has been completed.
Talk With A Therapist
During addiction treatment, you will work with multiple therapists. You will have the therapist that you see during individual therapy sessions as well as the therapist that leads your group sessions. Particularly during these individual therapy sessions, you will have the opportunity to open up to your therapist and discuss issues pertaining to you, namely how you ended up in treatment in the first place.
During these sessions, you can also work on the mental side of things as well, one of those being your stability from an emotional standpoint. Your therapist will help you with techniques designed to help better manage your emotions so you don’t go spiraling out of control and end up relapsing.
Don’t Try And Fight Your Emotions
Many people suffer from addiction due in large part to the way they are feeling. When someone doesn’t know how to handle their emotions or tries to fight or change the way they are feeling, they will oftentimes turn to substances to “fix themselves” when in reality nothing needed to be “fixed” in the first place.
In many cases, the problem or problems would have been solved by simply taking a minute and trying to understand why you are feeling the way you are. After all, emotions are just signals from the brain that tell us how we should feel about certain things. If you simply accept these emotions and learn healthy ways in which to manage them, it can greatly increase your stability.
When you are moving around and being active, many positive things happen in your body and brain. Your body releases more serotonin, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and endorphins, all things that can make you feel good. It also stimulates blood flow to the brain which can help with your overall emotional stability. Regular exercise can help reduce stress and improve your overall mental health while also making you feel better about yourself.
Build A Support Network
A good network of friends and allies helps maintain physical and emotional sobriety in a place that offers support, acceptance, and safety. In the past, if you were having a tough day or really struggling emotionally, you might have turned to drugs or alcohol. These substances may have seemed to help numb the pain and make you feel better. However, it’s important to develop a network of people who are there for you now. When problems arise, you can talk to them instead of turning to substances of abuse.
When you think negatively of yourself, it can severely affect your emotions. When you are feeling bad about yourself or sorry for yourself you are much more likely to turn to things like drugs or alcohol as a way to stop thinking about those negative things. Even in recovery, these feelings can increase the chances of a relapse.
Instead of saying bad things about yourself or letting these negative emotions set in, turn it around. Choose to replace those thoughts and feelings with positive ones. Remind yourself that you are doing a good job at work or in school. Think about something that was good that happened to you that day. If you think positively, you will be a more positive person.
Become One With Yourself
At the end of the day, nobody knows you better than you. So when your body is trying to tell you something, instead of trying to fight it simply listen to what it is saying. A great way to do this is to tap into your spiritual side through things like yoga or meditation.
A person’s spirituality can help maintain emotional stability by reminding the person that forces greater than himself or herself are at work and this, in turn, helps to accept things that cannot be changed. Acceptance and gratitude are often key components of a healthy emotional recovery.
Put Yourself First
While many people try and make everyone else around them happy, they tend to neglect themselves in the process. When you ignore yourself and your emotions it can be difficult to maintain your emotional stability. It’s important to remember that there are times where you have to put yourself and sobriety first and make it your number one priority.
If you are doing things that are causing you stress and anxiety you are increasing your chances of relapsing. Make sure that before you take the time to focus on someone or something else that you are taking the time to make sure that you are in a good place both mentally and physically.
Throughout the course of a day, our emotions will fluctuate based on what is happening around us. It’s important not to freak out when your emotions spike one way or the other. The key is to keep the body and mind stable. It’s important to remind yourself that no matter what is going on that you are ok. When a person feels down, grounding oneself through gratitude is key. When a person feels up, it is important to be humble. The key to emotional stability is to keep the body and mind stable as much as possible.
Are You Looking To Improve Your Emotional Stability?
Harmony Place is aware of the challenges people with addiction face when it comes to physical and emotional recovery. We’re here to offer treatment programs that provide therapeutic and emotional support while working through the difficulties addiction brings. If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, contact us today to find out how to get started. We want everyone that leaves our facility to go on to live a happy, healthy, and sober life.