When we deal with rough patches in life, we cope in various ways. We try to ease our pain, anxiety, and triggering elements through distraction. Some turn to yoga and meditation for coping with stress. Others use food, sugar, work, TV, and other things to distract themselves from less-than-desirable life events. And others use drugs and alcohol to soften the blow. While there are many unhealthy coping mechanisms we use, it’s easy to forget that there are healthy ones, too.
While meditation and yoga might be positive methods for coping with negative experiences, not everyone uses them. For some, coping is found in various ways: the form of learning how to take deep breaths, stretch out the body, focus on the mind, and accept positive and negative thoughts through meditation. For some, learning to address the emotions that trigger drug and alcohol abuse is the first step toward recovery. But those emotions can happen over and over again, and not every technique works. And learning how to slow down is not easy for everyone.
That’s why collecting those coping mechanisms and putting them into an easy-to-reach, memorable format can be a very positive element of recovery. It’s so easy to forget what’s good for us—isn’t that a big part of why we started using in the first place?
It’s not quite like a physical toolbox, but hey, it can be! When we create plans for how we will tackle the difficult triggers that might prompt us to drink alcohol or use a drug, we set ourselves up for success. A small box, change purse, or other type of small container could hold those specific reminders that can help to get us through those difficult moments.
What are some of the coping mechanisms that you can remind yourself of in your recovery toolkit?
Here’s just a few:
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Sobriety Toolkit Series.