Addiction recovery can be stressful. Unfortunately, many men lack the sober support systems they need during recovery. Many also suffer from co-occurring disorders like anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. Stress and anxiety are common for men in today’s busy lives and throughout recovery. Because men are often conditioned to keep their emotions in check, it’s hard to manage stress and stressful emotions safely. Behavioral therapy is a great place to start stress reduction. Here are some techniques to get started with while you and your loved ones search for a qualified behavioral therapist.
If you or a young man in your life is struggling with stress during recovery, Red Oak Recovery® can help. Our holistic programs help young men ages 18-30 recover from substance use and co-occurring disorders. Call us now at 866.457.7590 to learn more about our behavioral therapy programs in beautiful North Carolina.
What Are Stress and Anxiety?
Stress and anxiety are a part of daily life. Unfortunately, stress and anxiety are on the rise. When a person experiences stress or anxiety, their nervous system moves from a state of calm to a state of dysregulation. The fight, flight, or freeze mode can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including:
- Sense of impending danger
- Trouble breathing
- Trouble focusing
- Changes in heartbeat
The fight, flight, or freeze response is a normal reaction from the nervous system. However, compounded stress can cause the nervous system to stay in dysregulation. This can lead to anxiety attacks, panic attacks, and self-medicating with drugs, alcohol, food, and other addictive substances or behaviors. Learning to cope with stress can help reset the nervous system and reduce overall anxiety levels.
Stress Coping Skills For Young Men
It’s essential to build stress coping skills to reduce addictive behaviors and help young men live long and healthy lives. Over time, dysregulated nervous systems can cause a range of long-term health problems. Here are some easy ways to cope with stress at home.
Drink Less Coffee
Caffeine releases adrenaline and can put the body into fight, flight, or freeze mode before you’ve even had breakfast. Try lowering your daily caffeine intake and pair coffee with food or exercise to burn off the adrenaline. Caffeine also lowers electrolyte levels, triggering stress responses and even mimicking anxiety attacks. While drinking less coffee, also pay attention to your diet. Proper nutrition and eating when your body needs fuel can reduce metabolic stress.
Turn Off the TV
Television, social media, smartphones, and even the radio can trigger stress responses. Because we’re so accustomed to technology, it’s hard to realize when a show, comment, or radio announcer triggers a fight, flight, or freeze. Take a break from technology for a quiet way to reduce stress. Instead, take the time to write down your thoughts, go outside, or move your body to promote the release of stress-reducing hormones.
Mindfulness is the practice of present moment awareness. Stress and anxiety stem from worrying about the past or the future, imagined scenarios rather than present moment dangers. Common mindful practices include meditation to yoga, tai chi, and martial arts. These and other practices, like mindful breathing, can help regulate the nervous system and return you to the present moment.
These are only a few ways young men can cope with stress throughout recovery. Behavioral therapy can provide tools and professional support for long-term stress reduction and overall healing. A qualified therapist can help clients understand the root of their anxiety and change thought patterns that lead to chronic stress.
Learn More about Coping with Stress Today At Red Oak Recovery®
If you or a young man in your life needs stress management techniques, Red Oak Recovery® can help. Our holistic programs provide young men with the tools they need to overcome addiction and co-occurring disorders. With a focus on ecotherapy, young men at Red Oak enjoy reconnecting their minds and bodies in nature for natural stress reduction and profound healing. Get started today by calling Red Oak Recovery® at 866.457.7590.