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Coping with Anxiety: Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

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You have had a longstanding and unwanted relationship with anxiety. Whenever you felt this paralyzing feeling, you drank or did drugs to find relief. However, the liquid courage or mellow effect you were after brought you nothing but trouble. Now that you are in recovery, you have to look for new and healthier ways to cope with your anxiety.

New Ways to Cope with Your Anxiety

Learning new coping skills can cause some stress. You might feel like alcohol and drugs were the most effective way to deal with anxiety, but there are many different ways you can cope without using.

3 New Tricks to Use When Anxiety Hits:

  1. Deep breathing: When you take in deep breaths, you are telling your body to relax. The best way to do this is breathing in for four counts, holding the breath for four and letting it out for four counts. Repeat this at least four times or as long as you need.
  2. Progressive muscle relaxation: This involves tensing specific muscles and relaxing them. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Start by balling your fists and tensing your arms. Hold the tension for four counts and let go. Move on to your stomach, your legs, and your feet. Repeat the cycle at least three time or as many times as you need. Before you know it, you’ll feel loose and relaxed.
  3. Challenging your anxiety: Sometimes you let your thoughts take over. However, using “thought stopping” and “reframing” helps you take on your thoughts and push them out of the way. Whenever you have a paralyzing thought, literally tell yourself “stop!” and switch it out for a positive thought.

With practice and consistency, the change in your routine becomes second nature and effective. Stepping Stone Center for Recovery is one of the few treatment centers with a dual diagnosis treatment program.  Our program will treat your anxiety issues along with any drug or alcohol addictions for a complete recovery that lasts.


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