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Sober Coping Skills For Anxiety

Sober Coping Skills For Anxiety

Anxiety can be a debilitating emotion. It is not uncommon for individuals who suffer from substance abuse or addiction to use drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism when he or she experiences the onset of anxiety.

If a person is in recovery, however, turning to drugs or alcohol is not an option. Many abused substances have a direct effect on the functioning of one’s brain and perception of pleasure. With habitual abuse, this can alter a person’s ability to experience and perceive pleasure without the presence of drugs or alcohol. When a person abuses drugs or alcohol for any length of time, he or she is essentially putting his or her emotional growth on pause, for the duration of the abuse. Additionally, the individual is cutting him or herself off from experiencing, managing, and processing his or her true emotions. Part of a substance abuse or addiction treatment program is to help an individual learn and practice implementing tools to help cope with each of these emotions.

Below are several tips for an individual who suffers from both substance abuse or addiction and anxiety.

Talk to Someone

Throughout one’s recovery from substance abuse or addiction, an individual creates a network of people who are there to help support the individual throughout his or her recovery process. If you are feeling anxious, reach out to someone. As helpful as it is for you to be of service and help an individual in need, you also will be giving another person that opportunity to be of service by reaching out to him or her when you are in need. Sometimes anxiety can be mitigated simply by talking through one’s fears or emotions with a friend or loved one. Additionally, speaking to someone when you feel anxious, can help to put things into perspective as you will be able to have the ear of and get advice from a person that is removed from the situation.


Exercising helps to release endorphins, which are your body’s chemicals that naturally aid in fighting stress. Any type of exercise will enable your body to experience an increased release of endorphins, which can help lower your anxiety level. Certain types of exercise, like yoga for example, can also help to lower your blood pressure and improve your respiratory system. Yoga can also help increase a person’s flexibility and ability to connect to one’s emotions more rapidly. Some people will find intense workouts, that induce heavy perspiration, to be a very helpful outlet for anxiety (almost like sweating out the angst). There are tons of different kinds of workouts and types of exercise available for people to explore. A person can integrate several different types of exercise during his or her week to keep things exciting. For those of you who do not enjoy working out, give it a try. You may find that under the circumstances, it is exactly what you need to help with your anxiety.

Find a Relaxing Hobby

There are an abundant of relaxing hobbies with which a person can engage. Depending on an individual’s personality and interests, each will find different hobbies relaxing. Some people find meditation to be an incredibly helpful tool when it comes to dealing with anxiety. Some people find being creative to be relaxing. Whether it be writing, singing, playing a musical instrument, dancing, or creating artwork, these types of pastimes can engage a part of the brain that can help elicit a relaxation response. Finding a hobby that helps to relax you will in turn help to lessen your anxiety.

Anxiety is an emotion that is categorized by a group of feelings that cause tension, nervousness, and worried thoughts. When an individual goes through a life change, such as getting sober, it is no shock that he or she may experience certain bouts of anxiety.

When couple with substance abuse or addiction, anxiety can be crippling for a person if he or she does not have proper coping mechanisms. An individual will experience many different emotions throughout his or her recovery from substance abuse or addiction, and it is important to have tools to deal with them.

Further Information

Substance abuse and addiction are all consuming, and if left untreated can result in extremely difficult long term consequences, and in some cases death. If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse or addiction, please get help as soon as possible. There is no reason to go through this alone. Please feel free to reach out to us for further information or with any questions regarding substance abuse or addiction. We are available anytime via telephone at: 213-389-9964, or you can always email us at:

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