People start using alcohol for a variety of reasons. Some use it to cope with difficult emotions or stressful situations while others do it to escape external pressures or trauma. This is a good example of a negative or unhealthy coping mechanism. Using alcohol to escape or cope when things get difficult only ends up creating more problems for you and those around you and doesn’t address the issues you’re facing.
If you’re struggling with alcohol addiction and decide to go to rehab, you’ll learn new coping mechanisms to replace your dependence on alcohol. You’ll learn to uncover and examine the root cause of the addiction along with your triggers and stressors and also how to manage them without relying on alcohol.
One of the methods we integrate into addiction treatment programs such as partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient program at Evolve Indy is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This is an evidence-based treatment method that helps people learn healthy coping mechanisms by helping them uncover the negative thought patterns that led to addiction and then work on replacing them with more positive ones.
CBT helps clients to change their way of thinking while learning healthier ways to deal with their triggers, cravings, and emotions without depending on alcohol. These healthy coping mechanisms can help you get through tough situations or stressful days.
5 Alcohol Addiction Coping Mechanisms
Waiting to respond
Alcohol addiction makes you reckless and impulsive. As the addiction progresses, your behavior becomes more reactive often leading to aggressive outbursts or rash behavior such as lying or stealing and acting without forethought. During alcohol treatment, you’ll learn how to wait before responding especially in tough or stressful situations.
Whenever you feel pressured or rushed, take a moment to breathe and clear your mind before making a decision. This will help you to address the situation rationally and with a level head. It will also go a long way toward helping you manage your emotions and maintain healthier relationships.
Keeping yourself busy
When you’re addicted to alcohol, the addiction takes over your life. Most of your time is spent on buying and drinking alcohol then recovering from the effects of drinking and hiding the habit from others. As you work towards sobriety, you learn to replace those old habits with new better ones.
For instance, you can spend your time in more beneficial ways such as learning new skills, or sports, writing a journal, art or dancing, volunteering, etc. Keeping yourself busy with positive activities lifts your spirits, makes you feel proud of your achievements and helps keep your mind away from alcohol and drinking.
Taking care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally helps avoid relapse. Self-care can be as simple as eating nutritious, balanced meals, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly. These activities keep the body healthy and feeling good.
Self-care can also involve developing healthy friendships and setting boundaries that help you maintain mental peace. It also includes knowing your triggers and limits and walking away when you need to. It can also mean taking care of your mental health by not overthinking things or stressing out over small issues.
Practicing mindfulness meditation
Mindfulness meditation means grounding or centering yourself in the present moment. Through techniques such as regulated breathing, you learn to observe and accept your emotions, internal reactions and thoughts without judgment.
By practicing mindfulness meditation, you learn to relax your body and mind, leading to better self-control, improved concentration and clarity in your life and reduced stress and anxiety. It also helps you cope with triggers or work through any painful feelings that may have led to alcohol addiction in the past.
Mastering this coping mechanism will not only help you manage and balance your emotions but also help you develop a healthier more flexible approach to life.
Building a support network
Addiction is often an isolating experience. You can end up feeling alone even if you’re in recovery. Part of alcohol addiction treatment involves helping you develop a network of reliable and sober peers. In rehab you’ll participate in group therapy sessions where you’ll learn to interact and open up to people who are in the same situation you’re in.
This experience can be carried on after rehab through attending sobriety support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. These groups offer support, understanding and accountability to help you stay on track with your recovery.
Additionally, you can also receive support from your friends and family. They can help create a friendly environment at home to support your recovery. They provide further support by attending family therapy sessions with you where you can all learn to deal with issues as a family and fix relationships that were torn apart by addiction.
We Can Help
You don’t need to deal with addiction on your own. You can learn effective coping skills for alcohol addiction recovery at Evolve Indy. Through a combination of evidence-based treatment programs, individualized treatment and a holistic approach to alcohol treatment, you can overcome addiction and go on to live a sober life. Our addiction treatment center in Indiana offers both residential and outpatient treatment programs to suit our clients’ needs and we welcome people from all over the country.
Don’t wait for addiction to ruin your life. Contact us today and we’ll help you rebuild a sober, more productive life.