Those who undergo treatment for substance abuse experience a variety of different symptoms. Some symptoms include anxiety, trouble sleeping, nausea, sweating, muscle aches, nervousness, and even hallucinations. Anxiety is one of the most primary symptoms. Anxiety occurs because the body is detoxing and adjusting to various chemical changes and bodily processes. During these processes, you may experience a temporary period of anxiety. The most important factor for people to remember is that this is a normal feeling. Your body is adapting to the changes going on and therefore, anxiety is expected So, what can you do to help minimize these feelings of anxiety?
1. Work on developing grounding exercises to keep your mind and body calm as the anxiety hits. Some grounding techniques include focusing on your feet as they hit the ground and objects around you that you can touch. Tactile resources can help keep you grounded and focused on the present moment.
2. Find a safe place where you can take deep breaths and focus on your core.
3. Purchase a diary or journal where you can write down and express fears, worries, and emotions that come through your brain during these anxious times. Writing these feelings out on paper will allow for a healthy release and in turn relaxing your mind and reducing anxiety provoking thoughts.
4. Learn how you can engage with the “happy hormones,” such as dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins. Simple tasks such as laughing, dancing, engaging with nature, and eating certain foods can boost your mood and help with your anxious feelings.
5. Consider speaking with a mental health professional as they can provide you with a safe outlet to discuss your feelings and give you targeted coping skills to get past these turbulent times.
These times may be challenging, and the anxiety can be overwhelming. However, the most important thing to remember is that this is a phase and as your body adjusts to the chemical changes, your anxiety will begin to fade. Surround yourself with a support system, develop strong and realistic coping skills, and remember that anxiety can be fleeting. Just as you have conquered your substance abuse, you can conquer this anxiety too.
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