Life is unpredictable and things can change in the blink of an eye. Part of an effective recovery program is learning how to cope with emotional challenges in a healthy way. When negative feelings overtake the mind, it can lead to substance use as a way of self-medicating and trying to quash these feelings. Instead of confronting them, people will push them aside. Ignoring emotional trauma does not resolve anything; rather, it can make things worse as you perseverate on these issues.

Coping with Emotional Trauma in Recovery

Learning to deal with negative feelings in a healthy way can support recovery efforts. It can help prevent relapse, reduce stress, and keep you in a more positive frame of mind.

  • Therapy: One method of coping is to engage in therapy. A therapist can help you to get to the root of your problems and work through them. It is a safe environment where you can be honest and open.
  • Journaling: Writing down your feelings can allow you to clear your mind. Just getting them out of your head and onto paper can help you see them in a different light. Don’t over think – just let the words flow.
  • Meditate: Meditation brings your mind into the present. You’re not worrying about what happened before or what might happen. You’re focused on the here and now. It can give you clarity and allow you to see the positives in life.
  • Recognize your feelings: Acknowledge that you’re feeling frustrated, sad, angry, or disappointed. Put a name to these feelings and be in the moment. Allow yourself to feel them and then turn things around and try to look for the silver lining. What can you do to change things going forward? What have you learned from this experience?

Figure out what works best for you. Having a variety of resources at your disposal can mean you feel more prepared to handle whatever life throws your way without letting it derail your recovery efforts.

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