Everyone deals with stress in his or her lives, but it is how you cope with the stress that is important. If your go-to solution is having a few drinks, that could be a red flag and put you at greater risk for alcoholism. Many people turn to alcohol as a way to help them relax and unwind. While it can have this effect, it is only temporary and can actually end up making stress and anxiety worse in the long run. It causes changes in how your brain functions and processes information.
By self-medicating with alcohol, you are only masking underlying problems. It does not make them go away and can lead to a host of new issues. Developing healthier coping mechanisms can help you to steer clear of alcohol use, especially if you are in recovery.
Tips for Dealing with Stress
When stress starts creeping up, be proactive in remaining calm and collected.
- Talk it out. Find a friend you can confide in and share what is bothering you. They can help you to come up with some viable solutions and look at things from a different perspective.
- Walk it out. Take a break and go for a walk. A change of scenery, some fresh air, and physical exercise can ease stress and tension.
- Spend a few minutes meditating to clear your mind and refocus. Pair this with some deep breathing to slow yourself down.
- Be proactive. Turn on some music, write in your journal, or shoot some hoops. Do something that makes you feel more relaxed and gets your mind off of your problems for a while. Do what works for you and know your options for different situations so you can be proactive in calming yourself before stress gets worse.
Stress does not have to lead to substance use; you have many other options. However, if your drinking has become problematic, Seacliff can help you get on the road to recovery and create a healthier lifestyle.