Friends aren’t the only temptations a recovering addict has to face. At addiction treatment centers, trained individuals understand triggers come on various levels including the temptation to use during times when a person is feeling stressed or depressed. Addiction treatment encourages patients to fight the urge to use a substance through various methods, no matter the extent of stress or depression they’re feeling.

1. Exercise

Exercise isn’t just for those who are looking to lose weight. It’s beneficial to everybody, no matter their shape or size. And it can be a huge factor in staying sober for those facing addiction. First and foremost, exercise stimulates the release of endorphins. These feel-good chemicals have a similar effect to morphine. This leads to a person not wanting to use as much and the person feeling better overall and not having as much stress and depression. Moreover, exercise has a huge impact on stress and depression since endorphins improve self-esteem and mood. Exercise can be used on an as-needed basis when a person is looking to relieve stress or needs something else to focus on to avoid purchasing drugs. Besides aerobic exercise, yoga also has a profound effect on mood, stress, depression and drug addiction recovery.

2. Deep Breathing

Instead of self-medicating using a controlled substance or alcohol, a person should learn deep breathing techniques to calm themselves during stressful situations. These techniques allow a person to cool off without having to use to relax.

3. Pampering One’s Self

Even if the recovering addict can’t afford to go to the spa at all, or even just on occasion, it’s important to take time out of life to recharge. This could mean spending one day a week taking a long, hot, relaxing bath. Or, it could mean spending 15 minutes each day reading a few pages of a book. For some, it might mean going to get their nails done to feel pretty. The important aspect of pampering one’s self is to feel better about one’s self and more relaxed. Ultimately, this means a person is in a better state of mind, will have less of a chance of depression and will ultimately be able to handle stress better because he or she is in a better frame of mind.

4. Getting a Hobby

One way for patients to avoid a relapse is to get a hobby or learn something new. It helps to take a person’s mind off of everything when he or she is learning a new task. Plus, it keeps the person busy, so he or she doesn’t have time to stress or become depressed. Ultimately, this leads to a person having a more fulfilling life, which results in less of a chance of relapsing due to stress or depression.

5. Developing a Strong Support System

When a person is using, his or her friends usually have the same hobby as he or she does, which is drinking or abusing drugs. After attending one of the addiction treatment centers in the area, a person needs to reevaluate his or her circle of friends. He or she needs to find friends who don’t drink heavily, abuse drugs or are at least willing to refrain from these when spending time with the patient. Spending time with friends helps a person to destress and refrain from thinking about the negative. It’s also beneficial for a person to surround his or herself with people if depression has been a recurring problem for the patient in the past. Isolation tends to cause depression and leaves a person without anything to focus on besides stress and anxiety. These friends are also beneficial because they can support the patient when he or she is stressed or depressed and encourage him or her to not give into temptation. It also helps for a person to maintain a connection with his or her addiction treatment facility to prevent a relapse. Support groups help patients when they feel like there isn’t an alternative but to begin to use again. It doesn’t even matter if the patient has been clean for quite some time. A support group is available for life for the patient.

Stress and depression are two huge contributors for relapsing. However, they’re two very preventable factors, meaning if a patient has the right support and ways to handle the emotions, it doesn’t have to be a guarantee for a relapse.

Next Level Recovery is a leading addiction treatment provider. Our treatment programs are evidence-based and customized to the individual needs of those involved with addiction. We encourage our clients to participate in real world activities, such as work and educational opportunities, while they are in our program. For more information on our programs, call us today at (888) 759-5846.