Tips for overcoming withdrawal anxiety
One thing is for certain - addiction withdrawal is a scary thing. Your experience is going to be different every time and that can create anxiety that makes getting help seem even scarier. Here are a few tips for overcoming that withdrawal anxiety.
1. Take a Deep Breath
Go ahead and do it now. You’ll feel better. As we become anxious, we subconsciously begin taking shallow breaths. As our breathing becomes more shallow, a panic attack can begin taking over. Consciously and slowly forcing air in and out forces the body into a relaxation response. (American Institute of Stress) This reaction slows your heart rate, decreases stress, and forces the mind to focus on the body.
2. Get Outside
Go get in touch with nature by taking a walk around the neighborhood. Get some friends together to play a little flag football. Most Americans suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency that can quickly be cured by spending as little as 20 minutes in the sunshine. This is especially important to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder which has direct ties to a lack of sunshine and Vitamin D.
3. Get Social
Having friends around can help take your mind off your own anxiety. Seeing a movie, having a backyard BBQ or having a game night is a good way to get out of your head. Laughing also increases endorphins which allows helps fight anxiety. Laughter truly is the best medicine.
Find a quiet place, close your eyes and just breath. Concentrate on the great things you’ve accomplished. Remind yourself how far you’ve come. Force yourself to acknowledge how much you’ve changed. There are great guided meditations out there that promote a sense of calm and peace. Check out Mindful Muscle for some great YouTube Guided Meditations.
5. Get some Exercise
Much like with laughing, exercise releases those great endorphins that help you feel better about things. Ask any person who exercises regularly and they’ll happily tell you that their stress and anxiety levels go down when they strap on their gym shoes. Even a 15 minute walk helps.
Recovery is a day to day process. Some days you’ll win and some days will feel like a loss. If you get into healthy routines, those anxious days will become fewer and farther between until the day you wake up and realize they’ve been gone for awhile. That day will be a great day. Until then, experiment with the tips we’ve given and see what works for you.
Got a great tip? Tell us about it in the comments.