Delray Beach Florida - Legacy Healing Center, with locations in Margate, Pompano Beach, and Delray Beach recently published a new article on their website with tips for developing good mental health and resilience in recovery. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and given the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19, raising awareness of mental health issues is needed by many, especially those in recovery.
Individuals in recovery have used substances in the past to try to cope with stress essentially by numbing it. Long-term sobriety requires learning new healthy coping skills to manage stress and deal with its underlying causes. Practicing healthy coping skills cultivates good mental health and resilience, empowering individuals to better handle stress, overcome challenges, and bounce back from difficulties and setbacks. The inability to do so can lead to undesired effects, including relapse.
Understanding Mental Health is paramount. It’s important to remember that good mental health is something that requires nurturing and cultivation. The mind is like a muscle that needs to be exercised in order to be strong and flexible. Life is full of challenges that have the potential to overwhelm us and upset the balance of one's mental state. We all experience hardships at times and it is normal for these to cause difficult emotions like sadness, frustration, and anxiety.
Having good mental health doesn’t mean never being upset or going through tough times. It means being able to experience adversity and then having the resilience to bounce back. Just as physically healthy people are better able to recover from an injury or illness, people with strong mental health have practiced healthy coping skills and are good at using them so that when faced with a potentially stressful challenge they are ready to handle it.
Developing Good Coping Skills for Recovery: One of the main contributing factors leading to substance abuse is a lack of healthy coping skills. Psychologists describe coping skills as any behavior a person employs to try to manage the stress in their life. Coping skills can be broken down into two categories: adaptive and maladaptive. Adaptive coping skills increase one's functioning while decreasing one's perceived level of stress. Maladaptive coping skills only relieve symptoms temporarily and they don’t actually address the root causes of stress.
Maladaptive coping skills can include any avoidance behaviors such as substance abuse, gambling, and social withdrawal. Developing healthy, adaptive coping strategies is one of the most important components of building good mental health and succeeding long term in recovery. Learning how to actually cope with stress and not just avoid it allows individuals to overcome challenges and lessen their negative impacts in their lives. We can even begin to use hardships as an opportunity to learn and grow. Most importantly for recovery, learning to cope with stress in healthy ways replaces those avoidance behaviors, like drinking and using drugs, which only ever made problems worse.
6 Healthy Coping Skills That Build Good Mental HealthExerciseStudies show that exercise releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. Getting regular aerobic exercise has been shown to reduce tension, elevate and stabilize mood, and improve self-esteem.SleepGetting enough sleep at night causes the body to reduce its production of stress hormones. The brain chemicals associated with deep sleep are the same ones that tell the body it’s okay to calm down and relax. Therapy trained mental health professional can provide a fresh perspective on issues in one’s life, helping them to better understand their own emotions and how to work through stressors and challenges in a healthier wayMeditationMeditation can be a quick fix to help get centered in stressful moments.
And it can also be a daily practice that helps build long term mental health and resilience to stress. CommunitySpending time with people who support and share one’s healthy habits is vital to maintaining them. Good friends and supportive family members are people who will be there to listen when life’s inevitable challenges come up. Building strong relationships with positive people will help reinforce one’s sober lifestyle and successful recovery.
Attend MeetingsAttending 12 step meetings is an essential coping strategy for anyone in recovery. AA and NA meetings provide fellowship with others who can relate to the experience of addiction and recovery. In meetings, those in attendance can open up about their feelings when life gets tough, learning from the experiences of others who have learned how to deal with stress without turning to drugs and alcohol.
Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in the month of May in the United States since 1949 reaching millions of people through the media, local events, and screenings. Mental Health Awareness Month was created by the organization Mental Health America and follows a different theme every year. This year’s theme, “Tools 2 Thrive”, provides practical tools that anyone can use to improve their mental health and increase resiliency regardless of the challenges they are dealing with.
Legacy Healing Center’s mission is to help patients achieve long-term success in recovery. Learning healthy coping skills and cultivating good mental health prevents relapse and is a critical piece in achieving long term sobriety. Legacy’s behavioral health programs utilize an individualized, client-centered approach designed to lay a solid foundation for anyone who wants to recover. For help with addiction, please call Legacy Healing Center today.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
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