5 Healthy Ways To Cope With Anger Or Frustration

young man thinking about anger

Many people in recovery have trouble regulating their emotions. After all, we live in a world that has a lot of natural ups and downs. As a result, life can be upsetting, frustrating and leave you feeling like you can’t cope. But those are just feelings! In recovery, you learn to live with your feelings and healthily express them.

Anger is a normal human emotion. You’re allowed to feel it. What you don’t have a right to do is hurt others because you feel angry. You don’t have a right to drive aggressively or mistreat your spouse.

If you’re angry, you don’t have to act out in anger.

5 Ways to Cope With Anger

Instead of freaking out when you’re angry, give yourself a minute. Coping skills don’t just naturally appear overnight; they must be practiced. By stepping away from a situation when you’re angry, you give yourself time to react.

Take a deep breath, then try one of the following:

  1. Go for a walk and practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is a type of meditation that can help calm anxiety, relax stress, and put you in a better mood. Youtube has a lot of videos you can check out or check your phone’s app store.
  2. Take a quick jog or bike. Getting moving can help calm your anger and fill your brain and body with the feel-good hormone, endorphins.
  3. Vent in a journal. If you don’t like to write, draw your feelings. These are private thoughts you don’t have to share with anyone. But once you’ve vented your emotions on paper, make a vow to leave them there for the rest of the day.
  4. If you’re in an argument, ask the other person to give you time to cool off. Then, sit down with your sponsor and plan what you’re going to say. Remember that each of you has the right to your own feelings. Try to look for solutions to the problem, not get “revenge.”
  5. Accept that sometimes you’re going to be angry. Sometimes life isn’t fair. Working on acceptance is a part of recovery; not everything will go your way all of the time. Talk to your sponsor about acceptance. Learn and practice the serenity prayer. And if things get complicated, take yourself to a 12-step meeting. There are plenty of people to reach out to and learn from there!

Consider Sober Housing

If you or somebody you love are looking for structured, compassionate aftercare, we’re here to help. Our community offers independence as well as structured therapy. Learn more about what we have to offer by calling us at 760-216-2077.

Once you're in recovery, it’s time to start keeping some healthy habits. The top one will be doing your best to stay substance-free one day at a time. Practices like going to your 12 step meetings or therapy appointments are some of the more obvious ways to help you stay sober. There are other ones, too, to help you along the way.

  • Don’t isolate. Many people spend more time alone than they should in early recovery. Be social is a healthy habit to have in recovery.. It’s easy to get lonely or brush off concerned friends or family. If you’re isolating, what are you feeling? Are you depressed or angry? Are you “bored”? All of these feelings could be triggers to get drunk or use your drug of choice eventually. If you feel lonely, or you’ve been isolating, go to a support group or 12-step meeting. You should also reach out to your sponsor or sober friends.
  • Take care of your body with a healthy diet. Your body won’t heal from the damage of drug or alcohol abuse overnight. Nurturing your body is one healthy habit everyone should aim for throughout life. Some people find out that they have vitamin deficiencies or other signs of a poor diet. Pay attention to which fruits and vegetables you enjoy and make room for them in your diet.
  • See a doctor. Many people who are in recovery shy away from regular checkups, but it’s important to take care of yourself. Seeing a doctor is a healthy habit to establish People who use drugs long-term are more likely to have chronic health problems than the rest of the population. You deserve to feel better when you’re sick. Don’t hesitate to take care of yourself. Another part of this healthy habit is taking your medications daily if you have any.
  • Take care of your mental health. Many people in recovery benefit from therapy if they have trouble with anxiety or depression. Mental health is just as important as physical therapy. Keeping a feeling journal that many people in recovery use as a healthy habit. Ask for help when you need it. Learn about self-care and other healthy habits to help yourself cope with stress.
  • Do chores and act responsibly. Do your laundry. Clean up regularly no matter what living situation you are in. Make your bed, do your dishes, etc.
  • Listen to your body. How does it feel? Learn to acknowledge if you’re pushing yourself too hard or to the point of exhaustion. Get rest if you're tired. Eat a snack or meal if you're hungry. Sleep eight hours a night. See the doctor if there are aches and pains or other health issues you've been ignoring.

Life can sometimes be challenging, but it’s worth it. You deserve to enjoy your time, but don’t forget the basics. If you’re ever feeling tempted to use drugs or alcohol, reach out to your sponsor or a sober friend. If that doesn’t work, try to get to a 12-step meeting. Staying sober is always the top priority

Considering Sober Living?

Sober living is a great way to live in a peaceful, structured environment with others who have similar goals and challenges. If you’re looking for a sober living situation, or want to find out more about our programs, please call us at 760-216-2077.

When you think of the word “health,” what comes to mind? When you were using, you probably weren’t doing healthy things. The World Health Organization defines health as a complete state of mental, spiritual, and physical well-being. These are needs that remain the same across cultures. When you were using, did you make it a point to take care of your health? Did you make sure that you went to an annual check-up and saw the doctor when you were sick? Probably not.

It’s hard to be a health or fitness lover while you’re stuck in active addiction. Depending on your drug of choice, there is possible damage that you may need to address at some point in life.

Taking Care of Your Physical Health

Just like all well-built machines, our bodies need more maintenance, too. It’s essential you get a full checkup when you first get clean and follow up on doctor recommendations.

It may seem difficult at first, but caring about yourself and your physical health is an important part of recovery. You’ve already taken a significant step towards better health by quitting drugs and alcohol. Now it’s time to focus on your long-term health. How is your diet? Do you eat vegetables and fruit daily? You can nourish your body with better nutrition. Try to get the right amount of fruits and vegetables daily, and try to exercise every day, even if it’s just going on a 15-minute walk.

Taking care of yourself also means regular doctor appointments. If you have health worries, don’t keep them to yourself. You may feel guilty for abusing your body by using for so long – but judging isn’t your doctors’ job. A doctor wants to help you heal, and if you are having problems, it’s best if you make her aware of them. Taking care of hidden or chronic diseases can help you stay healthy for life.

Taking Care of Your Mental Health

Stress is a difficult thing to live with, but it’s also a fact of life. Learning how to live with stress without using substances is an integral part of living in recovery. Taking care of your mental health includes learning self-care techniques, learning to de-stress, and reaching out to others when you’re feeling negative. It also means taking care of any co-occurring disorders.

Depression, anxiety, and trauma are common issues that people deal with in recovery. If you suffer from these disorders, or you think you might have a mental health issue, take care of yourself. Seek out a referral to a mental health professional to get help and learn to live with your disorders.

Reaching for Spiritual Health

In recovery, you are asked to believe in a power greater than yourself. Some people in recovery already know what higher power they believe in, and decide to attend church services or begin meditating. Getting closer to a higher power will make the 12 steps easier to take, and having faith in a higher power can help you find solace during troubling times.

But what about people who don’t have a religion? How can you develop a spiritual life if you’re not sure what you believe?

You don’t have to decide on a higher power overnight. Your spiritual health doesn’t have to rely on a diety to feel spiritual. Do you love spending time in nature? Or do you find a particular musician uplifting? Look for the things in life that make you feel spiritual. Seek out activities that make you appreciate life and the world around you. Ask around to find what other people do when they struggle with spirituality.

Live in a Healthy Environment

Many people find that a sober home is a healthy environment to live in while they are transitioning from treatment to the "real world." Are you looking for an option like this? Get in touch to learn about our sober living homes and find out if they are appropriate for you. Call us at 760-216-2077.

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