Tips for Overcoming Anxiety While Sober
You recognize the feeling of anxiety building in your body. "Old you" would reach for a drink, but the new, sober, you knows there are healthier ways to handle anxiety and stress. Practice these tried-and-true strategies at even the slightest hint of nervousness. That way, it'll feel like second nature to put them into play when anxiety strikes hard.
Understand Your Anxiety
Every emotion and feeling is your body's way of trying to tell you something. Anxiety is your body's attempt at keeping you safe. Reflect on what you might be fearful of and determine if there's any way to overcome that fear. This can lessen feelings of anxiety or stop them for good.
Write it Down
Writing about your anxieties can help you organize otherwise jumbled thoughts and bring clarity to the situation. If you're not sure what to write, try a "stream of consciousness" exercise -- set a timer for ten minutes and write whatever pops into your mind without lifting your pen or hitting the backspace key. Other forms of writing -- like simply making a to-do list for the day -- can also help calm your mind by giving you less to think about and remember.
Your senses work overtime when you feel anxious. Meditation helps soothe the senses and ground your mind and body in the present moment.
Meditation takes many forms, including deep breathing exercises, periods of self-reflection without judgment, mindfulness, and clearing the mind of all thoughts entirely. Best of all, you don't need any tools to use this calming strategy, although listening to a guided meditation is an excellent way to learn. Check out the Learning Library in the Confidant app for more information.
Yoga is more than just a stretching and balancing exercise. Yoga emphasizes coordinating each inhales and exhale with your movements. When we feel anxious, we often hold our breath or breathe shallowly. Practicing yoga when you're anxious will promote deep breathing and relax the body by giving it the oxygen it needs.
Speak to a Therapist
Like writing, verbalizing your troubles can help you organize your thoughts and see the situation in a new light. Speaking to a therapist is even more valuable because you'll get advice and feedback to help you explore your anxiety in new ways. You'll often leave the conversation feeling more confident and armed with new tools to help you overcome anxiety while staying sober.
Our goal at Confidant is to make it easier than ever to connect with a licensed therapist -whenever and wherever. If you haven't already, request a session with a Confidant provider by chatting with your matchmaker in the Confidant app.
Your body produces stress hormones when you feel anxious, and exercise helps process these hormones so they don't linger. Even going for a walk creates enough movement to boost serotonin levels -- a mood-improving hormone -- and promote a state of relaxation.
The fragrances of certain plants and herbs -- such as lavender -- have been shown to have a calming effect on the body's nervous system. Smelling these scents can lower your blood pressure and heart rate, alleviate anxiety, and interrupt the body's stress response.
You can practice aromatherapy by lighting incense, burning scented candles, or using an essential oil diffuser. You can also add a drop of essential oil directly on your wrist, hold it under your nose, and breathe deeply for 30 seconds.
You Are Never Alone
However, you choose to deal with your anxiety, know that you aren't alone. Confidant exists because millions of people face anxiety and are seeking practical, real-world strategies to manage it. Talk to your Confidant team today to develop a plan for tackling anxiety head-on while maintaining your sobriety.