Stress. We all experience it and it can be evoked by any combination of internal and external factors. The one assumption that generalizes to all of us is that we will, in fact, experience some kind of stress throughout most days that we live on this earth. The mistake that is made by many self-help authors and guru’s alike is that we ought to be harvesting strategies in order to be less stressed. This perspective and resulting prescription is wholly wrong in the same sense that that we do not want to suppress the amount of stress we have in the same way we do not want to suppress anger, aggression, and sexual drives for the simple fact that it does not work. Psychoanalysis 101 tells us that what we suppress comes back with a vengeance and acts upon us in ways we will have difficult controlling. Just as the prescription for newly sober addicts is not to “white-knuckle” through recovery, the way in which to manage stress is not to block it out, but rather to integrate it by transmuting it into a fuel for personal growth and productivity.
Stress and anxiety work in similar ways in the sense that they are actually warning signals from our bodies that there is a problem that does not yet have an identified solution. For example, if we have a test coming up, we all know that the best way to mitigate the stress associated with the upcoming test is to study for it. What that does from a cognitive standpoint is send messages to our bodies that we have now identified the source of stress, and subsequently created a solution so that our bodies need not continue sending messages of discomfort to highlight this problem. This same strategy applied to all stressful scenario will yield a similar result. If we are stressed about our propensity for relapse, we wouldn’t cross our fingers and hope it doesn’t happen as that would be absurd. We work, in whatever ways we find beneficial, to combat the onslaught of impulsively driven thoughts and feelings associated with the desire to drink and use. When we begin to understand, and then put into action, the wisdom surrounding how to best integrate stress and use it to our advantage, we will begin to feel a transformation whereby we welcome stress as a means to reach deep within and act with conviction, purpose, and determination.
Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California is a premier men’s addiction treatment facility that uses eight different modalities to help our men become the best versions of themselves they can be. We teach our men that every day of their journey is something to celebrate, and that recovery isn’t a sprint– it’s a marathon. By showing our men how to celebrate each day’s victories, we show them that self love isn’t about what we have or haven’t done. It’s about getting a little closer to where we want to be. To get started with Tree House Recovery, call us today at (855) 202-2138.