What Are 5 Healthy Coping Mechanisms For Addiction?

Recovery from substance use disorder means finding new coping mechanisms to deal with life’s struggles and triggering events. Using healthy coping skills can take your mind off using or drinking and help foster a life free of drug and alcohol use. At Virtues Behavioral Health, we incorporate coping skills treatment programs in our addiction recovery model, making sure you can build coping skills in addiction recovery. 

Don’t let substances hold you back. Instead, contact 855.579.8599 to get started with your new life clean and sober today at Virtues Behavioral Health.

5 Coping Skills in Addiction Recovery

1. Exercise

Exercise is the best thing you can do for your mind and body after recovering from addiction. Physical activity, such as weightlifting or yoga, activates the same dopamine reward pathways in the brain as drugs of abuse. Endurance activities can even release endogenous opioids, responsible for the phenomenon known as “runner’s high.”

That being the case, exercise is an excellent method of dealing with cravings and triggering situations. Even better, it also improves your physical and mental health. 

Finding an activity that works for you—whether it’s hiking, weightlifting, competitive sports, or martial arts—can make a remarkable difference in how you feel, rendering it an essential component of coping skills treatment programs.

2. Meditation

Mindfulness practices can help you recognize that you don’t need to always act on your thoughts. This can be a powerful tool in preventing relapse, and scientific research has shown that mindfulness coping skills groups can improve treatment outcomes. Here’s a simple outline for a meditation practice that can encourage mindfulness:

  • Take a comfortable seat on a chair or cushion
  • Close your eyes
  • As you breathe in and out, focus on the sensation your breath creates in your nose, chest, and stomach.
  • When you notice yourself drifting off in thought, ask yourself where the thought came from, then let it go.

This simple meditation can often help illuminate the fact that you aren’t in control of everything that comes to mind. It can also help you realize that cravings to use are not due to personal desire but rather a consequence of our addiction you can choose to ignore.

3. Social Support

Making friends and building a community in sobriety is one of the surest paths to recovery. People who support your recovery can help you recognize that you don’t have to go through the recovery process alone and can lift you up when you’re feeling down on yourself. Additionally, when you have urges to use or return to an old behavior, your social support network can help remind you why recovery is so important.

4. Self-Help Groups

Self-help groups (e.g., Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or SMART Recovery) are great sources of sober support and meaningful purpose. Regularly attending these groups will help you stay vigilant in your recovery and remind you how far you’ve come. 

They can also give you a positive outlet for managing cravings and allow you to pay forward what you’ve learned to other newly sober individuals, a deed many say helps them stay sober.

5. Writing

Creative writing or journaling is an excellent way of building coping skills. Training yourself as a writer, expanding your abilities, and sharing your work with others can be immensely rewarding. Moreover, there’s something special about putting pen to paper and ordering your thoughts. Therefore, it’s no coincidence that writing is a part of many 12-step programs.

Experience Coping Skills Training at Virtues Behavioral Health in Los Angeles, California

Coping skills training is essential for addiction recovery and any addiction treatment program. At Virtues Behavioral Health, we offer comprehensive mental healthcare for people struggling with addiction, including coping skills groups and training. 

Contact 855.579.8599 today to ask about coping skills in addiction recovery or learn more about the treatment options at Virtues Behavioral Health in Los Angeles, California.

virtues behavioral health logoVirtues Behavioral Health is a substance abuse treatment center in Los Angeles, California. We offer addiction and mental health treatment at our outpatient rehab center. Our substance abuse treatment programs help clients avoid relapse and rebuild their lives. Contact our Los Angeles addiction treatment center at 855.265.7710