Why are Coping Skills so Important in Recovery?

First let’s discuss what coping is: Coping means to invest one’s own conscious effort, to solve personal and interpersonal problems, in order to try to master, minimize or tolerate stress and conflict.  Therefore, having good coping skills means that you will be able to better handle the stresses of everyday life.

Having a lack of coping skills is widely known as a precursor to addiction. Therefore, in retrospect developing coping skills will aid in recovery. This is more than just a theory though. It is commonly stated that stress, loneliness, incompetence, insecurity, pain, and other negative emotions are what lead someone to self medicate even during recovery.

Self-medicating is the leading cause of addiction in the United States according to the APA. Addiction due to self-medicating is even higher in women than in men. Why are so many people self-medicating though? Because they haven’t developed proper coping skills to manage negative thoughts, and pain.

While it may seem easier in the beginning to self medicate than to figure out the underlying cause. It is simply put like trying to fix a flood gate with duct tape. Eventually, it will burst and cause a bigger problem. Before you know it self medicating has become a full-blown addiction, and you have lost everything you were trying to save by self-medicating in the first place.

Developing strong coping skills will prevent self-medication by giving someone in recovery an alternative path to handling negative thoughts, emotions, and pain. This why being active in a 12 step program can be so beneficial to maintaining recovery. 12 step programs give you the tools to keep your mind and body in check, help you heal from past trauma, and allow you to let go of the guilt of your own addiction.

However, coping skills can be developed outside of a 12 step program. You can learn positive ways to handle negative thoughts, healthy alternatives to pain management, and to keep your emotions balanced. One way to do this is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy will help your body and mind to function at its best, exercise will keep you in shape and give you a positive outlet for stress, and you will look better which will help you to feel more confident. However, with a 12 step program, you also get a group of people that will help support you throughout the process. Having those bonds and extra support will make it easier for you to succeed.

If you, a friend, or relative are suffering from addiction due to self-medicating please seek help today. You can run a quick google search for the 12 step program you are seeking and find a meeting in your area. If you are trying to develop coping skills on your own I recommend https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1608823407/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1608823407&linkCode=as2&tag=ophelia0c-20&linkId=e36b4d6e491b56e3d6538921ee2bca37

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