Trauma and addiction recovery are long and complicated ventures with several emotional and mental hurdles to overcome. Improving one’s resiliency is crucial in developing coping strategies to process difficult stressors and the changing landscape of sobriety.
However, resiliency is something that needs to be deliberately addressed in order to improve. Some approaches can help an individual bolster their resiliency to mitigate stress, develop one’s recovery toolkit, and overall address the symptoms and possibility of relapse throughout one’s journey.
What Is Resiliency?
Resiliency is a person’s ability to address difficult and changing situations that can occur on a regular basis. The ability to process change in life events, manage anxiety-inducing situations, express self-confidence, or cope with criticism are all hallmarks of resiliency. However, those suffering from addiction or trauma can often find these parts of themselves compromised or that processing the myriad of changes is proving incredibly difficult.
However, those in recovery are also the ones who may need to employ a consistent, strong resiliency. There can be a great deal of shame, guilt, anxiety, depression, and any other difficult emotions tied to one’s recovery, and addressing these is essential in overcoming many hurdles. Practicing resiliency is paramount in mitigating the effects of urges, even helping to prevent relapse during otherwise overwhelming times. Working to improve one’s resiliency is the cornerstone of personal development throughout every stage of recovery.
Disregard Binary Thinking
Binary thinking is the “black and white” style of thinking that can plague many throughout recovery. These mindsets often lead to only considering drastic outcomes, all-or-nothing thinking, or focusing solely on the absolute best and worst-case scenarios. This kind of binary thinking also lends itself to a worldview defined by absolutes, leaving little room for nuance, silver linings, or delving into the intricacies of any given situation.
Being able to discard a binary way of thinking can open up an individual to the idea that positives can be hidden behind stressful events. For example, while an individual may still have difficulty coping with stress while outside of a recovery facility, being able to identify when an individual has employed proper coping strategies, contacted supports for an escape plan, or otherwise continued to maintain their sobriety is still reason for celebration — a viewpoint that binary thinking often overlooks.
Actively Seek Growth
Actively seeking growth for one’s resiliency means making a conscious effort to understand and build on one’s ability to cope with change and stress. It can be very easy to push aside one’s more difficult emotions in order to avoid discomfort wherever possible. However, this can leave a person ill-prepared for the inevitability of stress throughout their journey. Actively seeking growth means acknowledging the need for a strong resiliency, as well as admitting the ways that stressful situations affect a person.
Consciously making an effort to confront feelings of guilt or stress, or engaging in guided exposure therapy for those recovering from trauma, can all help to situate a person within their capabilities and promote the development of resilient growth tactics.
Affirm Personal Abilities
Developing a strong resiliency also demands that each individual learns to affirm their own abilities. Stating that an individual has certain talents, or excels in certain areas of life, is a great skill, and reminding oneself of their abilities and breakthroughs can open the gates for further growth.
Those who are willing to affirm their own abilities during recovery can use this practice to be more open to their shortcomings or areas of growth. Acknowledging that an individual doesn’t have control over all situations and admitting that everything isn’t one’s fault creates a healthy mindset, and those who can affirm their strengths during stressful times may feel less reluctant to relinquish a mentality of control and blame.
Take Time for Self-Care
Avoiding self-care throughout stressful times of change can weaken each person’s ability to cope with the situation. Taking time to rest or engage in fun hobbies can provide the mental and physical break from stress that is essential for building a strong, resilient base. Those who are well-rested and mentally rejuvenated can better employ coping strategies and maintain a more objective mindset through difficult times, leaving a person more capable of coping and exercising practiced decision-making skills.
Stay Focused on Goals
Goal setting is an important part of the recovery process, and continuously focusing on one’s goals and progress can help an individual fairly judge themselves throughout their journey. Objectively assessing one’s progress based on a set goal can keep an individual from feeling as if they are stagnant in their journey and can also help a person not just accept the idea of change in one’s life but reform the definition of change into a goal rather than an obstacle.
Improving resiliency is a core part of every step on your recovery journey. We at Everlast Recovery Center are prepared to help you continue developing the essential skills necessary to maintain a strong, resilient base. We offer an array of programs to help you better understand and address the stresses of your unique situation, including music and art therapy, mindfulness practice, education, and relapse prevention, all designed to help you continue to cope with the stresses of life while maintaining a focus and commitment to your recovery goals. Our supportive, home-like atmosphere provides a safe and comfortable space for you to detach from these stresses and learn essential life skills in a safe and comfortable environment. For more information on how we can personalize your time with us in our detox or residential programs or to speak to a caring, trained staff member about your unique situation, call us today at (866) 338-6925.