Emotional Health and Sobriety
Emotional Health and Sobriety
When entering sobriety, the drugs and alcohol clear out of someone’s system relatively quickly, but the journey to emotional sobriety is a much longer and arduous process. Emotional health is an important part of our overall health, especially for those in sobriety. Being emotionally healthy doesn’t mean that everything is going perfectly all the time, but it means that we learn how to cope, improve, and deal with life on life’s terms better than we could before. Emotional health doesn’t mean living a life with incidents; it means living a life of resilience and balance.
What is Emotional Health?
Emotional health is a crucial part of the overall health of someone. People who are emotionally healthy are in control of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. When people are stressed or overwhelmed and cannot control their feelings, they tend to act out. When someone is emotionally healthy, they still feel those things, but they don’t react to them in unhealthy ways. Emotional health is extremely important in sobriety because not knowing how to deal with emotions often leads to relapse. The mental health foundation states that emotional health is “a positive state of wellbeing, which enables an individual to be able to function in society and meet the demands of everyday life.” Everyone, not just those in recovery, benefits strongly from emotional health. Emotional health can help us to cope with everyday life.
How Emotional Health and Recovery Combine
When you enter substance abuse treatment, the physical and mental aspects of addiction are addressed. When addressing the mental side of addiction, emotions are also addressed. That is why at GateHouse Sober Community, group therapy, one-on-one therapy, and 12 step meetings are utilized to address the mental, spiritual, and physical malady that is addiction and alcoholism. Emotions and not knowing how to deal with, or understand them play a large part in addiction. When first getting sober, emotions come flooding back in and can lead to depression, regret, and anger.
Many in early recovery don’t know how to identify these emotions properly and don’t have the awareness about their emotions to realize what is going on internally, and this can be dangerous territory.
When emotions can be handled properly, it can lead to less impulsive behavior. Emotions are often one of the hardest things to get under control, but with all things in recovery, it takes time and practice to improve.
How to Improve Emotional Health in Sobriety
Improving mental health is very similar to improving physical health. It takes time, dedication and can be uncomfortable at times, but is worth it in the end. Emotional health mostly comes from being resilient and feeling as if you have a purpose in life. There is a multitude of ways to improve your emotional health.
- Identifying personal strengths and building them – everyone has a skillset or an ability that they’re good at. When you can figure out that out and improve on it, you’ll feel proud of yourself and can utilize that skill to help others. Honing an ability also helps to improve our self-worth.
Develop self-worth – In addiction and alcoholism, the concept of self-worth is typically non-existent. Part of our emotional health is also how we view ourselves. If we don’t think that we are worth anything, negative self-talk can perpetuate negative emotions, and we will act on the negative and continue the cycle of being emotionally unhealthy.
- Develop healthy coping skills –Co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders are common. When dealing with either, you have to develop healthy coping skills to learn how to deal with symptoms and side effects that stem from either. Overlapping symptoms can make it hard to identify where the issue is coming from, but with a toolkit of healthy coping skills for those situations, you can improve your emotional health drastically.
Finding a balance in your life – when you have a healthy balance between recovery, work, and leisure it can help to promote a balance throughout your entire life. When we have outlets in our everyday life without going all in on everything, it helps to promote emotional wellbeing and emotional health.
- Never stop trying – although this may sound cliché, many who have struggled with substance use disorders are extremely resilient. The ability to continuously get back up after being knocked down by addiction and life help to build character. Utilizing the resiliency that you have in all situations helps to improve your emotional health because you don’t allow yourself to stay down for too long.
How Emotional Health Increases Your Overall Health
Often enough, our emotions can affect our physical health as well. When we are suffering from awry emotions, we feel the physical effects. We’re tired, irritable; it can even lead to physical pain and stomach issues. Having better control over our emotional health allows us to work on our physical health as well. When we feel stable, we can explore other options like our hobbies, physical exercise and be present in our lives. When we are suffering from poor emotional health, it ripples into all areas of our lives like our jobs. Financial health is something that can be directly tied to our emotional health because many people stress and worry about their finances, which can put a strain on our emotional wellbeing.
When our emotional health is in check, we can positively handle all of what life has to bring our way. At GateHouse Sober Community, we understand the importance of addressing all aspects of addiction and alcoholism and how addressing all of these can offer you a life that you want to live. If you are a loved one are struggling with substance use disorders, please reach out to us. 855-448-3638.