A main reason that people turn to drug abuse or alcoholism is stress. When things start getting really busy and difficult, or we find ourselves constantly feeling down, we tend to look for ways to make ourselves feel better. Alcohol might sound good, but if we feel particularly beaten down, drugs might seem even better. Substance abuse is sometimes people’s way of drowning their sorrows and their stress. After all, who needs to ruin their lives with drugs when things are going well and everyone’s happy? No, it’s during the rough times that drugs sneak in and bring us down even lower. As a society, we need to find better ways to make ourselves feel better, a better way to handle stress and disappointment. Drugs only make things worse.
There are plenty of healthy things that can help us relax and reward our hard work. A peaceful walk in nature will do wonders for many people. Not your type of thing? What about enrolling in some martial arts classes, where you can kick and punch your way to sanity? Some people respond well to eating a healthy meal, and for others, going to bed early is the answer. We may have ourselves convinced that we are just too busy and don’t have time to relax or do things for ourselves. But, if the alternative is running ourselves down so far that we feel the only option is to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, we need to make stress management a priority.
Effective Stress Management
Stress management, or the failure to effectively manage stress, is something that is often handed down from parent to child. This makes it even more important for people to learn to effectively manage stress, so that a vicious cycle is not started.
Now is the time to do something about the stress in our lives. It is important to clear our lives of clutter and simplify things when we can. Take time out to rejuvenate. For those times that it is impossible to slow down and do something healthy, plan ahead and use some of these suggestions: Save a good book for when you’ve just had it with other people. Keep a restaurant gift card stashed away for when you are worried about finances, yet you feel you need a break. Keep an old friend’s phone number with you so you can call them on your commute home on days when you really need to talk. Take a hot shower. Watch a half hour sitcom and laugh about it.
You can do it. If the temptation to abuse drugs or alcohol is a real one that you face often, get help. You don’t have to be a drug addict to seek treatment or help from others. Support groups are a great way for someone to get real help and encouragement from others who understand.