Emotional regulation is an essential ingredient of addiction recovery. Emotional regulation means learning to manage and put up with emotional distress. In addiction recovery, addicts have to manage their negative feelings without taking drugs. On the other hand in active addiction, they are used to managing their emotional problems with the help of drugs. Poor emotional regulation is often a major contribution to the development of addiction. To cope with difficult feelings they may fall back on substance abuse.
Emotional regulation is one of the cornerstones of addiction recovery. Basically, early recovery is challenging for recovering addicts. In fact, this is a kind of bumpy ride where people can experience unusual high and low tides of mood. This leads them towards or tough practice of emotional control. It is inevitable to learn the management of emotions because relapse might be followed in case of failure in learning emotional management.
Emotional Regulation is a Multi-Faceted Term That Has The Following Dimensions
Dos of Emotional Regulation in Recovery
- Attending the follow-ups. It provides opportunities to learn better-coping skills to manage recovery challenges. These strategies can be used to deal with the emotional upheavals of early recovery.
- Regularly attend the A and N.A. It is a great way of support. Newly Sober individuals can advise those who have faced the same challenges.
- Honest sharing with the therapist and family can help to talk about the problems quite openly. It can also help to learn effective ways of dealing with strong emotions.
- In recovery, guilt can be very destructive. It is one of the major relapse triggers. So, it should be dealt with skillfully. To avoid guilt the most important thing is to just focus on the present, not on the past and future.
- Complaint behavior regarding medicines. Addicts may show resistance to prescribed medication, due to assumed side effects referring to the internet.
The good news is that by following the treatment protocols and principles one doesn’t need drugs and alcohol in order to cope with his/her difficult and unpleasant feelings.