How Stress Can Lead to Addiction
Whether you’ve got exams coming up or a big presentation at work—we’ve all experienced stress. While it’s normal to have stress in small doses from time to time, high levels of stress and the presence of other distressing emotions can wreak havoc on your mental health. In fact, stress is one of the key factors when it comes to substance abuse and the development of addiction.
Read on to learn more about the ways that high levels of stress can lead to addiction and relapse, as well as the tools to help you build healthy coping mechanisms.
How Stress Affects Your Mental Health
When you experience stress, your brain releases chemicals to signal your body’s stress response. Along with serotonin and adrenaline, stress hormones are released—which affect the areas of the brain that are responsible for regulating your emotions.
When the brain is subjected to chronic stress and prolonged exposure to these hormones, there is a greater risk of developing anxiety and depression. Research suggests that this is because long-term stress can cause changes in the brain.
Developing Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Unfortunately, many people turn to drugs and alcohol as they can help temporarily numb the feeling of distressing emotions like anxiety and depression. Rather than turning to mind-altering substances, there are many healthy ways to cope.
Here are some tips to help you the next time you find yourself feeling overwhelmed:
- Take a long walk
- Write it down in a journal
- Talk to a trusted friend
- Take a hot shower or bath
- Try yoga or meditation
- Talk to a professional
Seeking Help at Tranquil Shores
Whether you’re recovering from alcohol or drug addiction, Tranquil Shores can help you every step of the way toward wellness and recovery. Our experienced clinical team of addiction experts is dedicated to providing unique and personalized therapy to those looking for help with substance use disorders in Florida.