Recovery from addiction requires improvement in physical, emotional, and mental health. Emotional health is often ignored, even in those aware that most relapses start in an emotional space. Emotions play a strong role in well-being and an even bigger role in relapse prevention.
A common misconception is that emotional health means that you are always in a good mood. That is not always the case. Instead, being emotionally healthy means being consciously aware of your feelings and overall emotional state without letting them rule you. It is more about being balanced than about being happy. Emotional health is important in recovery to help you effectively cope with your feelings and thought processes within recovery.
What Is Emotional Health?
In treatment, you are taught to embrace and explore your emotions, whether good or bad. Those moments of exploration can generate a healing space, even though it can sometimes be uncomfortable. This reveals your ability to explore and cope with positive and negative emotions. Emotionally healthy people are aware of their emotions and role in constructing boundaries.
Taking a personal inventory of your thoughts and feelings is one of the key elements of living an emotionally balanced life during your recovery. Sometimes this is easy to say but not as easy to do. Taking time to focus on your emotional health can be daunting, but it helps you self-regulate and remain in recovery mode. Getting in tune with your feelings is important for emotional well-being and balance.
Supporting Your Emotions
Emotional health goes beyond being happy and positive all the time. Instead, emotional health revolves around being open and honest with your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
Relapse does not happen overnight—it happens gradually and over time. The path toward relapse begins when you neglect emotional health. It sounds so simple yet so complicated. Ongoing negative thoughts can erode your positive relapse-prevention skills, making you lose hope in your recovery. Therefore, supporting your emotional health is crucial for relapse prevention.
Why Is Emotional Health Important?
Emotionally healthy people are in control of their thoughts and feelings. This does not mean that you have to control each thought. Rather, it means you do not allow every thought to control you. Having solid emotional health fosters strength and empowerment within yourself.
Emotional health plays a role in your interpersonal interactions, how you receive criticism, and even your methods of offering feedback to others. This concept can be hard to navigate if you struggle with identifying and processing your emotions. However, understanding emotional health and implementing strategies to support it is key to success in recovery and being the best version of yourself.
How Can You Improve Your Emotional Health?
Practicing emotional health can be hard and uncomfortable initially. After all, you may be unfamiliar with this concept. You may not have grown up in an environment where emotions were taboo. Therefore, this is unknown territory for you. Give yourself space and grace for this learning curve.
Below are several tips to improve mental health and create balance within your recovery.
- Self-respect: Accept yourself at this moment and utilize areas within your life as a space of growth without criticism to increase self-esteem and improve emotional health
- Honesty: Stay honest with yourself in recovery
- Peacefulness: Make every effort to maintain your peace no matter what the circumstance
- Gratitude: Remain humble and accepting during recovery
- Hope: Be confident that your future is filled with promise
If you struggle to open up about your emotions, individual or group counseling could be beneficial in your journey of improving emotional health. Through counseling, you can gain a new perspective and explore helpful ways to incorporate it into your recovery.
What Does This Have to Do With Relapse Prevention?
To understand the dynamics of relapse, you must understand that relapse is a process, not a singular event. Emotions play a large role in your recovery. They dictate how you feel minute to minute. Getting caught up in a negative thinking trap or dismissing positive emotions is easy. Such struggles are a natural response to a hard emotion you are not used to.
Research suggests that relapse is a setback that occurs during the behavior change process. Emotional health has everything to do with relapse prevention. To balance your emotions, you must first be aware of your feelings. All too often, the space of relapse occurs when negative feelings are allowed to fester. Negative emotions are natural and perfectly fine to have. They only become problematic when you don’t address them.
Whether you have been in recovery for two months, two years, or two decades, understanding your emotions’ impact on your recovery is essential to prevent relapse. Taking time to check in with your emotions can create a positive difference in your daily life.
Caring for your emotional health is just as important as caring for your mental health. By focusing on your emotional health, you are creating balance within your recovery. However, you may struggle to understand how emotional health plays a role in your life and find it difficult to find time to balance responsibilities. Luckily, you are not alone in this journey and need to remember that recovery is a journey, not a destination. If you or a loved one have been facing difficulties with emotional health, Laguna Shores Recovery offers evidence-based treatment and a dedicated team of professionals to guide you through recovery. Give us a call at (866) 774-1532 today.
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