Today’s competitive global economy fills our work world with stress. With too many projects to finish and not enough time, it’s inevitable that some of us go home with our blood pressures elevated. Finding a plan for reducing stress at work is something everyone can benefit from.
And that’s not just to improve work performance. Stress is a central cause of substance abuse. After a long day, and without the right coping mechanisms in place, some may turn to drugs or alcohol for relief.
Receiving anxiety treatment and reducing stress can help lower the risk of that happening. Counselors at Blueprint Recovery Center can help explain how.
What Is Stress?
Stress is an emotion where you feel in a state of physical or emotional tension in response to a change in your life. These changes can come from any external or internal source. They can be from work or home, family, or friends. The changes don’t have to be negative, either: stress can come from the birth of a new baby, for example.
The problem with stress is that it can harm our health — even serving as a trigger for substance abuse.
Reducing Stress at Work
There are many reasons why work produces stress. Your team could be short-handed, for example. Maybe your company had a bad quarter, and you’re worried about your job. Perhaps you feel underpaid or underappreciated.
The problem is work-related stress doesn’t stay at work. It comes home with you. It gets stored in your body. The risk of substance abuse grows exponentially. So, reducing stress at work has significant benefits. Here are some ways to do it:
- Set boundaries. The temptation today is to be always-on — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Know when it’s time to power down.
- Take breaks. Even a short walk down to the cafeteria for water can be enough of a reset for the next task at hand.
- Protect your free time and use it well. Vacation has a purpose — it enables you to disconnect and stop thinking about work for a while, allowing you to recharge.
- Master meditation. Deep-breathing exercises are proven to reduce stress.
- Be open and honest. It’s scary to do but sit down with your boss and work together on a plan for addressing them.
If these measures don’t seem to go far enough, then consider seeking professional anxiety treatment.
How Stress Leads to Substance Abuse
Stress has been clinically linked to the onset of substance abuse. Stress can also play a role in sustaining the abuse and causing a relapse. What drives someone to substance abuse is not a stressful event unto itself. It is a person’s reaction to the stressor that makes the difference.
Stress doesn’t feel good. But working out our stress by exercising, or playing music, or reading is very different from working out stress by using drugs or drinking. Yet, that’s what happens to some people. Reducing stress by building better coping skills can help keep substance abuse at bay.
Dealing with Stress and Substance Abuse at Blueprint Recovery Center
Stress can be a negative force in our lives, but it doesn’t have to be. Still, when stress leads to further problems such as substance abuse, it may be time to seek treatment. Let Blueprint Recovery Center show you out of the darkness and help you find ways of reducing stress. We’re an outpatient treatment center with an experienced staff that understands the forces of addiction and how to address them. We offer several outpatient services, such as a partial hospitalization program and an intensive outpatient program. We also offer an alumni program and community housing. For whatever stressors you’re facing, we have a solution. Contact Blueprint Recovery Center today at 833.654.1004 for a confidential consultation.