Stress is a natural part of life. Our bodies produce stress hormones in order to feel and combat stress. We feel stressed because it is part of our survival instinct. Our fight-or-flight response is a stress response that empowers us with ability to take actions and protect ourselves against a threat- real or perceived. Stress itself has evolved. Today, we face tremendous amounts of stress as men. Stress of jobs, relationships, family responsibilities, our health, and living in the world can be stressful.
Many of us were lacking in our resources and abilities to effectively manage stress. Instead, we turned to drugs and alcohol which offered us an altered state of mind. Though our addiction was constantly making our life more stressful, the euphoric effects of our drug or alcohol of choice made us ignorant to that stress. In the meantime, we were experiencing a build up stress in our minds and in our bodies. Any time we felt the threat of stress, our chemically addicted minds reacted through obsessive thinking about and cravings for more substances.
Our recovery is mostly centered on developing various stress management techniques in order to retrain the brain and body in handling stress. The way we handle our stress in all areas of our life directly relates to how we handle all areas of our life. We know when we aren’t properly handling our stress in recovery because we feel it in our mind and we see it on our body. Men are prone to developing extra fat on the abdominal when they have an excess of the stress hormone cortisol. Ongoing stress can cause us to develop emotional disturbances and physical disturbances as well as inflammation. Inflammation caused by stress is a root of most disorders and diseases. As men who are recovering from addiction, our primary concern is not causing ourselves so much excess stress that our brains are tempted to turn back to drugs and alcohol.
How Men Should Manage Stress
Men are recommended to engage in their active social networks and find support from one another in healthy friendships. Recovery offers men a perfect vehicle for building bonds, finding like minded people, and maintaining a healthy accountability when it comes to stress. In addition, men should have a steady, well-rounded diet that compliments a regular exercise routine. Exercise is proven to reduce stress and inflammation, contributing to better health. Disciplines like yoga and meditation are recommended for daily enagement of the brain. Both yoga and meditation are also prevent to reduce stress, down to a molecular level. Lastly, men should spend time in nature. Located in Portland, Tree House Recovery is surrounded by the unique majesty of the Pacific North West, offering men a haven of natural exploration and adventure. Spending time among clean, green spaces greatly reduces stress on the mind and the body, encouraging challenging activities for both.
Teaching men how to find freedom from addiction, our residential treatment programs help men create sustainable change for sustainable recovery. Call us today for information: (503) 850-2474