Stress and Addiction: Coping with Stress in Healthy Ways and When to Seek Help

two woman smiling and talking - stress

Everyone Experiences Stress

Stress is perhaps one of the most common ailments we deal with on a daily basis. Money, relationships, work, school, and countless other factors contribute to our stress levels. For some people, having a drink seems to make those stresses disappear, at least for a short while. Others need a more powerful substance to make the day’s events fade.

It’s well recognized that chronic stress or intense stress can lead people to seek out substances to numb their feelings. As we all know, these “solutions” to stress can lead to far worse and sometimes life-threatening consequences. If you’re stressed, learn how to seek out healthy ways to manage it instead of turning to substances that can create an addiction.

Healthy Ways to Manage Stress

It’s impossible to remove stress from your life. Avoiding family members you don’t like or quitting a job doesn’t eliminate the stress. It just pushes it aside to deal with another day. Instead, try these simple strategies that may help you to overcome the anxiety.

Find Someone to Talk To

That sounds easy enough, but opening up about everything that seems to be going wrong isn’t easy to do even for those who love to socialize. Talking about your stress means bringing up topics that you don’t want to think about and exposing your feelings for others to see. Find someone you trust not to judge you but who will be honest with you. If you don’t have someone like this in your life, reach out to a therapist who can help you. Just talking can relieve much of your stress.


You don’t have time to exercise because you already have so much to do. But getting in some type of physical exercise at least 20 minutes a day can help relieve stress. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America states that exercise is good for reducing stress and improving overall cognitive function. Exercise releases endorphins that help you feel good and have a better perspective on your priorities. You don’t have to get involved in a full workout routine. Go for a swim every month. Spend a few days each week going for a walk outdoors. Ride a bike for a few minutes each day.

Recognize There’s Only So Much You Can Do

Sometimes the problems you are worried and stressed about are things you have no way of improving or even controlling. Your teens are so unruly. You are worried about not getting the next promotion. Perhaps you are worried about a loved one’s health. The key here is to recognize what you can and cannot do in every situation. Then, stop thinking about those things you cannot change. Instead, focus on what you can change, such as your attitude towards what’s happening and the steps you can take to help yourself.

Improve Your Diet

Food is a very good stress-relieving tool, but only when it is nutritious. The more anxiety and frustration you have during any given day, the more important it is for your body to have a good source of vitamins and minerals. Eat more whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. Cut out the sugar, which further taxes your body. As you feel stress coming on, consider a healthy snack, one that is full of energy-boosting nutrients.

Know When to Get Help

You’ve spent months or years battling the stress. It’s become so hard to manage that you now feel you need to use drugs or alcohol just to get through the day. If you are using any type of substance to help you, it’s time to seek out help.

You may benefit from working with an addiction treatment specialist. Counseling sessions like this can open the door to what’s really happening. They can help you:

  • Understand why you are using substances to manage stress
  • Find tools and resources to help you to stop using
  • Gain insight into methods of stress relief that are healthy for you
  • Discuss underlying mental health disorders that impact your stress levels

Turn to our team at Willingway to find what’s really happening with you. We provide addiction treatment and co-occurring condition treatment in Statesboro, GA. Seeking help is something you can do to take back control of your own health and wellbeing.

To find out more about services offered by Willingway, Atlanta drug rehab treatment centers, contact us 24 hours a day at 888-979-2140, and let us help you get started on the road to recovery.Willingway - Addiction Treatment Experts