Millions of Americans suffer from at least one type of anxiety. It could be brought on by social situations, it could be caused by chemical imbalances, and it can even lead to episodes of panic.
Xanax is commonly prescribed to alleviate symptoms of anxiety but it can also be powerfully addictive. If you are in recovery from a Xanax addiction, you may need some alternative options to help you deal with anxiety. Finding healthy ways to cope with worry and anxiety can help you live a more productive and fulfilling life. Plus, healthy coping can help you avoid relapse.
Anxiety is a serious mental health issue that plagues many people and if you have concerns, the best thing you can do is speak to a professional. That being said, if you are looking for some tips for dealing with stress and anxiety, here are some Xanax substitutes:
Explore Behavioral Therapies
While some cases of anxiety may have physiological roots that lead to chemical imbalances in the brain, others may have psychological causes. In addiction treatment, you may learn that stress and triggers often begin in the brain long before you relapse. Anxiety can be triggered in the same way. According to the cognitive-behavioral model, the way you think and process triggers can make or break your subsequent thoughts and behaviors. In other words, healthy and unhealthy coping starts in the mind.
Behavioral therapies, especially cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), are useful tools in addiction treatment and relapse prevention. However, learning to be mindful of the way your thoughts can help or hurt the pursuit of your goals can be applied in a variety of circumstances.
Self-efficacy is your mastery over your own behaviors and your internal belief that you can accomplish a task. Low self-efficacy can cause you to give into negative impulses and cognitive distortions. Improving your self-efficacy is one of the main goals of cognitive-behavioral therapy and allows you to positively cope with stress and high-risk relapse scenarios. However, there are things you can do to increase self-efficacy in other areas of your life like limiting anxiety.
One way to do this is to break big projects into smaller tasks. Worry is often caused by feeling overwhelmed. You want to complete your work but there is so much to do; it feels impossible. However, if you break up a large task into smaller goals, it can help in two ways. It shows your progress in a very visible way and helps you see the finish line getting closer. It also boosts your confidence with each completed task. It’s fun to cross things off the list, and it might help keep you focused and positive.
Recognize When You’re “Catastrophizing”
If you are on your way to work and you run into unexpected traffic, you will probably react like most people, by getting upset and maybe even a little stressed out. But why is traffic stressful? As long as road conditions are safe, you are just sitting in a chair, listening to your favorite tunes. However, in most cases, stress is caused by your own mind. If you are stopped on the way to work you might start thinking you will be late. If you’re late, your boss will be mad at you. If your boss gets mad at you, you’ll be fired. If you’re fired, you won’t be able to pay your bills and you’ll live on the streets.
One minute, you’re stuck in traffic and the next, you’re homeless in your mind. This is an example of “catastrophizing” a situation. It causes you to stress out about events that haven’t occurred yet and may never occur at all. Little moments throughout the day that don’t meet your expectation have the potential to become a mental catastrophe. However, it might help to learn how to recognize moments when you are catastrophizing. Commit to dealing with the problems at hand, rather than the ones you worry might happen.
Avoid Needless Triggers
Another aspect of cognitive behavioral therapy that might help you deal with anxiety is learning to recognize triggers. Triggers are anything that might cause you to go to a negative cognitive place and, in the case of addiction, threatens you with relapse. In this case, a trigger is something that causes you to experience anxiety or panic. In some cases, triggers come from within your own mind. In some cases, anxiety can seem to come for no reason at all. However, it can also be caused by outside triggers like stressful situations.
There may be areas of your life that cause stress and anxiety that you might not need to experience at all. For instance, if the tension in a particular television show makes you feel real-world anxiety, and seems to affect you more than other people, don’t watch the show. Learn to identify triggers and cut out the ones that aren’t necessary or worth it to you.
Consult a Professional
Typically, people who have struggled with Xanax addiction in the past, will what to find alternatives to anxiety disorders without the use of addictive substances. If you have struggled with addiction to anti-anxiety medications and you would like to learn about alternatives it’s important to speak to your doctor. Talk to a professional to find out if you have any therapeutic options like behavioral therapies or other evidence-based treatment methods. It may be that you need to address certain underlying issues that contribute to your anxiety. In such cases, the problem won’t go away without addressing the contributing factors.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, or if you are worried that your anxiety may lead to a relapse, speak to an addiction specialist at Drug Treatment Center Finder at 855-619-8070 to learn more about treatment options. If you’ve gone through an addiction treatment program, your aftercare program might be able to connect you to additional services to help you with anxiety. You don’t have to go through addiction or recovery on your own. Call anytime.