Your new position at work is something you’ve worked toward for a long time. It comes with more money as well as more responsibilities. You find yourself working later and later in the evening. You wake up in the middle of the night and cannot fall back asleep because your mind is racing thinking about work. You drink a glass of wine to doze off.
You start taking sleeping pills every night just to get to sleep. Your shoulders are up to your ears constantly and your eyebrows are in a constant furrow. You are experiencing chronic stress and if you don’t take care of it now, there are some very serious long-term consequences to carrying that type of stress around all the time.
Chronic Stress Affects People Differently
One person can have their whole world crashing in on them and still carry a positive disposition while others fall apart when there is a hint of trouble. However it affects you, the long-term consequences of chronic stress can be awful including:
- High Blood Pressure or Heart Attack
- Anxiety Disorders
- Weight Loss or Gain
- Muscle Tension and Stiffness
- Sexual Performance Problems
- Lethargy and Fatigue
- Stomach Pain
- Heart Palpitations and or Chest Pains
- Chronic Headaches
- And Addiction
On top of these physical symptoms, chronic stress can have a debilitating effect on your mental and emotional state. If you don’t find positive ways to eliminate and or cope with chronic stress, it may also result in drug addiction, alcoholism, or a relapse if you already struggle with those issues.
Addiction is a Symptom and Long-Term Consequence of Chronic Stress
There is scientific evidence that the number one cause of relapse in people living with addiction is chronic stress. The National Institute of Health has done extensive research that shows that there are physiological effects from chronic stress that make addiction in individuals more likely.
After prolonged drug and alcohol abuse, your nervous system as well as your adrenal glands change, causing a chemical reaction to stress. Relapses are most often the result of chronic stress. Drugs distort the chemicals in your brain; it is what makes you feel emotionally and mentally unwell. The desire to feel better and to balance your chemicals is the cause of many relapses.
Avoiding chronic stress is not as simple as relaxation techniques. You may need individual counseling to overcome deeply rooted dysfunction within yourself with the aid of a recovery coach. That combined with eliminating chronic stress is the key to a long-term healthy recovery.
Individual counseling can help you find the underlying cause of what is causing you stress and provide tools to help you deal with it in a more positive way. A recovery coach helps prevent relapse and can be another person that you can talk to about your stress. They will also help guide you to manage stress in a better way.
Alternatives to Help You Cope
If you suspect that chronic stress is feeding your addiction and hindering your recovery, Sober Houston is a local resource for those struggling with addiction. We understand the daily battle with chronic stress and the long-term effects it can have on your life. Contact us to learn more about how you can keep chronic stress from wreaking havoc on your life and hindering your recovery.