The first step to getting sober is the physical aspect of not using anymore. Taking each day at a time is a key pillar to success in the early days of recovery, but just avoiding the use of drugs or alcohol isn’t a sustainable solution to long-term sobriety. This is where what’s known as emotional sobriety comes into play, requiring a mindset and lifestyle shift to learn to regulate your emotions.
Step 1: Accepting Your Emotions
A key component of emotional sobriety is accepting what your emotions are in the present moment, good and bad. In being emotionally sober, you acknowledge that part of life is experiencing a flux of emotions, and it is okay when you aren’t feeling the way you want. When these troubling emotions come up, having an awareness of them and knowing how to cope properly is central to overcoming these emotions so you don’t return to unhealthy coping habits. Being emotionally sober means you no longer let your negative emotions control you and, when temporary obstacles arise, you can securely handle them.
Step 2: Cultivating a Supportive Lifestyle
Keeping a strong, healthy mind doesn’t happen without a complimentary lifestyle to support your mental well-being. Being sure to incorporate a mindfulness practice, supportive social connections, and, when necessary, behavioral therapies into your routine will serve you positively.
Additionally, studies have shown the effectiveness of cognitive reappraisal to improve emotional responses. Reappraisal is the act of reframing an event to reduce the negative emotions one feels about it, and ultimately you feel better about a situation. Working towards emotional sobriety is a process that requires a learning curve to discern what is the right combination of lifestyle habits that will enable you to handle whatever challenges life will throw at you. It won’t be a linear process, but when approached with diligence and perseverance, it can happen and lead you to a healthy, substance-free life.
Learning how to appropriately accept and cope with your emotions and create a supportive lifestyle to healthy emotional responses will allow you to build a strong foundation for your emotional sobriety. If you or a loved one struggle to get or remain sober, contact Avalon Malibu. Avalon is one of California’s only residential treatment centers treating both mental health disorders and substance use. At Avalon, we offer a continuum of high-quality, integrated care that meets the many needs of our patients. Contact us when you are ready to take the first steps toward living a more balanced life at (844) 857-5992.