Addiction and Mental Health

Learn about addiction and mental health issues

Archive for May 2011

Stress Relievers for Urge Control

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Stress Relievers for Urge Control

by Julie Myers, PsyD, MSCP

Licensed Clinical Psychologist in San Diego, California

 

Have you ever thought about how much stress triggers your using?   Stress (and the resulting anxiety or anger) drives people to seek relief.   For many people, such stress means searching out relief with drugs and/or alcohol.   But there are other ways to relieve stress!  Here are just a few:

  • Exercise.  Try a walk or even something with more exertion!
  • Slow, regular breathing
  • Call a friend and talk it out
  • Make a plan for how you’ll deal with stressful events
  • Develop coping statements to redirect yourself.
  • Soothing music

Try some of your own brainstorming, make a list, and keep it handy.    When a stressful event occurs, you’ll be glad to have a list of alternatives to using!

Julie Myers, PsyD, MSCP

Licensed Psychologist, MS Clinical Psychopharmacology, Master Addiction Counselor, Board Certified Biofeedbachttp://www.DrJulieMyers.com.  

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Change in Recovery Takes Work!

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Change in Recovery Takes Work!

by Julie Myers, PsyD, MSCP

Licensed Clinical Psychologist in San Diego, California

 

Change in recovery takes work, just like learning any other new skill. It rarely happens without effort. Try these simple tips to make faster progress in your recovery:

  • Write down a list of tools you can use and keep it handy, such as in your wallet, purse, or phone.
  • Complete a Cost/Benefit Analysis and keep it close for quick review.
  • Post motivating coping statements where you can see them often, such a mirror, refrigerator, or car.
  • Use a planner or calendar to plan your day out to include non-using, fulfilling activities.
  • Work through exercises, with pen and paper. You will be surprised the difference actually doing the exercises will have.
  • Participate fully in Recovery meetings. Volunteer to have your problem as the focus of the meeting.

Julie Myers, PsyD, MSCP

Licensed Psychologist, MS Clinical Psychopharmacology, Master Addiction Counselor, Board Certified Biofeedbachttp://www.DrJulieMyers.com.  

Change Planning

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Change Planning

by Julie Myers, PsyD, MSCP

Clinical Psychologist in San Diego, California

Change doesn’t necessarily happen without careful deliberation and planning. If we just expect things to happen on their own, we can end up repeating the same behaviors we hoped to change. For example, let’s say the change I want to make is to add more positive social interactions into my life. If I don’t think about how I’m going to accomplish this, I can easily fall back into the habit of working too much, engaging in non-fulfilling activities (such as watching TV), or drinking/ drugging.

Instead, if I consciously plan-out the steps I need to take to engage in social activities – such as limiting work hours, setting up appointments with friends, signing-up for a class – I am more likely to actually follow-through. Also, exploratory why I want to make this change will help me build the motivation to stick to my plans.

So the next time you want to make a change in your life, try some thoughtful planning with pencil and paper. SMART Recovery has a great worksheet to help you with your planning, which you can find at http://www.smartrecovery.org/resources/library/Tools_and_Homework/Facilitators_Handout/Change_Plan_Worksheet.pdf

Julie Myers, PsyD, MSCP

Licensed Psychologist, MS Clinical Psychopharmacology, Master Addiction Counselor, Board Certified Biofeedbachttp://www.DrJulieMyers.com.