Recovery from addiction is a journey fraught with difficulties that debilitate you from functioning normally. Most people in addiction recovery have an underlying anxiety issue in which the drugs were masked during addiction and resurfaced once they are sober.

Even though facing anxiety can be intimidating, recovering from addiction can reap the benefits of your efforts.

According to a report in Healthline, 20 percent of those people suffering from alcohol dependence also suffer from a social anxiety disorder. Rest and recuperation are essential parts of speedy addiction recovery as the brain balances the hormones and enzymes in the body during sleep.

Insomnia is another common issue during alcohol addiction recovery which enhances the chance of relapsing.

This article will take you through the seven methods for overcoming anxiety in addiction recovery.

1. Educating Yourself

You will need to accept the fact that alcohol or drugs were subduing the anxiety issues, and when you stop abusing, the symptoms begin to surface again. 

Alcohol and drug abuse also interfere with the effectiveness of any medication you are using for recovering from anxiety and insomnia. Patients often expect to recover instantaneously when they start to engage in addiction treatment. You must learn to accept the fact that you need to be patient and take medications regularly to ensure a speedy recovery.

2. Practice Grounding Exercises

There is a 5 step-grounding technique that people facing anxiety issues during addiction recovery can follow to aid in soothing the symptoms. The first part of this exercise involves identifying 5 things that you observe around you physically.

The second step is listing out four things around you that you can touch and feel. The third part of the exercise involves identifying three sounds you can hear.

The fourth part of the technique is listing out two smells in your vicinity, and the last part involves tasting one food or drink that you can find beside you, such as coffee or a sandwich. This 5 step exercise technique allows you to get out of your anxious thoughts and to ground yourself physically and mentally in the present moment.

3. Talk With A Friend

Talking with someone you trust can help immensely in reducing the symptoms of anxiety. Expressing your worries with a friend can give immediate relief from stress as even just talking about it can ease your concerns. Anxiety worsens when you do not express it and talking with friends and family will help you navigate the anxiety episode.

You will find that talking about it brings the issue to light and expose why you are feeling anxious. You may also receive advice on how to better deal with the underlying issues that are causing anxiety. Staying in contact with close friends can also be a way of finding comfort.

4. Practicing Steady Breathing

Having control over breathing can help immensely while you are undergoing an anxiety attack. You must inhale deeply for 4 to 5 seconds and exhale deeply and slowly for 4 to 5 seconds whenever you face anxiety attacks.

This technique will slow down your pulse rate and you will feel that you have more control over your body.

Whenever you feel that you are breathing rapidly, take a moment from the activity you are doing and calm yourself by inhaling slow, deep breaths through the nose and exhaling as slowly as possible through the mouth.

5. Ensuring Proper Sleep Hygiene

Restoring the circadian rhythm of the body during addiction recovery can be a difficult task. Exposing your eyes to sunlight early in the morning without filtering such as sunglasses can help your body get back to the natural sleep cycle.

You must avoid using any electronics during the hours preceding bedtime and avoid keeping them at your bedside.

Engaging in calming activities during bedtime, like reading a book, can help you to relax and fall asleep faster. Ensure that you follow a regular sleep schedule by sleeping and waking up at the same time every day.

6. Exercising

Exercising even for 30 minutes a day plays a significant role in eliminating stress. Exercise helps to take our minds off thoughts that cause to stress and makes us anxious and allows us to focus on the present moment.

Besides, exercise also releases endorphins in the body, which is a hormone that helps in regulating emotions. You will also tire yourself by engaging in exercise that facilitates sleeping faster and deeper.

7. Aromatherapy and Herbal Tea

Aromatherapy can play a crucial role in regulating the production of hormones in your body. You can promote relaxation, reduce blood pressure, lower heart rate, eliminate anxiety, and slow down the body’s stress response by using Lavender essential oils.

There are several natural flavors of essential oils available which provides a considerable selection for aromatherapy.

You only need to place a couple of drops on your hands and inhale for 30 seconds to feel their beneficial effects. Taking a herbal supplement or consuming herbal tea with ingredients like Tulsi can help calm your anxiety.


Anxiety and sleep disorders are the major reasons people undergo addiction recovery treatment to relapse into alcohol or drug abuse. If you are experiencing anxiety during addiction recovery, contact your psychologist or therapist immediately before the symptoms get worse.

Having the support of family members and friends goes a long way in helping individuals undergoing addiction recovery in preventing relapse.

As every individual is unique, you will need to find a coping mechanism that works for you according to the extent of anxiety and insomnia you are facing.

Categories: Health

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].