letting go of stress

Everyone likes to feel in control of their lives. But when you are in alcohol rehab in AZ, the need for control can become excessive. Every time you feel out of control, you may turn into a ‘control freak’ and obsess over things being done a certain way. 

Obviously, this is stressful, and it can cause you to turn back to alcohol to cope. Fortunately, there are ways to get through this. During your time in rehab, you will learn about the importance of surrendering and letting go in times of uncertainty. 

Let’s learn more about why many people struggle with a need to control the world around them, how this can lead to substance use and what you can do to make things better for yourself. 

How Your Brain May Affect Your Need for Control 

Research suggests that people who misuse substances may be predisposed to do so because of certain brain irregularities. These irregularities can make it difficult to control impulses and resist drugs or alcohol when offered. Furthermore, regular substance use can affect parts of the brain involved in self-control, making it more difficult to control impulsivity. 

The most common causes that drive controlling behavior are anxiety disorders and personality disorders. For instance, people with anxiety disorders may feel a need to control everything around them in order to feel at peace. They may not trust others to do things the way they will. 

The desire for control may also be rooted in a fear of uncertainty. Some people have a difficult time functioning when there’s a lack of predictability and security. Typically, this happens to people who have experienced trauma, as they are attempting to protect themselves from further negative experiences. 

Being in control isn’t always a bad thing, but it does become a problem when it’s all-consuming. 

Control Issues, Anxiety and Substance Use 

When you try to control the world around you, you end up more stressed and anxious. You may even turn to substances to cope with the uncomfortable emotions you are experiencing. For instance, if your coworkers insist on doing a project differently from what you want, you may feel the urge to drink to feel better. 

While substances can provide temporary relief, they are not a healthy way to manage your emotions. Over time, substances create problems of their own. In turn, you may drink more to cope with them. It’s a dangerous cycle that can start innocently, but land you in alcohol rehab in AZ. 

There’s also something called ‘learned helplessness’ that can happen. Learned helplessness is when a person is unable to find a resolution for difficult situations, even when there is one available. So, you may continue to use substances to cope with your need for control and believe you can’t stop, even though there are other options available. 

Importance of Emotional Regulation 

Emotional regulation involves analyzing your thoughts and feelings and making appropriate adjustments when needed. It’s an important way to take control of your emotions and remind yourself that you can’t control external events. 

Practicing emotional regulation can help you develop a positive emotional response rather than allowing your automatic, negative thoughts to take over. But to be effective, you must first identify what is in your control and out of your control 

Once you make this distinction, it’s time to apply some healthy practices. For the things in your control, you can learn effective coping skills, such as cultivating positivity and keeping a ‘can do’ attitude. For the things beyond your control, you’ll need to surrender. 

The Art of Surrendering

Surrendering to the unknown can make you feel uneasy. This is normal, but once you realize you can’t control external events, your energies can be put into something else. As a result, you’ll be happier, less stressed and less anxious, which will also make you less likely to crave substances. 

So what is surrendering, exactly? Surrendering is not giving up in the way you think it is. You’re not giving up to the situation but rather giving up the idea that you can control the outcome. When things don’t go as planned, you’re more likely to accept the situation. After all, everything happens for a reason and has its own timing. 

How to Let Go of the Need for Control 

While there are many ways to work on the need for control, we feel that these tips are most helpful, particularly for those completing alcohol rehab in AZ. 

Focus on what you can control 

When a situation is causing you stress, redirect your attention towards the things you can control. You can’t control external events or others’ choices. You only have control over yourself. 

To help you with this, you can turn to your faith. This is why being spiritual is good for the soul. Even if you’re not religious, you can still believe in a higher power and trust that things generally happen for the best. 

Stay in the present 

While you may not like the change happening around you, don’t ignore it. Recognize what’s happening and accept the new reality. Instead of wishing you could change things to the way you want, a better attitude to have is, “How will I respond now that this has happened?”

Identify your triggers 

You can’t avoid everything that makes you feel out of control, but you can avoid some. To do this, you’ll need to identify your triggers. For example, are there certain situations that cause you to tense up, make your heart race and turn your palms sweaty? If so, take note of them so that you can either avoid them or establish healthy ways to cope. 

Get in touch with yourself 

As you make this transition, it’s important to get in touch with yourself. Here are some healthy activities you can do: 

  • Practice mindfulness meditation
  • Say positive affirmations 
  • Do the things that bring you joy
  • Spend time outdoors in nature 
  • Do some physical exercises 
  • Meet up with friends or loved ones 
  • Practice mindful breathing 

Start Your Healing at Our Alcohol Rehab in AZ

Many people struggle to let go of the things that are out of their control. This is natural – we feel safer when we know what’s going to happen. The problem is that we can’t control most things in life, and attempting to do so will only cause us to be mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. 

Being able to let go and surrender is an important part of the healing process in addiction recovery. Wolf Creek Recovery offers our clients a number of tools to be effective in this journey, including recreation therapy, CBT, DBT, motivational interviewing and the 12 steps. 

To learn more about our treatment services and to start your transformative journey, contact Wolf Creek Recovery today.