Building Resilience: Coping Mechanisms for Recovery

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Building Resilience: Coping Mechanisms for Recovery

05 January, 2024Articles, News

Resilience is the ‘rubber ball’ factor: the ability to bounce back in the event of adversity. Put simply, resilience is the ability to cope with and rise to the inevitable challenges, problems and set- backs you meet in the course off your life and come back stronger from them. Resilience relies on different skills and draws on various sources of help, including rational thinking skills, physical and mental health, and your relationships with those around you and your Higher Power. Resilience is not necessarily about overcoming huge challenges; each of us face plenty of challenges daily, for which we must draw on our reserves of resilience.

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Rebuild your life with resilience. Reach out to Crossroads Recovery Centre in Johannesburg or Pretoria for comprehensive addiction recovery services.

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Four Ingredients of Resilience

There are four basic ingredients to resilience:

  1. Awareness – noticing what is going on around you and inside your head;
  2. Thinking – being able to interpret the events that are going on in a rational way;
  3. Reaching out – how we call upon others to help us meet the challenges that we face, because resilience is also about knowing when to ask for help; and
  4. Fitness – our mental and physical ability to cope with the challenges without becoming ill.

The Link Between Thought and Emotion

When you can recognize and manage your emotions its important to apply reason to emotion to support your decision-making. But how you think can be affected by your emotional response to the situation, and part of being aware is understanding this and recognising it when it happens.

Psychologist Albert Ellis created a simple model for this, which he called A-B-C for Adversity – Beliefs – Consequences. This model sets out a process:

When Managing Emotions an emotion can sometimes be so visceral that there is no time to go through this process rationally: you simply react immediately to the situation by running away, screaming, or similar. But your brain has almost certainly gone through the process subconsciously.

It is also important to recognise that certain thoughts lead to certain emotions.

Example Include:
I’ve lost somethingSadness
Someone has done something to harm meAnger
I’ve hurt somebodyShame
I feel threatened by somethingFear

The benefit of understanding that these thoughts lead to these particular emotions is that by identifying the emotion we feel, we can understand what our subconscious thought processes may be. This may not be obvious otherwise, and it will help us to take the right action to address the problem.

Thinking Traps

So-called ‘thinking traps’ are traps into which we can fall in our thinking, usually at the ‘B’ stage of the A-B-C model above. Thinking traps are effectively assumptions about ourselves or the situation, made without examining the evidence, and are usually unhelpful.

  • The signs that you are falling into one of the thinking traps include the use of phrases like ‘never’, ‘always’, and ‘I…they…’, for example:
  • “I just can’t do maths”
  • “I’ve never been able to do things like that”
  • “They’ve taken it away from me”

If you’re thinking that this language sounds very childish, you’re right. Take a look at our page on Transactional Analysis to understand more.

You need to be alert to falling into one or more of these thinking traps when you are developing your beliefs about a situation because it could prevent you from acting effectively: in other words, thinking traps can prevent you from acting with resilience.

Improving Resilience Through Thinking

Having considered the elements of resilience, and the process of responding to situations, it may now be helpful to talk about what we can do to help develop resilience.

There are quite a number of useful techniques here, including:

1. Gathering More Information

You want to engage the rational part of your brain in your decision-making about the situation. One of the best ways to do so is to actively gather more information on which to base your decision.

Example…… Suppose that you see a snake by the side of the path. Your immediate reaction might be fear:

A snake! It must be poisonous! I’d better run away!” [A-B-C]

But pause for a moment and gather more information. It might be dead. It might not be poisonous. It might be cold, and therefore only capable of moving very slowly.

There are all kinds of reasons why you might not need to run away. A crucial aspect of gathering more information is to think about alternative explanations for the situation.  Your brain, based on your experience and your belief system, will present you with what it considers to be the most obvious explanation.

But it may not be correct!

Thinking about alternatives, and then checking those against reality, perhaps by asking questions of others or looking something up, will help to ensure that you react appropriately to the situation.

2. Alternative Scenarios

We’re all prone to imagining the worst.

Your boss asks to speak to you, and you immediately imagine that you’re about to be fired. You get ready to defend your recent performance…

…but when you enter her office, it turns out that she wants you to know that she’s pregnant and you’re in line to take over her responsibilities while she’s on maternity leave, with a consequent pay rise.

Your child’s teacher asks for a quick word after school. You immediately assume that the child is in trouble …

…but no, they just fell and cut a knee at lunchtime. No harm done, but the school has to let you know.

Imagining the worst is also called catastrophizing, and it is surprisingly common.

There is a very easy way to deal with it, which involves generating alternative scenarios in your head:

  1. Imagine the worst – let your imagination run riot. What could have gone wrong? What might have happened?
  2. Now think about the best possible outcomes. How good could it get?
  3. Finally, think about the most likely outcomes – probably somewhere between the two. Make a plan for how you will respond to that.

These two strategies, gathering more information and looking for alternative scenarios, will help you to develop your resilience.

You will become more aware of what is going on around you, and inside your head (awareness). They will also help you to apply rational thinking to the situation, climbing out of any thinking traps into which you have fallen, and understanding and rationalising your emotional response to a situation.

Improving Resilience Through Reaching Out

No man is an island, entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…  John Donne (English Poet)

There is no shame in asking for help. We all need help now and again, and many of us function much better when we are working with others.

A good part of resilience is knowing when and how to ask others for help, reaching out to those with whom we have relationships to resolve the problems with support.

Improving Fitness and Health

The final element of resilience is physical and mental health.

No Obligation Addiction Assessment

Book a No Obligation Confidential Assessment at your nearest Treatment Centre Today.

Johannesburg Admissions: +27 74 895 1043
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Stories of Recovery

  • The encouragement, love and support from the team at Crossroads allowed me to eventually see that I was worth something - that my life could be turned around and that I could accomplish the things that had long been a forgotten dream.
    Oliver VG
    Read more
  • On the last day of my stint at Crossroads I could only express gratitude towards all who works there. A wise councillor once commented on my question when one is ready for rehab by explaining that when one is ready for rehab, rehab is ready for you.
    Johan B
    Read more
  • I was lost and my soul was broken until I ended up at Crossroads and was introduced to the Twelve Steps. With the help of their excellent staff and amazing support I have recently been clean for 18 months, I could not have done it without them!
    Carla S
    Read more
  • "Just for today I am more than three years in recovery. I have Cross Roads to thank for this wonderful gift. Cross Roads helped me to set a firm foundation in my recovery on which I can continue to build."
    Angelique J
    Read more
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Recovery and Resilience: Lessons from Long-Term Sober Individuals

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Home / Posts tagged "Recovery and Resilience"

Recovery and Resilience: Lessons from Long-Term Sober Individuals

10 November, 2023Articles, News

Recovery and Resilience: Building Resilience for Lasting Recovery

Recovery and resilience are powerful concepts that extend beyond their conventional definitions. When applied to the context of long-term sobriety, they become transformative forces that shape not only individual lives but entire communities. In this exploration, we delve into the personal stories of individuals who have navigated the challenging terrain of addiction, triumphing over adversity through sustained recovery. Drawing from both personal narratives and research insights, this article aims to shed light on the remarkable journey of those who have found strength and resilience at the Crossroads Recovery Centre.

Embrace Resilient Recovery with Crossroads

Crossroads Recovery Centre invites you to embark on a journey of resilience and lasting recovery. Our Johannesburg and Pretoria centres provide personalised and comprehensive support, empowering individuals to overcome challenges and thrive in sobriety.

Personal Stories of Triumph

The journey from addiction to long-term sobriety is a path laden with obstacles, but it is also one marked by courage, determination, and resilience. Many individuals share a common thread in their stories—the realisation that recovery is not just about abstaining from substances but about rebuilding one’s life from the ground up.

John, a former addict who found solace at Crossroads Recovery Centre, recalls his early days of recovery as a period of profound self-discovery. “I had to confront the root causes of my addiction,” he says. “It wasn’t just about giving up drugs; it was about understanding why I turned to them in the first place.” John’s story reflects the importance of addressing the underlying issues that contribute to addiction—a crucial step in building a foundation for lasting recovery.

Another individual, Sarah, emphasizes the role of support networks in her journey. “Recovery is not a solo mission,” she notes. “Having a community that understands and supports you makes all the difference.” Sarah’s experience highlights the significance of social connections in the recovery process. Whether through group therapy, 12-step programs, or supportive friends and family, a strong support network can be a lifeline for individuals navigating the challenges of sobriety.

Research Insights into Long-Term Sobriety

The stories of John and Sarah resonate with broader research insights into long-term sobriety. Studies consistently emphasise the multifaceted nature of recovery, acknowledging that it involves more than just abstaining from substances. Research indicates that successful, long-term recovery often involves a combination of behavioral changes, psychological healing, and the development of coping mechanisms to navigate life’s challenges.

One key factor that emerges from research is the importance of resilience. Resilience, in the context of addiction recovery, refers to the ability to bounce back from setbacks, learn from experiences, and adapt positively to change. Long-term sober individuals often display remarkable resilience in the face of life’s inevitable ups and downs.

The Crossroads Recovery Centre Approach

At Crossroads Recovery Centre, the emphasis on holistic recovery is evident. The centre adopts an integrated approach that recognizes the interconnectedness of physical, mental, and emotional well-being. By addressing the root causes of addiction and providing comprehensive support, Crossroads aims to guide individuals toward sustained recovery.

The centre’s programs often include a combination of individual counseling, group therapy, and educational sessions. This multifaceted approach aligns with research findings that highlight the importance of addressing various aspects of an individual’s life to promote lasting recovery.

Recovery as a Continuous Journey

Long-term sobriety is not a destination but a continuous journey of growth and self-discovery. As individuals progress in their recovery, they often find new meanings in life, develop a sense of purpose, and contribute positively to their communities.

Crossroads Recovery Centre recognises the ongoing nature of recovery and provides aftercare programs to support individuals as they transition back into their daily lives. This aftercare support is a crucial component of preventing relapse and fostering sustained resilience.

In the realm of addiction recovery, the stories of long-term sober individuals serve as beacons of hope and inspiration. Through personal narratives and research insights, it becomes clear that recovery is a dynamic process that requires resilience, self-reflection, and a supportive community.

Crossroads Recovery Centre stands as a testament to the transformative power of holistic recovery. By addressing the root causes of addiction and providing comprehensive support, the centre guides individuals toward a life of lasting sobriety. As we celebrate the triumphs of those who have walked the path from addiction to recovery, we are reminded that resilience is not just a quality possessed by a few but a strength that can be cultivated and shared. In the journey of recovery, individuals discover not only freedom from substance dependence but also the resilience to embrace life’s challenges with newfound strength and purpose.

No Obligation Addiction Assessment

Book a No Obligation Confidential Assessment at your nearest Treatment Centre Today.

Johannesburg Admissions: +27 74 895 1043
Pretoria Admissions: +27 82 653 3311
Close

Stories of Recovery

  • The encouragement, love and support from the team at Crossroads allowed me to eventually see that I was worth something - that my life could be turned around and that I could accomplish the things that had long been a forgotten dream.
    Oliver VG
    Read more
  • On the last day of my stint at Crossroads I could only express gratitude towards all who works there. A wise councillor once commented on my question when one is ready for rehab by explaining that when one is ready for rehab, rehab is ready for you.
    Johan B
    Read more
  • I was lost and my soul was broken until I ended up at Crossroads and was introduced to the Twelve Steps. With the help of their excellent staff and amazing support I have recently been clean for 18 months, I could not have done it without them!
    Carla S
    Read more
  • "Just for today I am more than three years in recovery. I have Cross Roads to thank for this wonderful gift. Cross Roads helped me to set a firm foundation in my recovery on which I can continue to build."
    Angelique J
    Read more
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Bestmed LogoBonitas LogoCAMAF LogoDiscovery Health LogoFedhealth LogoGovernment Employees Medical SchemeLiberty CorporateMedihelp Medical Scheme