Managing Emotions in Addiction Recovery

Addiction recovery can be a long, and sometimes tumultuous, journey. Emotions vary day-to-day and may seem hard to control at times. Breaking the psychological and physical dependence on drugs or alcohol is a great feat, and while there is no black and white handbook on how one should feel during the process, there are techniques to help manage the emotions and complicated feeling that may arise.

Try Not to Suppress Your Emotions

In order to break free from old habits and behaviors, there will be many significant life changes during your recovery journey. These changes can trigger a range of emotions, but it is important that you acknowledge these feelings in order to successfully move forward with a new lifestyle. Suppressing these emotions can later bubble up into more severe reactions, rather than facing them head on, and acknowledging that these may be temporary emotions related to a temporary moment in time.

Share Your Emotions

Though your recovery journey is a personal journey that may bring up sensitive emotions, it is not a journey you should go through alone. Talking about the different feelings that arise, as they arise, can help you better process your emotions in a productive way. Talking with a recovery peer, family, sponsor or clinical professional are all ways to not feel alone or burdened by your emotions.


Meditating can be one of the most calming and effective ways to manage your emotions while recovering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Through meditation, you are able to self-reflect and develop a healthy relationship with yourself and your emotions. Meditation also helps you focus on the present moment, rather than focusing on past or present circumstances.

Engage in Physical Activity

Physical activity while in recovery is a crucial step in staying both physically and mentally healthy. Exercise can relieve or reduce stress and anxiety through a surge in naturally occurring endorphins in the body also known as a “natural high”. It can also help reduce cravings, promote better sleep, improve circulation as well as boost self-esteem.

Write in a Recovery Journal

Keeping a journal during your recovery process is a healthy and proactive way to help manage your emotions. By charting your emotions and feelings you will be able to review the changes and the highs and lows and determine triggers. Managing your emotions is a gradual practice, and a journal can show you how you processed different experiences as well as where you have made progress.

Lake Ave Recovery is Here to Listen

At Lake Ave Recovery, we understand that your emotions play a significant role in your journey towards life-long recovery. Our masters and doctorate level clinical team will work with you, one-on-on as well as in groups, to help you feel emotionally sound while we guide you through the treatment process. To learn more about our treatment options, or to get help now, call us today at 508-794-4400