How to Cope with Anxiety

How to Cope with Anxiety
Recovery March 11, 2020
Author: Ilana Jael

Anxiety is a natural body reaction to stress, danger, or the unknown.1 We may feel anxiety as a sense of dread, a tightness in the stomach, an increased heart rate, and shortness of breath. The body goes through a series of changes in preparation for a possible need to run or defend ourselves.

While this is a healthy reaction to danger, in modern society many of us live in a state of chronic life stress, and our base state becomes one of constant anxiety. Many people look for relief from drugs or alcohol, and they may, in turn, find help through addiction treatment and sober living programs.

Let’s talk about anxiety in daily life, its impacts on physical and mental health, and how to cope with these feelings in healthier ways.

How Does Anxiety Affect the Body?

Feelings of anxiety cause the release of stress hormones into the bloodstream. The effects of chronic high levels of substances like adrenaline and cortisol have these effects on the body:1

Is Anxiety Associated with Addiction?

Research shows that approximately 18% of Americans have an anxiety disorder.2 Those who do suffer from chronic anxiety disorders have been found to be 2-3 times more likely to develop a substance use disorder.3

In turn, addiction and drug use are associated with panic attacks and general anxiety disorder. In fact, there is an identified mental health disorder known as substance-induced anxiety disorder, which is most frequently caused by alcohol, PCP, hallucinogens, stimulants, and inhalants.4

Healthy Ways to Lower Stress Levels and Manage Your Anxiety

happy woman deep breath

There are many steps you can take to cope with anxiety naturally and help your body return to a more relaxed state. Anxiety is a whole-body condition, with a physical, mental, and emotional component. These tips for self-care can help:

Living in a Safe and Supportive Environment

Those who struggle to maintain a safe and supportive place to live while they deal with anxiety and addiction may need to find a sober living facility that offers both addiction treatment and treatment for co-occurring anxiety disorders. RECO Institute in Delray Beach, FL provides this solid foundation for you or your loved one. Contact us today to find the home base you need to tackle these challenges and recover from anxiety and addiction.


  4. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association Publishing
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