Micah Raskin On Coping Strategies for Addiction
NASSAU COUNTY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES , January 12, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — While there are certainly different medications and physical treatments for different addictions, the coping mechanisms and psychological work that needs to be done are strikingly similar no matter what type of addiction you’re struggling with. This is because all addiction stems from the same malfunctions in the pleasure center of the brain. Some people are more genetically predisposed to addictions while others stumble into addiction through environmental and emotional triggers.
Whether you struggle with a drug or alcohol addiction, gambling addiction, or other behavioral addiction, Micah Raskin assures us that these coping strategies can help. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list. If you are struggling with addiction, or you’re afraid you might have an addiction, contact a mental health professional in your area. You never have to struggle alone.
You Should Take a Multi-Faceted Approach Says, Micah Raskin
It can be intimidating to look at a list of so many coping strategies, but instead of allowing yourself to be overwhelmed, try framing it in a different light — this should be liberating! There are so many techniques that you can employ to take back power over your life and increase your own health and happiness.
You certainly don’t have to use all of these techniques, says Micah Raskin, but you should certainly try as many of them as possible to help you figure out what works best for your personality, level of health, and overall situation. Recovery isn’t one straight path. Often, recovery has multiple paths, side trails, and it twists and turns as your life evolves. Having multiple tools in your toolbelt will help to ensure that no matter your situation, you will be able to keep control of the new life you’re building for yourself.
You cannot always anticipate what life will throw at you — a death in the family, a job loss, a big move, a new relationship, the birth of a child, a divorce. Having multiple strategies at the ready to deal with stress and overwhelm can really help keep you on an even keel — no matter the situation.
Build a Social Network for Support Advises Micah Raskin
“When you struggle with addiction, you are so much more likely to withdraw from the healthy and engaging relationships you do have,” says Micah Raskin. “It’s almost instinctive to turn to individuals who share the same self-destructive habits and patterns of behaviors.”
The reason for this is simple psychology. Firstly, we crave the acceptance of our peers. When our friends and family who love us see us hurting ourselves and others with our addictions, it’s natural for them to speak out. This can feel like rejection. We tell ourselves this means they don’t understand us or love us. While nothing could be further from the truth, it’s a very normal phenomenon.
Secondly, we are built to seek pleasure and reject pain. When you are struggling with addiction, hanging out with “normies” often reminds you of exactly how far outside the lines you’re living. It’s uncomfortable because it makes us compare ourselves to healthier people and this engenders shame.
Shame is a powerful emotion that we evolved to tell us when we’re doing something wrong or outside of social norms. But shame can also be destructive, and often an addict’s mind uses shame to excuse falling further into self-destructive behavior. “I’m a terrible person, so it doesn’t matter if I keep using drugs,” “I’m so useless, I’ll never be able to quit,” “I’ve done terrible things that these people would never do, I’ll never fit in with them again.”
It’s important to fight this urge and build meaningful and supportive relationships to help bolster your sense of belonging and community. When you’re in recovery, having a support net to fall back on is one of the key indicators of how successful your recovery will be. Reach out to those in your AA (or similar) group, join online forums, ask your coworkers for coffee. The more personal connections you have to your new life the better says Micah Raskin.
Just remember that as tempting as it may be, it’s not wise to keep connections with those who are still involved in your addiction. It’s so easy to get carried away by the social reinforcement and fall back on old habits.
Spiritual Practices and Mindfulness Can Help Tremendously Says Micah Raskin
The practice of a religion or spirituality, in general, has been shown by many studies to benefit those struggling with addiction or who are in recovery. Spirituality is a great source of hope, empowerment, inspiration, and accountability. Another huge benefit of pursuing spirituality is the built-in community that often comes with it. Whether you’re interested in a traditional church, Wiccan practices, Buddhism, or New Age spiritualism, you’re likely to find other practitioners who want to help you in your journey and who will welcome you to the community.
Mindfulness is another form of spirituality that is gaining increasing support from psychologists and physicians alike when it comes to addiction treatment and recovery recommendations. Mindfulness is a broad concept, but for the sake of this article, we’ll condense it to its simplest definition. Mindfulness is a meditation practice focused on the awareness of your own thought and feelings at any given moment without any judgment or interpretation.
Essentially, you focus on your breathing and examine the thoughts and feelings that cross your mind. You objectively notice them, accept them, and then let them go. Those who struggle with addiction often find their thoughts stuck heavily in the past or worry excessively about the future. Mindfulness is a great way to deal with things as they come and appreciate the joys of the now.
Mindfulness has also been shown to greatly reduce stress, which is the number one reason that people tend to relapse.
Avoid High-Risk Behaviors Advises Micah Raskin
One of the most successful techniques for avoiding relapse is to recognize the behaviors and triggers that facilitate your addiction and then avoid them. In recovery, there is a very handy acronym called HALT, says Micah Raskin. HALT stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired.
These are the most common mindsets that can lead to substance abuse. All of these are situations that can aggravate your system and drive you to relapse. When we are angry, sad, lonely, or feel physically unwell (tired and hungry), it alters our state of mind and makes us crave comfort. Recognizing that your impulse to indulge in addiction comes from a specific set of circumstances can help you step back from it. Take the shame out of the equation and recognize that your body or your mind needs care. You don’t need a drink, you need a peanut butter sandwich!
Micah Raskin is a Queens and Nassau County, NY native who believes in giving back to his community. His career as a professional poker player led to financial success that allowed him to pursue his true passion — philanthropy. He donates time and money to after school programs, hospitals, and addiction recovery programs because he believes that bettering his community means bettering the future.
When he’s relaxing, Micah Raskin is a tennis player, a gardener, a ping pong player, and a musician. He’s the lead singer in a rock band called “Backseat Betty,” and offers voice lessons to anyone who is interested in learning.
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