Today I’m going to talk about the five tips to reduce anxiety in early sobriety.
I know how hard it is, I’ve been there. It was a roller coaster of ups and downs, white knuckling it, avoiding people and just freaking out because all of your emotions are going to come back if you’re not drinking anymore.
Reduce Anxiety in Early Sobriety
So I have five tips to really help you reduce your anxiety your first month or two or three of sobriety. So the first one is:
Number five: you have to change your diet
You got to stay away from that fast food, lot of sugary foods, because basically what you eat is going to affect how you think and if you’re spiking your blood sugar with tons of sugary treats and things, then you’re going to crash and you’re going to be irritable, and it’s just not a good thing.
So definitely look into higher quality foods, don’t go to fast food, stay away from candy bars, you can always switch to stevia, which is a sugar substitute, it’s good for you, it’s registered as a fiber in your body, so you won’t crash from stevia so look into stevia treats.
There’s also a pop called Zevia, which is sweetened with stevia instead of sugar, and that tastes really good. They have Coca Cola type drinks, they have ginger ale, etc so definitely change your diet because that will affect your mood, for sure.
Number four, cut out coffee and cigarettes
When I used to get an AA, those guys were just hitting the coffee like there was no tomorrow and they were chain smoking out in the hallway, and it just doesn’t help sobriety.
I know I’ve said in other videos that I smoked cigarettes the first two years of my sobriety. But it was basically just after work. I only had like five cigarettes a day and eventually I cut cigarettes as well, and I changed my diet.
But if you want to improve your life right now, the faster you can cut out those things the better because I know for a fact that coffee just tweaks me out and makes me irritable. It keeps my adrenaline on high alert, and it just does not help sobriety at all.
So just cut out all the coffee and cigarettes and any other drugs you’re on, try to wean off of your medications, but we’ll get into that. You don’t want to do that until you change your diet and you start losing weight and getting your body back into a stable condition.
Number three: change all media
When I got sober my music interest changed. I wasn’t listening to heavy metal anymore or hard rock or gangsta rap or anything. I switched to really mellow like trance music, electronica, and easy jazz stuff like that because I wanted to keep my attitude elevated and music is vibrational and we are definitely affected by the vibrations around us.
The hard rock and heavy metal that I listened to was very low vibration, and I wanted everything in my life to be elevated, because it will make a big difference in your life and that will reduce stress levels and make sobriety a lot easier.
So definitely change your media change and what you’re watching on TV. If what you’re watching is just the news or violence, definitely get rid of that stuff because the news is very depressing it could bring you down.
It could bring you down to the point where you’re like, Screw it, you know the world is falling apart, I might as well just go back out and drink because there is nothing good in this world.
So definitely turn off the news that will make a big difference, change your music. Stay away from horror movies and dramas, you know, I don’t even like TV. I don’t like watching something that’s made up from someone else. Why watch something that is made up?
I like documentaries, and you can find plenty of documentaries on YouTube. You don’t even need your cable or your dish or your DIRECTV. You could save a lot of money just watching YouTube videos.
When I got sober, I started looking into how to do things to improve my life with YouTube videos like, you know, fasting and dieting and HIIT training and the gospel and finding God and raising my vibration.
There’s a sea of information on YouTube, it’s free, unless you want to take out the commercials on YouTube, it’s like $10 a month to get the premium YouTube, so check that out.
Number two: you’re going to have to change all people places and things that remind you of drinking or trigger you
So when I got sober, I dropped all the friends and I hid at home until I moved away two years later, because everywhere in my small town, where I was a drunk, reminded me of drinking.
So I couldn’t go to stores, I couldn’t see the old friends, all of that has to change, you have to treat this like it’s life or death because it is.
If you go out and drink again, you could easily die, or you could wind up in jail. So there’s no other way about it. Because if you’re an alcoholic, it just gets worse over time, you’re not going to outgrow your alcoholism, you’re not going to just switch to wine and everything is going to be fine.
It doesn’t work that way. The disease is progressive, it will grow, whether you drink or not or switch methods of drinking or whatever. It says in AA that you have to change all people, places and things. So, you’re going to have to uproot, you’re going to have to change your whole life becoming sober.
On a positive note, everything will get better. Your friends will get better, the quality of people in your life will get better.
Things will improve in your life, finances will improve, you’ll start to just tackle everything; your coping mechanisms will improve and your stress levels will go down.
Your life will get better every single day that you’re sober. So hang in there, I know it’s a roller coaster.
Number one: you have to find a higher power
We can’t do this on our own. Our will and our life created this mess in the first place and we have to take accountability for that.
No one else forced us to drink; no one else forced us to drink and drive; no one else forced us to get in a fight outside of a bar. We created the situations.
My life dramatically improved once I stopped drinking, but when I was drinking I was getting arrested, I was breaking up with girlfriends and I was getting fired from jobs.
I was wrecking my cars. I was destroying my heart. I had a heart attack when I was 32, all of those things were alcohol related, you know, and once I got sober all of those things went away, it really is a miracle.
When we’re deep in our addictions, we don’t think that way. We think that it’s everyone else’s fault, but ours. So we have to come to realize that we had no control over our life, our life had become unmanageable.
And so we turn our will and our life over to the care of God as we understand him or her. If you don’t believe in God, that’s fine, but you have to look up to something outside of yourself.
Okay, I found God. The Holy Spirit hit me like a Mack truck and I cried for five hours straight and it was a beautiful purging of all of my past, my regrets, my anger and my frustration, all went away with the Holy Spirit, and it washed my whole body clean.
I wasn’t guilty anymore, I wasn’t condemned, I didn’t have guilt and shame from my past – that was all forgiven. And it made me feel like I was truly alive again. So it’s something worth looking into. It will keep you sober, and it will definitely help your early sobriety. So thank you for watching, hit that subscribe button if you’re new here, and we’ll talk to you soon.
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Erik C Johnson