When the World’s Anxiety Triggers Your Own

a concrete bunker in a field

When the World’s Anxiety Triggers Your Own


You don’t need too many speed bumps in life to put your coping skills into overdrive. There are tension and uncertainty from the recent government shutdown. It affected a lot of people directly, in lost wages, lost aid, missed opportunities and that great unknown dread about where we go from here. Add a few other problems—job uncertainty, hearing about sudden death, a broken down car, a month with some bad memories linked to it. Your anxiety level can go from zero to 60 in no time at all and leave your coping skills back there trying to breathe deeply. Do you worry about relapse? Do you even have time to worry about relapse? Take care of yourself first. Figure out the basics for you in recovery. What’s vital to keep you going?

3 tips to keep anxiety under control:

  1. Remember your lifelines. Your sponsor, your meetings, your therapist, your friends. You have a network, whether you realize it or not. Use them. Go to them. Maybe one of them is doing worse than you are. You’re not the only one feeling things. The best way to realize it’s not ‘just me’ is to connect with other people.
  2. Know your triggers. List them if you have to. It can be as simple as going one place or knowing that if you always do A, you will end up doing B. That’s bad if B is drinking or drugs. Writing it down or saying it out loud makes it real and will make you aware of it.
  3. Find a nice thing to do. There’s a tendency to want to hunker down, draw in and ignore the world. That may work from time to time. But remember, we don’t live in isolation. Do one thing for someone else. A tiny gesture or favor. Give someone a ride; pick them up something at the store. It may mean nothing to you but it may make someone else’s day.

If you or someone you love needs help with drug or alcohol addiction, Stepping Stone Center for Recovery can help. Talk to our admission counselors at 866-957-4960 any time for help now.