Let’s review Forsyth and Eifert’s work on reducing anxiety and stress while in the recovery process. Following these four simple steps can help when detoxing or preventing relapse:
1. The Observing Self: The individual attempts to extricate himself/herself from irrational, unfair, dishonest and distorted thinking.
2. Thoughts: The individual examines his/her current thoughts to examine if they are positive, negative, helpful or detrimental to staying sober.
3. Actions: The individual observes his/her current thoughts – staying in the moment – to ensure making a positive, safe choice as though “pausing to think” before relapsing.
4. Feels: The individual strategically examines his/her physical sensations, stress level, breathing patterns and cravings at the present moment.
The goal of this exercise is to ensure positive, rational decision-making. The individual is urged to remain mindful while practicing these helpful steps. Asking for help from a therapist or counselor is highly encouraged.