Our emotions play a large part in our thoughts, attitude, and actions. When our emotions contribute to an addiction disorder, it is time to evaluate those feelings and strive for emotional intelligence in recovery.

Here are five ways you can gain emotional intelligence in recovery:

  1. Listen to others. Too often, we carry on in life, thinking that we hear what others are saying, but not really stopping to listen to them. When you are having a conversation with someone, especially someone you have had conflict with in the past, make sure you understand what they are trying to tell you. Don’t assume you already know. Stop talking and really listen.
  2. Resolve conflict. Along with listening comes the desire to resolve conflict. Instead of jumping into an argument, take a step back, analyze the situation, and work on a resolution. No one needs the drama that comes with conflict, and learning to deal with disagreements is an important life skill. You will find that the better you are at resolving conflict, the more stable your emotions will become.
  3. Recognize and deal with stress. Many people get into trouble with drugs or alcohol when they fail to deal with stress in a healthy manner. Worry, anxiety, and the emotional hijacking that comes as a result of stress can affect your mental and physical health. Part of developing emotional intelligence in recovery is learning healthy ways to manage stress. Exercising, eating nutritious meals, getting out into nature, and getting plenty of sleep are positive ways to manage stress.
  4. Practice mindfulness and meditation. Sometimes it is necessary to take a break from the conflict, stress, and craziness of life. Practicing meditation or prayer is a great way to decompress and focus on what is important. During this quiet time, your emotions are allowed to heal, and you will be much better equipped to recover from your addiction.
  5. Learn to laugh. Finally, take time to enjoy life. Don’t take yourself or your situation too seriously. Find time to kick back with friends, enjoy a good joke, and see the bright side of things. Laughter will improve your mood and put you in a better frame of mind for recovery.

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