Following on from my post about how resilience trumps willpower in recovery, I have been thinking about stress, and how it affects us in addiction and recovery.

When I stopped drinking, I realised how many of my problems through the last 20 years had been caused by alcohol, or my need for it, or both.

This realisation led me to think that life would be problem free in sobriety!

This didn’t last long, when I remembered that the reason I had turned to drinking in the first place, well, had turned to oblivion seeking, had been to escape from problems and hide from my emotions.

The yoga training that led me to sobriety had given me many tools to deal with my emotions in a far healthier way, but that didn’t and doesn’t mean that I am free of negative emotions.

I get scared just like everyone else

I get angry just like everyone else

I get stressed just like everyone else

But now, instead of letting those negative emotions overwhelm me, I am able to process them

Yoga has helped me to feel safe to do this, has given me the tools to do this, but sobriety gave me the space to do this.

I almost enjoy these negative emotions now, or at least, feel grateful for them, because they show me how much I have grown through yoga and sobriety.

They are the lessons I get when I need to remember just how far I have come in the last 2.5 years, and how much better my life is with yoga and sobriety in it.

Sobriety isn’t just about not turning to alcohol, it is about having the tools inside you so that turning to alcohol doesn’t even cross your mind.

We all have these tools, we just need help to find and learn to use them.

We can gain a lot of control over our emotions through the breath.

In this livestream video that I recorded last year, I share some breathing practices that can help with stress.  Good breathing is VERY good for moments of craving!

I hope this helps you.

Can I help you?

Learning to breathe well could be one of the most important things you do for yourself.  It is such a powerful ally in life and recovery.  Learning to breathe properly transformed my life, and I would like to help you transform yours.

Join me for a free 30 minute (or thereabouts) connection call and let’s talk about how learning to breathe and relax can help you in your recovery

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Esther Nagle
Teacher, writer, speaker at Balance and Breathe
Esther is a former alcoholic, smoker and all round stressed out mess. She found the path to health, happiness, freedom and joy through Yoga. She is a passionate advocate for the power of Yoga, and time in Nature, in bringing balance to life, and giving you control over your health, happiness and wellbeing.

Esther is a powerful public speaker, writer and author. Her first book, Bent Back into Shape, Beating Addiction Through Yoga, has gained many 5 star reviews and has helped many people along their recovery journey.