Emotional Intelligence in Recovery
Most people talk about the physical aspect of addiction, and obviously that’s a huge part of any recovery journey. People also frequently talk about the mental aspects of addiction recovery, things like cravings and PAWS and the educational tools to make it through these. But one thing that seems to get overlooked way too often in addiction programs is the emotional aspect of recovery. Therefore, emotional Intelligence in recovery is important, and could be at the root of the addiction issue to begin with.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence can be defined as the ability of the individual to ability to perceive, use, understand, manage, and handle emotions. People with high emotional intelligence can recognize their own emotions and those of others, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, and adjust emotions to adapt to environments
How Emotional Intelligence Impacts Addiction Recovery
So, how exactly does emotional intelligence factor into addiction and recovery? Let’s dive in and take a look at some research that has been conducted regarding these topics.
Reduced Relapse Rates
Studies have suggested that individuals with higher emotional intelligence (EI) skills tend to have lower rates of relapse in addiction recovery. The Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found that individuals with greater emotional regulation skills were less likely to relapse after completing treatment programs.
Enhanced Coping Strategies
Emotional intelligence equips individuals with effective coping strategies to deal with stress, anxiety, and negative emotions without resorting to substances. Research published in the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence indicated that individuals with higher emotional intelligence were more likely to use adaptive coping strategies, leading to improved recovery outcomes.
Improved Treatment Engagement
Emotional intelligence can positively impact engagement in addiction treatment programs. A study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment suggested that individuals with higher levels of emotional intelligence were more likely to engage actively in therapy and adhere to treatment recommendations.
Emotion Regulation Skills and Craving Management
Emotional intelligence contributes to better emotion regulation and management of cravings. Research in the Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy highlighted that individuals with higher EI were better at managing cravings and negative emotions. Ultimately, these outcomes lead to decreased substance use.
Increased Interpersonal Skills and Social Support
Emotional intelligence enhances interpersonal skills, communication, and the ability to form and maintain healthy relationships. This can lead to improved social support during recovery, which is associated with better outcomes. A study in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs suggested that emotional intelligence contributes to building a stronger support network. Often, these stronger support networks encourage increased feelings of connectedness.
Resilience and Relapse Prevention
Emotional intelligence aids in developing resilience, which is essential for preventing relapse. A study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found that higher emotional intelligence was associated with greater resilience and a reduced risk of relapse.
Emotional intelligence fosters self-awareness, allowing individuals to recognize triggers, emotions, and underlying issues related to addiction. This self-awareness is a crucial component of relapse prevention and sustainable recovery.
Overall, emotional intelligence plays a crucial role in the success and impact of addiction recovery and treatment. At Centered Recovery Programs in Roswell, we understand that being mindful and increasing self-awareness can help improve your recovery journey. So, to learn more about how we incorporate these strategies into your treatment, call us today at 800.556.2966!
Written by Krista Smith