As a working professional, stress is likely common for you. However, if you are struggling with addiction or are recently returning to work after treatment, you may need to improve your stress management skills. During treatment and afterward, one major way to find support for stress management is by attending 12-Step peer support groups. Additionally, 12-Step groups provide a place of care and support where you can talk through challenges you are experiencing and gain new perspectives on how to better manage them while staying sober.
12-Step Peer Support
Recovering from addiction requires support both in treatment and afterward. 12-Step peer support groups are one available option that can help you to work through issues, learn new skills, and get the support you need to succeed in making significant changes in your life. As a peer support group, the 12-Step program is based on twelve traditions and was created as a way for you to move through the entire recovery journey with structure and support.
The Twelve Steps are:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
While 12-Step peer support groups are common in recovery, they can also be incorporated into treatment. During treatment, this might include 12-Step groups at the facility that are monitored by a staff member. These 12-Step groups can help people work through issues while improving communication with others in the group. While these differ from other peer support groups, they build a foundation for peer support that can continue after treatment.
Additionally, after treatment, 12-Step support groups also offer people a way to continue to get support from peers. These meetings are prevalent in most cities. There are many to choose from that are specific to certain types of addictions or more generalized. Pacific Sands Recovery Center helps alumni find the support they need in their community, which can include these peer support groups.
How 12-Step Peer Support Helps With Managing Stress
Peer support is the process of giving and receiving non-professional assistance and support. This has been shown to help you decrease your risk of relapse and is an important part of addiction recovery.
The construct of the 12-Step program, which is based on a group belief in a higher power, assumes that its participants have a similar belief system. However, the discussions in a peer support meeting will vary and are led by participants sharing with others in the group. As a result, 12-Step peer support groups can help you to manage work stress in many ways. This can include improving your communication skills and providing a way for you to talk through and get support for the challenges you are experiencing.
Improved Communication Skills
12-Step peer support groups include a lot of listening and sharing. These are key communication skills. In your life as a working professional, you likely have many opportunities to work on communication skills. However, peer support provides a unique structure.
In a peer support group, there are specific ways in which the group is managed. While you are encouraged to share, you are not permitted to interrupt others while they are sharing. This structure will help you to both listen and encourage you to share when it is your turn. Therefore, by attending a 12-Step peer support meeting you are practicing important communication skills.
At work, this ability can have a big impact on stress levels. As you get more comfortable listening and sharing, you will improve your ability to draw effective boundaries. Additionally, you are more likely to state when you need while listening to what others need during a project. Overall, the better your communication, the less likely you are to experience stress due to poor communication at work.
While you may be surrounded by people throughout your work day, peers at a meeting are different. Those who attend 12-Step peer support meetings also struggle with addiction. Therefore, they have a firm understanding of the struggles you are experiencing. As a result, when you share your challenges at a meeting you are more likely to feel understood and get the type of support you need.
Getting support while you work through stressful times at work is important. Community is a healthy way to cope with stress. It allows you to express your feelings, get others’ perspectives, and receive comfort from others. This helps you to buffer the stress you are experiencing.
Struggling with stress and feeling like there isn’t a way out is difficult. However, there are ways to improve your stress management skills. 12-Step Peers support groups can help you manage stress in your personal and professional life. They give you a place to improve your communication skills and get support from others who can truly empathize with your situation. At Pacific Sands Recovery Center, we help clients learn the necessary skills to participate with peers when they leave treatment. This is because we believe that peer support can make a big impact on your sobriety and stress management long term. To learn more about our programs and how we can help you, call us today at (714) 492-1119.