Stress can have a negative effect on recovery in the short and long term. It means different things to different people, which means stress may motivate some people where it may draw others’ energy down. Stress is the brain responding to any demand on the body. Sometimes stress is good but can be detrimental long term to overall physical and mental health. Learn why some people who deal with exercise addiction struggle with relapse and why it happens.

Feeling a Rush

The feeling of excitement, of an adrenaline rush that brings energy and motivation may be qualified as ‘good’ but so is bringing home a new baby, buying a home, or getting a promotion at work. All of these qualify as great things but come with a great deal of stress that negatively impacts health. People who are predisposed to mental health issues and addiction may be more sensitive to stress than the general population. People who struggle with anorexia, bulimia, or other types of eating disorders tend to experience greater anxiety than most people do regularly. This stress response is no different for people who like to run or exercise excessively to cope with life’s challenges.

Exercise Addiction and Relapse

Exercise is a way to relieve stress for so many people. From working long hours to dealing with family stress, there are challenges in everyone’s life that can be dealt with positively from exercising including yoga, running, bootcamp classes, and more. Before you know it, all the exercising can creep into daily life where you are doing it three times a day, six days a week, not eating balanced meals (if at all), and needing the next ‘fix’ of exercise before the first session is even done. For people who struggle with exercise addiction, eating disorders are also common. Relapse is a common issue whereby just ‘getting back into a bit of walking,’ can turn quickly into running, then timing yourself, then getting up everyday to run faster, harder, and longer than ever before. That feeling comes back, the rush and high of feeling everything else melt away, only to find it does not last. It is nearly impossible to manage life without exercising excessively and that is when you know relapse has happened.

It helps to seek support for exercise addiction, or any behavioral addictions, especially relapse. Making changes in your life is necessary to mitigate any unnecessary stress including at work, home, and in your personal life. There may be things you do not even realize are triggers. Therapy, friends, and a support network that care can help elevate you above the relapse and realize you can come back stronger than before and heal.

The Springboard Center’s addiction treatment programs are tailored to meet the needs of each client. We help you set realistic expectations and goals for rehab and recovery so you feel successful now and in the future. We cannot guarantee you will not relapse but we can provide tools that help you deal better with triggers and stressors. Call us to get started. 432-620-0255