Navigating Your Comfort Zone in Recovery

comfort zone

Your instinct usually tries to steer you toward the things that it is familiar with. After all, who would want to venture out to something new that has the possibility of negative consequences? Following your comfort zone’s lead is a good way to play it safe. There will be times in your recovery, however, that playing it safe will hold you back. Part of your time in drug or alcohol treatment should be geared toward nudging you outside of your comfort zone while in a safe, structured environment. Casa Palmera is here to help you navigate your comfort zone and give you the confidence you need to be successful in your recovery. 

Progress Comes from Discomfort

When you have abused substances for a long time, it’s become a habit and something you have grown comfortable with. Although you know this so-called comfort isn’t right and you may be thinking about getting help for your addiction, it can be scary and uncomfortable to face things from confronting you have a problem in the first place to withdrawal symptoms. Here’s the thing: if you allow your fear of the unknown to keep you from stepping out of your comfort zone, you’re never going to achieve meaningful progress. 

Progress Is Not Perfection

Many people think that progress can only be made if you take all the “right” steps and do everything perfectly. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. No one who has walked the path of getting sober and entering recovery did so without mistakes. There will be times where you make a decision that turns out to be a mistake. Although it may feel wrong in the moment, that mistake is a chance for growth. Progress doesn’t come from perfection, so don’t let your fear of being uncomfortable keep you from taking an important chance that can help you flourish.

Use Discomfort as a Tool

It’s not uncommon to slip into cruise control and automatically complete routines that have become comfortable and safe for us. When you’re learning how to best function as a newly sober person, your discomfort will be your companion. Instead of fighting the feelings of discomfort, use it as a tool to guide you down the right path. If you notice that you’re going through the motions on autopilot, you probably aren’t as present and focused as you should be. Allow yourself to be mindful of the situation you’re in. Notice the little things that are often overlooked. Lean into the decision that will help you further your recovery. If you’re not sure what this decision should be, it’s probably the one that comes along with a little discomfort.

For example, cognitive distortions are common ways that your brain tries to trick you into believing things that aren’t true. Many, if not all, people in recovery deal with cognitive distortions. If part of your recovery is noticing when you’re catastrophizing a situation, you’re going to want to pay close attention to your thoughts so that you can reframe the negative into a rational, healthy thought. Often, it can be hard to pause when you recognize a cognitive distortion and acknowledge it, then reframe it in a way that is truthful. Notice the absence of discomfort and assess where you’re at. Then, lean into the discomfort that is trying to keep you from making the healthy change. Decide that you will make the right choice, despite being uncomfortable. This seemingly small change, when repeated, can help create new, healthy habits that further your recovery.


You may be fearful of what can happen when you stop using substances that have become such a large part of your life. We also know that we have helped many people get sober who were once in the same place you are right now. We have the tools and knowledge to help you discontinue using substances in a safe and healthy manner. We urge you to put your trust in us. Casa Palmera wants to help you take that first step out of your comfort zone and reach toward your recovery. There is a better, healthier and safer life out there for you that is rooted in sobriety. Call our staff today at (855) 508-0473.


This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for medical advice. We understand that everyone’s situation is unique, and this content is to provide an overall understanding of substance use disorders. These disorders are very complex, and this post does not take into account the unique circumstances for every individual. For specific questions about your health needs or that of a loved one, seek the help of a healthcare professional.