Addictions can take hold of people in a number of different ways. The addiction may be to drugs, alcohol, food, sex, gambling, the Internet or love; but, whichever it is, to boost the chances of recovery a person needs to adopt healthier lifestyle habits.
There are a range of healthy habits that can prove invaluable when going through addiction recovery.
Exercise is good for both physical and mental health. It can also be helpful when trying to overcome an addiction because of its many benefits, including:
- Setting and meeting goals, improving self-confidence and succeeding in other areas of life
- Clearing the head and making problems feel more manageable
- A calmer and more relaxed feeling throughout the body because regular aerobic exercise causes the electricity level in tensed muscles to decrease
- Providing a distraction from depressing thoughts or feelings
- Reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety as effectively as medications
- Reducing cravings and building resistance to triggers as exercise releases serotonin and dopamine, the same chemicals released into the brain when taking drugs
- Providing a positive structure, through an exercise routine, thereby replacing the harmful habits that consume an addict’s life
- Undoing the damage caused by drugs or alcohol with improved all-round physical fitness
- Providing something positive to focus on and work towards like fitness goals aids relapse prevention.
Your social circle
A person’s social circle may well need altering when recovering from an addiction, particularly drugs or alcohol. It’s easy to concede to temptation when encouraged by former associations for whom substance abuse is still an issue. There are most likely places a person will need to avoid too.
Associating with people who will be a positive influence can enhance the chance of a successful recovery. Close friends and family is ideal, but other people who have overcome an addiction can also be helpful. Building up a network of people with similar experiences acts as a reminder that there is support available and offers hope. This support network can help stave of feelings of temptation, and means there are people who will be available to talk to when having a bad day.
Addiction is rarely without cause and is often the result of a traumatic life experience a person has struggled to come to terms with. This may be the loss of a loved one, mental health issues, having a parent who suffered addiction, abuse as a child, divorce, or loss of job.
These deeper rooted problems are why therapy is crucial to addiction recovery. Recovery becomes more likely when a person can come to understand the underlying cause of their addiction and what its triggers are.
Have something to focus on
There are a number of ways in which a person can redirect their focus, including:
- Start an exercise regime
- A new hobby
- Sign up to a course
- Focus on work
- Help others who are going through recovery
- Meditate - it can take a while to adjust to meditation but it can be a great way to focus the mind and stay positive
- Self-help - as well as attending regular therapy sessions, a person could try self-development in their own time. Self-help books can help to improve motivation, build confidence and re-train the brain to think more positively.
Build your relationships
Many addicts find their relationships with friends and family can deteriorate or break down entirely. This can happen for various reasons, but recovery offers the opportunity to rebuild them.
Having the support of loved ones is an important part of recovery. It will take time to build bridges and some people may be more reluctant to reconnect than others but, with time and dedication, it is possible and these people can act as a positive influence on a person’s new life.
If you think that you or someone you know could be suffering with an addiction of any kind, please feel free to contact us in the strictest of confidence and we will be more than happy to help.