Addiction recovery is about more than just putting the substances down – it requires a complete change in behavior. Addiction affects the mind, body, and soul of those who suffer from it.
In turn, healing from addiction means treating the mind, body, and soul as one unit. Without incorporating healthy habits into a sober lifestyle, it can be easy to fall back into self-destructive behaviors. Here are 5 healthy habits than can support addiction recovery.
Meditation is a safe, relaxing practice that enhances the mind-body connection by promoting serenity of the mind and relaxation of the body. For many years it has been shown to help improve mental and physical health. Mindful meditation is particularly beneficial in recovery because it focuses on gaining awareness of feelings, thoughts, surroundings, and physical sensations within the body. Having this awareness allows individuals to accept their feelings as they come without judgment.
When cravings arise in sobriety, being able to meditate can help those in recovery cope with their cravings and allow them to pass. Once they identify this craving as nothing more than a passing thought, their energy can be refocused into positive thoughts. This practice can also aid in reducing anxiety and treating symptoms of depression which are common among people who suffer from substance use disorders.
Outdoor activities like hiking can help people in recovery improve their self-esteem and foster self-awareness. Hiking involves spending time outdoors doing physical activity, often in a tranquil setting. The combination of fresh air, exercise, sunlight, and peaceful surroundings can elevate one’s mood and create feelings of serenity.
Taking the time to go on a hike can act as a retreat from the business of everyday life. This time spent in nature gives individuals an opportunity to reflect on their recovery without distractions. They can contemplate their personal habits, develop new motivations and goals, and gain mental clarity. Upon returning home after hiking, many will feel refreshed and be in a better mood than usual. Having this positivity in recovery can play an important role in maintaining a bright outlook on life and supporting mental health.
#3. Support groups
Having a strong support system is a crucial relapse prevention tool to have in sobriety. By having a group of sober friends to rely on can play a key role in whether or not a person stays sober. After all, isolation is a common indicator that relapse is soon to occur.
A support group can consist of sober friends, mentors, family members, or peers in a group therapy setting. Having a support group will allow individuals to have others to talk to about their thoughts and feelings, both when struggling or when something good is accomplished. Trying to deal with unpleasant emotions on one’s own can be detrimental to mental and emotional health. Instead, being able to confide in others is a healthy coping mechanism that can support recovery.
#4. Healthy eating
While in addiction, many people neglect their physical health and suffer from malnutrition. Whether substances were more important than eating healthy or an individual ate little to nothing, nutrient intake is usually lacking in people when first getting sober. In addition, eating a diet that is rich in sugars and carbs can negatively impact emotional and mental health. However, eating healthy in recovery can help replenish the body of the nutrients it is lacking and help stabilize moods.
Eating too much of the wrong foods can leave people anxious, irritable, or tired. On the other hand, eating a healthy, nutritious diet can increase energy levels, improve moods, and allow a person to feel better overall. Healthy eating in recovery is simple. To improve overall wellbeing, a person can limit their consumption of processed and sugary foods and boost their intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole-grain carbohydrates.
Yoga is a complementary therapy that greatly benefits addiction recovery. It is increasingly being used in addiction treatment programs to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms, prevent cravings, and provide a constructive outlet to cope with emotions and stressors that can lead to relapse.
Yoga can be used to reduce stress and treat anxiety. Early recovery can be stressful, between leaving treatment and navigating a new life in sobriety, so it is crucial to have healthy ways to cope with feelings of stress and anxiety. In addition, yoga can help create balance within the brain and body that are often negatively impacted by substance abuse. It can help individuals learn to regulate their breathing, gain control over their feelings and actions, and promote spiritual and physical awareness. With a clear head and less irritability, yoga can allow individuals to really focus on their recovery process while strengthening the mind, body, and soul.
Incorporating healthy habits into a sober lifestyle can not only improve the chances of attaining lasting sobriety, but it can improve the overall wellbeing of an individual. Without healthy coping mechanisms and habits, it can be tempting to fall back into old behaviors and thought patterns. However, practicing these five healthy habits can provide immense benefits to people in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.
Author : Cassidy Webb is an avid writer who advocates spreading awareness on the disease of addiction. Her passion in life is to help others by sharing her experience, strength, and hope.