4 Tips for Thriving After Addiction

Recovery isn’t the end of the road when overcoming addiction.  In many ways it’s just the beginning.  Addiction is something you will carry with you forever.  That may sound difficult and even ominous, but in reality, that knowledge has the capacity to give you the strength needed one day at a time.  And remember, the further you are along the path to recovery, the lighter that burden will feel.

Thriving after addiction means reclaiming or changing your life completely.  Changing daily patterns and moving away from individuals that are still trapped in the cycle of addiction.   Getting back on track with the passions and goals you had prior to addiction – or maybe, focusing on new ones you’ve identified since recovery.  Whether you are working toward new goals or reigniting old interests, here are four tips to help you get your life back after addiction.

 Tip #1: Heal Your Thoughts

Working on successful recovery means being open to peeling back the layers of the underlying cause of your addiction.  This is a very emotionally challenging time; having support is vital, counselling and/or a 12-step program can be a wonderful source of support.  You’re dealing with your addiction, the damage it has caused in your life, suppressed traumas, undiagnosed depression and/or anxiety and this is an uncomfortable part of the recovery process.  However, when you have meditation in your toolbox, you are not only helping your body, but you are also healing your mind.  Meditation can help ease the physical symptoms of withdrawal, while also encouraging us to dig deep into our inner world to transform our outer lives.

Apply it: Create a meditation space in your home that is calming and relaxing.  Try a room or a corner that is isolated from the daily flow of your house, preferably with an outside view.

Tip #2: Eat to Revive

Addiction takes a heavy toll on the body . After years of nutritional and self-neglect the body is left weak, often dehydrated and lacking the nutritional balance needed for healthy living.  In recovery however, focusing on healthy eating serves two important roles.  First, it replenishes and nourishes the body with much needed vitamins and minerals. Eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats and a quality supplement is vital to thrive.  Second, it can serve as a positive distraction when you find yourself overwhelmed with the desire to use!  Eating healthy and filling the body with quality nurturance is the greatest act of self-care, a gift that keeps on giving.

Apply it: Planning healthy meals, experimenting with new recipes, learning about foods that aid in healing, and even journaling about eating habits can help you stay clean or sober by providing a positive distraction and a healthy way to manage times that are particularly challenging.  You will have times when relapse plagues your mind, finding healthy distractions is vital.

Tip #3: Work It Out

Finding physical activities that you enjoy will provide obvious physical benefits. However, a regular workout routine can also make you feel happier and boost your energy levels!  Exercise has countless advantages for a person in recovery.  Exercising increases dopamine levels. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that is produced in the brain when we experience pleasure.  The same dopamine is produced when we engage in addictive behavior.  When it comes to the brain, exercise will improve memory by generating new brain cells.  This helps to reverse some of the negative effects of long-term memory issues, such as Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome.  Exercise can also help balance emotions— working out boosts endorphins.  This can help reprogram brain chemistry that may have been damaged during addiction.  And of course exercise can help strengthen muscles and bones and burn fat, all of which can help your body stay strong to battle difficult withdrawal symptoms and other physical challenges.

Apply It: Working out for 60 minutes at a moderate level three or four days a week is key to a healthy life, says the Center for Disease Control.  Join a gym where you can work out on your own or take classes to exercise with a group.  Go for a bike ride or swim at a local pool or in the ocean.  In some cases, your health insurance may cover the cost of a gym membership.  If not, there are plenty of free ways to exercise— run, bike, download apps or use workout videos on YouTube.

Tip #4: Chiropractic

Research has shown that when our bodies are misaligned, proper neurotransmitters are interrupted.

When we address this misalignment and the nerves are unhindered, neurotransmitters work correctly creating a calmer attitude which will aid to overcome cravings and support recovery.

Alternatively, when we are misaligned the nerves are unable to send healthy signals thus inhibiting a sense of wellness.

Apply It: Find yourself a great Chiropractor.  Call Family Chiropractic Plus on 727-388-0966.

Healing the mind through meditation, the body through eating healthy and correcting misalignment through chiropractic care and/or the spirit with exercise all help you to thrive during recovery.  This can mean fewer relapses, empowered decision-making and a positive outlook.  Getting the support you need means building a community of people committed to helping you sustain healthy choices.  It’s this community and these choices that will encourage you to thrive after addiction.

Rehabilitation concept. Woman walking on road. Text WAY TO RECOVERY on landscape background


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