Staying sober on a day to day basis is inspired by one simple act: not picking up another drink or drug, no matter what happens. Supporting that action, which is equally a choice, takes place through other essential habits which build a lifestyle of recovery.
- Journaling: Especially during the early recovery process, there is a lot of discovery and revelation going on during treatment. Every day brings new education, new exploration, new therapy, and new insight. Groups and therapy sessions alone are not always enough to fully process and assimilate the amount of information coming in during the day. Journaling in the morning and at night can help put down information, notes, feelings, reminders, insights, frustrations, and any other emotional energy. Studies on journaling have found that it greatly improves perspective and reduces stress. Journaling is a cathartic and productive practice. Through the journaling practice itself, new insight and realization is often gained, which can further guide the treatment process.
- Gratitude: Gratitude is a perspective, a spiritual principle, and a lifestyle choice. Having gratitude for and in recovery is critical to functioning happily in recovery. There is a science behind how gratitude works in the brain to change how the brain perceives the world. Not living in gratitude means living in resentment and fear. Living in gratitude means living in thanks and understanding. Gratitude journaling is a great way to combine two practices into one.
- Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a form of meditation, a practice of its own, and a way to live life. Science has consistently proven that mindfulness is a powerful tool for mental health recovery. Mental health conditions of all kinds greatly benefit from mindfulness. Some studies have even suggested that mindfulness is equally if not more beneficial than traditional evidence-based practices like cognitive behavioral therapy. Mindfulness helps keep cravings for drugs and alcohol at bay, reduces symptoms of depression as well as anxiety, and acts as an excellent stress management tool.
- Diet and Exercise: Like mindfulness, exercise is a proven method of emotional and stress management. Addiction and mental health affect the mind and the body. Chemical substances atrophy the bad and deprive it of the nutrients it desperately needs. Weakened and malnourished, thriving in recovery is a challenge for those recovering from addiction when diet and exercise are not included in their routines. Feeding the body with healthy, nutritious food geared toward mental health and exercising it in a way that is detoxifying and strength-building helps the brain in multiple ways. Self-esteem, confidence, better brain functioning, less anxiety, less depression, better health all contribute to a healthy recovery.
- Sleep: Sleep is what ties all of the daily habits of recovery together. After a day of positive recovery building, sleep is the time for the body to heal, the mind to synthesize, and for energy to reboot. Getting 8-10 hours of sleep per night is highly recommended for those in recovery.
New Vista Behavioral Health is committed to helping you on your road to long term recovery. Begin our partnership today by calling 888-316-3665.