Wellness is nothing short of a buzzword in its truest meaning. There is a documented history on how wellness became a culture, a lifestyle, and a marker of social standing. People who are thoroughly enraptured by their lives of wellness look good, feel good, and seem to do good things. Their social media profiles are littered with inspirational thoughts, glowing smiles, and healthy food choices. Wellness applies to the mental, the physical, the emotional, and the spiritual. By definition, wellness means “the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal”. Well is not just something that we are, it is something that we actively pursue being.
Recovery from addiction, alcoholism, and co-occurring or primary mental health disorders is, in many ways, a pursuit of wellness. The stigma of mental health and addiction attempts to characterize addicts, alcoholics, and those living with mental illness as people who are “bad”. Treatment and recovery for such individuals, therefore, should include whatever modalities necessary to make them “good” again- if possible. Mental illness is not a matter of good or bad, but instead a matter of well and unwell, unwell simply being defined as “sick”. Wellness activities, healing modalities, and therapy types are emphasized in the treatment process because treatment has the active pursuit of bringing clients to wellness again. Addiction and mental illness in all of its forms affects the mind, the body, and the spirit. Even the mind, body, spirit terminology is reminiscent of the wellness industry. For individuals who have lived unwell, in poor health for so long, it is paramount that they not only become well during the treatment process but are empowered to live well, in wellness, after treatment. Recovery is wellness in that it is an actively pursued goal of being in good health. Good health being active remission, poor health being relapse.
Feeling good has a ripple effect the same that feeling less than good does. When those in recovery are feeling good, they are less inclined to return to harmful behaviors that do not feel good. Being sick, broken, exhausted, and chemically dependent on drugs and alcohol does not feel good. At the bottom end of the addiction cycle, the pleasurable sensations of euphoria no longer occur with the consumption of drugs and alcohol. A lack of wellness in recovery easily triggers a threatening mindset. If recovery feels as not-good as addiction did, what is the point? Wellness as a recovery lifestyle puts those in recovery on an active path of feeling good in a healthy, balanced, and sustainable way without the use of harmful substances. Their life takes on new meaning and purpose: the purpose of living well.
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.