Addiction is as much a state of mind as a physical condition. Some people crave a get away from the normal, everyday routine of being responsible for work, social and other commitments. Chemicals and activities can help a person achieve that state (alcohol, sex, gambling, etc) but addiction is also a very real possibility as a result. FInd out how to replace unhealthy activities with healthy choices.
Certain levels of dopamine are necessary for the body to feel balanced. Too much or too little dopamine can be problematic. Just thinking about doing something which leads to pleasant feelings may cause a dopamine release. Certain activities can make the body release dopamine, such as using drugs or alcohol, which then deplete or burn out the system following prolonged use.
The following are some principles for healthy living to help individuals map out a path to successfully incorporate elements of health for the long haul in recovery.
Accept the gap
When certain substances are difficult to handle, it takes acceptance of the fact a ‘gap exists.’ A gap is what opens up between what a person wants to do short term and what can be done without creating problems in one’s life. By denying the gap exists, it is more possible to keep using drugs or alcohol rather than accept it cannot be a part of one’s life.
Setting a big goal, or several smaller goals, is helpful when moving towards a more balanced state of consciousness. Good relationships, meaningful work and the ability to find joy in the everyday are some small goals to reach towards for a long, healthy recovery.
Do the right thing
Whatever lifts a person’s spirits and does not wreck one’s life is what a person should do. Some provide an immediate lift (such as music or a one time experience). Others such as relationships can help lift a person’s spirits at different times and places. Give time, it is possible to notice what activities provide for a more rich and enjoyable life while staying away from those (and individuals) who bring more chaos and misery than peace.
Expect down times
People are human beings for a reason. Existing on this planet means balancing the good with the bad. Americans especially believing in finding happiness at all times, at all costs. Some days are stormy and gray while others are sunny and beautiful. It is not possible to have rainbows without rain. Accepting that life is a series of ups and downs will help a person handle the inevitable challenges life throws one’s way without worrying about it or giving into drugs and alcohol to cope. However, if it happens, there is still hope for recovery. All is not lost as long as a person gets back on the path to healing.
Hired Power works with individuals and families to support a transition from addiction to recovery. Call us to find out how we can support you where you are in getting to those goals of health and healing.
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