20 Nov Healthy Habits
One of the principles taught in the experiential portion of treatment at Therapia is the idea of replacing bad activities with good activities. Essentially, people in recovery are going to experience a void in their life where their addictive behaviors used to be. In order to have a successful recovery, they need to fill this void with productive, healthy behaviors and activities.
Below are a few behaviors and activities that can help to replace previous addictions and destructive behaviors.
Exercise. Exercise is one of the most effective activities to use to replace addictive behaviors. Exercise not only helps keep a focused mind and healthy body, it also releases positive chemicals in the body. Many addictive substances cause the body to release hormones that provide a sense of pleasure, which fuels the addiction. Exercise can facilitate the release of these and similar hormones without the negative side effects that drugs and alcohol bring. This can help curb cravings and fuel recovery.
Fresh Air. Being outdoors is another way recovering addicts can trigger the release of chemicals in their bodies that give feelings of pleasure and euphoria. Hiking, biking, swimming, and walking can help people commune with nature and find a sense of inner peace. Gardening has also been shown to be very therapeutic as a person plants, cultivates, and sees the rewards from their labors.
Writing. Keeping some kind of journal is great outlet for pent-up emotions and overwhelming feelings. Whether writing about one’s own experiences or creating fiction, writing can be very cathartic and a productive use of time.
Cooking. Food is a very common addiction, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad one. Focusing on nourishing the body in good ways will improve overall health and is a good way to replace negative addictive behaviors. Preparing meals is a great outlet for creativity and can be a fun way to involve the whole family in a positive activity.
Meditation. Focusing on one’s inner self and finding a center can help someone in recovery keep their goals at the forefront of their mind and quiet the temptations and cravings that may be nagging at them. Meditation comes in many different forms including yoga, prayer, and quiet introspection. Pick one that works for you and develop this skill as a way to calm nerves.
Addictions, or habits, are a part of life. The word carries some very negative connotations but human nature can be turned in your favor with a little effort. Developing healthy habits and addictions will make the road to recovery easier for those willing to put in the time honing these new skills.