In our society, “addiction” can mean many things that are fraught with errors, consequences, and frequent misunderstandings. Instead of getting into a brawl with someone over the meaning of a word, try to give someone the benefit of the doubt that when they use the word “addiction” they are more than likely talking about a compulsive behavior that is detrimental to their life. Sometimes this involves using chemical substances (such as illegal drugs) or is a repetitive action (such as sex, criminal behavior, or violent behavior) that the addict uses to remedy an unease that they feel, were born with or have cultivated through their actions. Sometimes these actions get so detrimental to the addict’s life that they end up receiving medical or psychological care in multiple hospitals or health care environments, not to mention dental services and all the other little qualities of life that get overlooked when you are unable to care properly for yourself.
Addiction is a complex and complicated subject, which is best left to health and social experts to deal with. In this article, instead of meditating on addiction and its causes, we’d like to focus instead on always trying to recover one day at a time and doing the meaningful actions in life that count. That isn’t to say that engaging in changing hair styles isn’t meaningful to some, but it can be a temporary bandage on a bigger issue. It is when the true value of life, actions, and meaning are discovered that progress is made in someone’s personal life. Only then can they begin to make their own list of addiction recovery tips that work for them on a personal level.
Seeking Professional Help and Care
When you are dealing with an addiction that impairs your physical and mental health, you should always try to seek out the care of a qualified professional. While life may not always be as easy as eating ice cream at summer camp, it should be relatively simple to find a whole host of qualified professionals in your area that specialize in all types of therapy and disorder regulation. And of course, if your addiction has already caused a decline in health (such as your vision or hearing) then you will also be searching for the best optometrist or audiologist along with other professionals in order to help you get back to your best self.
While the local Yellow Pages may not be as useful as it once was, there are multiple online equivalents that serve the same function and help you evaluate, understand and choose the correct professional for your needs. Psychology Today has a useful directory of psychologists and therapists of all sorts for your emotional/mental needs that are verified and updated frequently. Similarly, the service Better Help offers affordable online counseling that anyone can afford and help with common conditions such as anxiety and depression. Finding doctors and other health professionals will depend a bit more on the local laws of your area and how you qualify (or pay through private insurance), but simple internet searches will yield real results that you can call, visit or query a government service about. These professionals will be able to add to your arsenal of addiction recovery tips and try to keep you where you want to be.
Family and Friends: The Ties that Bind
When you’re recovering from an addiction, it can be hard to come back to socializing with people and feeling normal again. Since many addicts have replaced their personal lives and interactions with their addictions, many of these relationships have soured or withered on the vine with time. It can also feel intimidating or shameful to start hanging around again with people that you have blown off or neglected.
While a psychologist or therapist may help you process these feelings and get back out there, don’t feel that it is beyond your control to simply go out on your own. Any mention of addiction recovery tips should include personal human contact, which can be incredibly healing. The surprising feedback one can receive from a friendly interaction gone well may even be the key to curing a current addiction. An affirmation from a long-distant father, apology from a friend or final acceptance from an old lover can work wonders on a person’s psychology that medical science still finds hard to understand.
While it may be difficult for doctors to quantify why human connections helps us in more ways than one, it is qualified by personal experience and anecdotes. How many of us have found comfort in the shoulder of a friend or well-whispered word of an admirer? When you recognize the power your smile and a greeting can have, you will most likely cease to cultivate your own misery and instead manufacture optimism for all. Never forget that you have so much to offer!
Exercise: The “Addiction” That’s Always Worth Having
Some people claim that they are “addicted” to exercise, vegetables or TV shows. Of course, they are most likely joking when they say these things and actually mean that they highly favor these activities. As far as we know, nobody has ever gone to drug and alcohol intervention for binging episodes of “The Office” or “Seinfeld.” There is also not a list of addiction recovery tips that mentions these shows as “treatment,” no matter how fun that might seem.
While anything is possible, if you do have to compulsively fit an activity in your schedule to keep you busy then exercise is one of the best. Physically, moving your body and putting in light strenuous effort is what it has been designed to do by nature, and walking on the bare ground in a natural environment has been reported to center people emotionally and spiritually. Before you browse online shoe stores for the latest running shoe, try dipping your toes in the grass for a bit.
Exercise isn’t just good for you physically, either. The amazing mental effects of exercise are well documented and, according to some leading scientific studies, can sometimes work even better than antidepressants in boosting your mood. The key to why exercise works so well is because it produces endorphins when you put in the effort to complete exercises, which have a natural pain-killing effect that helps to improve your outlook. It’s worth discussing with a doctor or nurse at a walk in clinic, or researching yourself online.
It’s also difficult to get “too much” exercise, especially in today’s sugar-heavy culture with a fondness for sedentary mass media. While it’s recommended that people try to get between 30-60 minutes of exercise most days of the week, if you fall a little short then don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s the effort and thought that counts, and one of the best addiction recovery tips to have in your arsenal is the will to get through tough events (such as intense exercise) in your day to day life. Not only does it have the possibility to get you shredded (assuming you also cultivate a great diet), but it is also a great attitude to have when times get rough. Instead of breaking down, you build yourself up and get through it to become the best version of yourself.
You Always Control What You Eat
One of the most important aspects on any list of addiction recovery tips should list diet along with exercise and sleep. Exercise usually makes the list, but many times diet and sleep are neglected or glossed over. This is unfortunate, because what you feed and put inside your body as fuel ends up becoming the literal building blocks of your existence and affects many parts of who you are. We now know that high-sugar, processed diets have all sorts of detrimental effects upon the body, including obesity, depression, anxiety, and much more. These are to be avoided at all costs because they will make you feel terrible, and when you feel terrible you are more likely to act irrationally and in bad spirits. If this seems intimidating, it shouldn’t. Remember that you are always in control of what you put in your body and that gives you the best power of all: self-control.
When planning your optimal diet for health, longevity, and a good mood, try to focus on fresh as much as possible. You can still eat all your favorite foods in the right amounts, but when you get fresh food you keep all of the vitamins, minerals, and live cultures present on the food in its natural state. Eating a wide variety of fresh foods will expose you to fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and breads that will be able to satisfy your physical needs while also nurturing your nutritional requirements on a variety of levels. If you have trouble choosing food or understanding why certain foods are better for you than others, then don’t hesitate to hire the services of a dietician or nutritionist to help you out. These professionals are trained in the art and science of food, able to explain the nutrient profiles of meals in detail while also discerning an appreciation for good cuisine that actually appeals to a human being.
Sleep: The Great Restorative
Often times when recovering from addiction, especially from chemical substances or compulsive behavior, it can be hard to sleep. One of the most helpful things to internalize as addiction recovery tips is that “sleep is good for the body and mind.” Unfortunately, sometimes this rolls over into a new addiction to sleeping pills or aids, but it does not have to. Because sleep is so important to the human body and spirit, you should do everything possible to help ensure that you get a good night’s sleep naturally and without using harmful substances. There are many ways to do this, and many cost nothing except your time.
Make sure to inspect your mattress and sleeping area to note whether it is a restorative environment or negatively impacting how you wake up and go to sleep. The room should be dark, with a comfortable bed and not too hot or cold. You should be able to be alone with your thoughts, relax, and allow yourself to go to sleep. Sometimes the addition of a white noise machine, or changing the colors in your room through different fabrics or paints also helps.
Exercise and tiring yourself out is always a good way to prepare for sleep, but if you are disabled or not physically fit enough to exercise then there are still natural ways to fall asleep. The use of supplements such as Melatonin and Valerian Root has been observed for decades to aid in sleep similarly to sleeping pills but without many of the bad side effects. In fact, most users that partake in these dietary supplements report waking up restored. Hot tea can also soothe your body and mind, with many people noting that chamomile and various herbal blends relax them so. Add in a dash of milk and you may be well on your way to dreamland. Your use with these methods will vary, and of course, you should always consult with a doctor before you take any addiction recovery tips from online as gospel.
At the End of the Day, Be Grateful
In this article we’ve tried to hit a whole host of addiction recovery tips that anyone at any time can use if they’re struggling. No matter whether you’re rich or poor, to be alive and alert as a human being is to constantly face challenges that must be overcome. These external struggles often fuel an internal battle of self-esteem, comparison, and other various mental struggles that can leave any sane and competent person struggling to “get a handle” on their life. It is nothing to be ashamed of, even if you hit rock bottom and consistently fail to achieve personal goals or find fulfillment. In fact, sometimes even if the rehab facilities don’t work, you still can. The internal battle is one that you have complete control over if you possess the right tools and have taken steps to learn.
When the external factors and “addiction recovery tips” you learn through various methods fail to make a lasting change, you can always still find internal peace through being grateful. Even if you think that you have nothing to be grateful for (including lack of possessions, relationships, career, etc) you can always find peace in simply being yourself. When alone with ourselves, especially in nature or another favorite environment, we can fully come into being as a simple person who is alive. And that’s quite fascinating and amazing when you really stop to think about it. To simply be blessed enough to exist, to take breaths and look at all the colors in the world and observe people in all their glory, grace, and flaws. To be truly alive in a world that is often cold and unforgiving is a blessing in itself and something to be grateful for. If you take the time to breathe, still your mind and reflect, you too can find peace from all that ails you using the addiction recovery tips that suit you 100%.