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5 Ways To Jumpstart Your Recovery

5 Ways To Jumpstart Your Recovery

It’s the beginning of 2016, and living a sober, healthier life is at the top of thousands of New Year’s resolutions lists. It’s a good place to begin improving your life—drugs and alcohol have a tendency to complicate life rather than solve your problems. No matter the reason behind your decision to lead a sober life, here are 5 ways to jumpstart your recovery!

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    1. Be Honest About Your Motives

    Deciding to live sober is always a good decision, but you still need to understand why. If there are deeper causes for your addiction, such as emotional trauma or mental disorders, these things need to be addressed before you can experience true and profound healing. Self-medication is just that—medicating one’s self to avoid unwanted symptoms of life, such as anxiety and depression. These symptoms also often coincide with mental health issues, and if those underlying causes are left unaddressed, the chance of a relapse is exponentially increased.

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      2. Do Your Research Before Committing To A Rehab Center

      Don’t get me wrong—you should absolutely go to rehab. The devoted teams of compassionate addiction recovery professionals are there for one reason: to help facilitate your all-around healing.

      However, knowing what you are signing up for and being able to prepare yourself can help ease the process for everyone. Additionally, researching the rehab centers in your area, or even out of state, can help you find the best care for your personal journey. A personalized approach to recovery provides a more stable basis for the rest of your path to sobriety. Recovering from a substance abuse disorder is never a one-size-fits-all process, so it is important to find what does and does not work for you.

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      Create Lists!

        3. Create Lists

        A great way to stay on target with your goals in any aspect of your life is to sit down and record what you want to accomplish. Making lists of your goals makes them more tangible and real—instead of just dreaming of them, turn your wants into short- and long-term goals. By planning out your journey this way, you can keep track of your progress and celebrate your accomplishments, which encourages you to continue on the right path. The goals on your list can be as grand or as ordinary as you want them to be—so long as they motivate you to be the best version of yourself possible.

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          4. Be Open About Your Journey

          Speaking openly about your quest for sobriety is important to your success for two reasons: it helps you put things in perspective and it keeps you on track. Not only does this help nurture your new, healthier coping and communication skills, it can help strengthen bonds with the people supporting you throughout your recovery. Those loved ones who make up your support system are there to encourage you and motivate you during your low points and help you celebrate your sobriety milestones. Allow them in and see how much better sobriety can be with a bit of company.

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            5. Read Success Stories

            When it comes to sober living, we often allow doubt and fear to stand in the way. We convince ourselves we simply aren’t strong enough, that sobriety after battling addiction is some one-in-a-million thing. That’s simply not true—thousands of people every day commit to sober living with incredible success. No matter your age or length of substance dependency, so long as you are still breathing, you have the chance to turn everything around. Draw inspiration from those who have walked the sober path before you: some of your favorite musicians, actors, and TV personalities have achieved sobriety after struggling with drugs and alcohol. My personal favorites are Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, and Demi Lovato. Even attending your local NA and AA meetings can expose you to amazing individuals on the path to sobriety who can help guide you through the tough times.

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            Last Updated on September 20, 2018

            How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

            How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

            Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

            If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

            1. Breathe

            The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

            • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
            • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
            • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

            Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

            2. Loosen up

            After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

            Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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            3. Chew slowly

            Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

            Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

            Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

            4. Let go

            Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

            The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

            It’s not. Promise.

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            Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

            Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

            21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

            5. Enjoy the journey

            Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

            Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

            6. Look at the big picture

            The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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            Will this matter to me…

            • Next week?
            • Next month?
            • Next year?
            • In 10 years?

            Hint: No, it won’t.

            I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

            Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

            7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

            You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

            Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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            8. Practice patience every day

            Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

            • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
            • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
            • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

            Final thoughts

            Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

            Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

            Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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