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Why I Chose to Get Sober

Why I Chose to Get Sober

There was a time in my life where alcohol and drugs consumed me. I cared about chasing the next buzz day in and day out. I wanted to disconnect from reality and lived in a constant state of fear—fear of not getting what I wanted or losing what I already had.

This took me out of being present in my life, showing up in my life, being the daughter, sister, and friend I was put here to be. My addictions put up a wall that separated me from the rest of the world.

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I lived with this tunnel vision keeping my world quite small. This emotional and physical void within me kept me alone and isolated. Alcohol and drugs did the trick for some time. Then they stopped working.

So at the age of 25, I made the decision to get sober.

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Here are 5 reasons I chose to get sober. I hope it offers some advice and insight for anyone who is struggling with addiction or knows someone who is.

1. I value the present.

Holding onto pain from the past or anxiety about the future is what my addictions thrived in. The present seemed scary. I didn’t think I could handle reality. I didn’t think I was strong enough or worthy enough. That is directly related to the self-sabotaging and destructive nature of addiction. Presence is possible by completely surrendering to what is and letting go of the destructive coping mechanisms that may be holding you back.

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2. I want to give and receive love.

My addictions put up an internal brick wall and I could not tap into the light and love within. I was in constant pain and felt terminally unique and alone in the world. I did not feel worthy of love from others so I pushed them away. I ended relationships left and right and didn’t allow people into my life. Now I see that I have the ability to give love and it feels good! It connects me with a greater purpose and gives me a sense of connection and belonging.

3. I want to show up for others.

I didn’t understand what this meant for a long time. I lived in my own world that just revolved around me. It was all about what I could get from others. Now, I get to truly be there and be present with others. Maybe it’s helping a friend move or being at a birthday dinner. Either way, these are acts of service and bring us closer to others.

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4. I want to embrace honesty and openness.

Addiction fostered a double life for me. From the outside, it looked like everything was okay; yet inside, I was in pain and suffering. I didn’t want to show this to anyone else. I was scared and in a constant state of fear. I don’t have to do that anymore. I can open up to another person, express myself, and communicate. It’s not always easy but it feels good.

5. I couldn’t balance the chaos anymore.

The lies and manipulation that consumed my days were exhausting. I was so scared to commit to anyone or anything, so I lived in this constant state of shame and guilt. The chaos perpetuated this cycle and left me feeling drained. By living authentically, I can put my true self out to the world. This is energizing and stimulating.

No matter what you are going through, remember that you are not alone. You have an infinite amount of strength, wisdom, love, and light inside you. Don’t let the power you harness within be taken away from another person, place, or thing.

Featured photo credit: picjumbo via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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