Battling Addiction: 5 Ways To Spur Yourself On

When you’re dealing with addiction, you accept that you’re in a lifelong battle. If you take your eye off the ball, you could end up going back a few steps; as such, you need to be spurring yourself on everyday, and reminding yourself that the voice in your head – the voice of your addiction – is smaller, and not as significant, as your voice. Keeping yourself focused can be difficult, but there are many ways to do so, and we’ve noted down 5 of them here.

Image credit

#1: Think about yourself

No matter what your addiction would have you feel or think, you are worth so much more than a life controlled by substances. You have things to achieve, memories to make, and you deserve to do this on your own terms. Recovery from addiction is ultimately about you, so remind yourself that you’re the focus here, and that your voice should prevail, not the one that is pulling you in a toxic direction.

#2: Keep your loved ones in mind

Addiction has a hurricane-like effect on your life, meaning that your family and friends invariably get pulled into the suffering. Think about all of the times that they have stood by you throughout your addiction, and how they never turned their backs on you, because of their love. Whilst recovery is complex, keeping your loved ones in mind can help you in the day-to-day of handling your addiction.

#3: Reward yourself for landmarks

As with anything that you’re trying to achieve, when you’ve reached certain points in your recovery, you need to celebrate! Getting those new veneers from a leading ultimo dentist, having dinner with your loved ones, and even walking around the park and appreciating your new outlook on life, are all great ways to reward yourself for how far you’ve come. And you deserve it!

#4: Make a bucket list

Looking to the future is always a great idea, and making a bucket list could help to keep you focused. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to visit Niagara Falls, or you want to drive around the country, or you’ve always wanted to skydive. Whatever it is that you want to do, keep your future in mind. This is a future that you may not have had if you were still in the throes of addiction.

#5: Remember how far you’ve come

Staying focused throughout your recovery will be a result of remembering how far you’ve come. A few years (or months) ago, you may have been living a life that you couldn’t even remember due to substance abuse, and now, you’re on the road to freedom. It’s a tough road, but the important thing to remember is that you’re on it. Think about all that you’ve achieved, and all that you could achieve still.

So, if you’re battling addiction, it’s important to remember that the journey will be a difficult one, and there is a lot to overcome. However, it is extremely worthwhile, and taking it day-by-day is important if you’re going to keep your addiction at bay. Spur yourself on, and keep these things in mind; your future will be brighter than you ever expected as a result.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Advice For Caregivers Looking After An Addicted Loved One

Are you a caregiver for an addicted loved one?

It might be somebody you live with on a full-time basis, such as a partner, parent, or a child. Or you might live apart but see your loved one on a regular basis to provide physical and emotional support.

Whatever the case, we know it won’t be easy for you. Focusing on their needs will take its emotional toll on you, so for your own needs, as well as to give you the tools to be a better caregiver, you need to think about yourself too.

(credit)

You shouldn’t care for your loved one alone

We’re sure you’re great, but you’re not superhuman. All the care your loved one needs shouldn’t come from you alone, as you might experience exhaustion and burnout, and that won’t help anybody. So, ensure you have the support of your doctor for yourself and your addicted loved one. Get in touch with the appropriate therapy and rehabilitation groups if your loved one hasn’t yet been through a course of help. Considering addictive disorders are linked to mental illness, you might also seek help from community support services for people with a disability. And share responsibility for your loved one with other interested parties and family members, giving you the option to follow the next tip.

You need to practice self-care

The demands of your loved one may be many, but without time to yourself, you might become ill and even prone to addictive tendencies yourself. Therefore, find time to care for your mental health, with exercise, sleep, and healthy eating, and do things that relax you and make you happy. Schedule time in the week for yourself, and if your loved one needs full-time support, take this time when they are otherwise engaged in a support group or with another carer. Your life is important, and nobody wants to see you suffer unduly, including your loved one, so look after #1, for the benefit of yourself and those around you.

Attend a support group for caregivers.

It might be a group that is organised by a specific charity or organisation, or it might be an online group, or something that has been set up informally in your local community. Whatever the case, you need to know that you aren’t alone as a caregiver, so meet up with those people who know what you’re going through. The social company will be useful for a start, but you might also draw on the strength and ideas of others to help you in your caregiving role. You might also be a source of help to others, so be prepared to share anything that has made your life easier.

Don’t be afraid of letting go

We know you will do all you can to help your loved one, but when it gets too much for you, it is important to hand over that care to others. Especially when you don’t feel equipped to handle mood changes and lapses back into addictive behaviour, you should call on the assistance of the relevant professionals to take over your caring duties. You or they might have to spend a significant amount of time apart for a while, but that’s okay. Provided they are still getting help, and so long as you aren’t running yourself into the ground, you will both benefit from a little distance.

We hope the advice above was useful to you, but we would love to hear your thoughts. Should you be a caregiver for another, let us know how you have coped, and give us any further advice for the benefit of our readers.

Take care, and thanks for reading.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Taking Some Control Over Your Own Health 100%

Your health is something you can often feel out of control with. You’ve got a brain and a body to look after, to feed properly and put to bed at night, and they’ll still turn on you when you least need them to! At least, that’s how it feels when you suddenly come down with a cold, or you get a diagnosis for a chronic illness you weren’t expecting when you went to the doctor’s that morning.

And that’s why you can feel so out of control, and so vulnerable, in the face of your own wellbeing. You want to be someone in charge, and you want to be confident as you do it – but how can you even think to manage that when we’re hardly ever sure of what causes us to get ill? It’s a delicate balance, and it’s one you should learn about. So with all that in mind, here’s a couple of ways you might be able to put some control back in your own hands.

(Unsplash)

Ask for Help When You Need Some

Of course, it may seem counterproductive to ask someone else to help you out when you’re feeling out of sorts, but it’s one of the most important self care tasks to keep in mind. Whether you’re feeling bad because of a physical ailment or a mental illness, you need to remember you’re allowed to reach out, and that you’re going to feel much better for doing so.

Taking control means giving yourself a break, not working yourself to the bone, and knowing your own limits in terms of your health. Being able to stand firm in the face of the idea that unless you’re contributing, you’re not worth the time and effort, is something few people are able to do. So let’s make sure you stay in bed when you’re struggling to stand up, and that you’re taking the time to have a snack if you haven’t stopped at the daily grind all morning!

Use a DNA Kit

Nowadays, technology can do a lot for our health, and monitoring is made a lot more effective and a lot less invasive because of it. After all, the more advances that come out each year, the better we get at solving our ailments and giving ourselves a chance at longer, healthier lives. Operations are far more complex, and far more successful, thanks to the use of technology, and even your own heart can be regulated via the use of tiny electrical devices.

Which is why a DNA test might be best for giving you an insight into your own body and how it works. After all, your genetic code has a lot to answer for, and companies like iDNA Health are the experts in Clinical Genetics – why not visit a website like this to see if a kit would be available to you?

Remember, taking some kind of control over your own health doesn’t have to be as hard as it’s made out to be.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The Life-Altering Symptoms of Addiction

Addiction is classified as a disease that has several side effects and comes with a range of dangerous conditions or behaviors. If you are able to take steps to really recognise these behaviors or conditions, before it becomes worse, then it can be a great place to be to help them to deal with what they are going through and get the help that they need.

Disorders of substance abuse can have a range of effects, from things that impact people psychologically, to physically, and socially. It can really reduce quality of living; even the small day to day things can be damaging. The thing is, if you or someone you think may be abusing substances, there are many symptoms that can overlap one another. So really being on the lookout can make a difference as for some people, it isn’t clearly cut.

As an example, when someone experiences a psychological effect of wanting to spend their money from groceries to buying addictive substances, they not only have reduced money, but they have access to substances, and aren’t meeting their nutritional needs either. In a similar vein, relationship problems can occur, as well as more and more of an aversion to interacting socially with others, which can be isolating but can also make lead to or worsen psychological problems, like anxiety or depression.

image

Denial and Secrecy

When someone is abusing substances, then often this will be done alone or secretly. So look out for someone that suddenly, or even not so suddenly, starts to withdraw and become more of a recluse. It is also something to look out for when someone will start to deny what is happening, even if you had witnessed it, perhaps; there will be a denial that there is even a problem. If there is talk of being able to quite anytime that they want to, then that is when alarms bells should start ringing (whether for you or for someone you care about).

Life-Altering Impact

There is no getting away from the fact that substance abuse brings with it some pretty life altering damages. Smoking a substance can lead to respiratory diseases and cancers, for example. Illicit drugs can lead to physical damage to your limbs and problems with your blood vessels, which could lead onto limb amputation and then disability, requiring a huge lifestyle overhaul and the use of things like disability phone apps. If you are someone that regularly drinks alcohol to excess, then it can lead to things like liver problems and generally poor health.

If these things can be dealt with fairly early on, then it can really reduce the negative impact that they have. So intervention as soon as possible is needed, otherwise, life-altering consequences can occur.

Financial Difficulties

At the end of the day, these substances cost money. And when they are used on a daily basis, the cost is going to be large. And with the side-effects that can come as a result, it can often lead to not working or getting fired. So financial difficulties really is something that can happen as a result, and that can also be pretty damaging and life-altering. Seek help as soon as you can, for you or a loved one, to nip it in the bud.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

8 Things You Should Know About Gender and Addiction

There are many misconceptions about addiction and these often include how people perceive how a person’s gender may impact addiction and recovery. While  anyone can become addiction to drugs, alcohol or process addictions there are a few gender related trends to take note of.

8 Things You Should Know About Gender and Addiction

Men Are More Likely To Become Addicts Than Women

According to studies carried out males tend to start using drugs and alcohol at a much younger age than females. Males also tend to drink alcohol and use more drugs more frequently and in much higher quantities than females. Males are more likely to engage in binge drinking.

This does not necessarily mean that men are more susceptible to become addicts. Studies show that teenage males have more opportunity and are more exposed through their peer groups than females. It is often the case that teenage girls are first introduced to drugs by their male peers.

Women are in fact more likely to transition from substance abuse to dependence and addiction and they do so at a faster pace than men.

Death By Overdose

Men are more likely to die from an overdose than women. More than double men have died from overdosing on heroin and opioids than women and almost two thirds of the deaths by prescription opioids have been men.

Dual Diagnosis and Gender

While dual diagnosis is equally prevalent between men and women the types of mental health disorders differ. Men are much more likely to antisocial personality disorders and women tend to have affective disorders such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.

Drugs

Detoxing, Recovery and Relapse

Men are more likely to have more intense alcohol withdrawal than women. Women are more likely to experience physical side effects of addiction (such as liver damage) and overdose.

Men are less likely to relapse and have a better chance at long term sobriety than women. Women report more intense cravings and are more likely to relapse than men.

Types Of Drugs

Men are more likely to abuse a variety of illegal drugs such as anabolic steroids, methamphetamines, heroin, LSD, cocaine, ecstasy, opioids and molly. Women are more likely to abuse prescription medications than men.

Process Addictions

In general women are more likely to have an eating disorder than men. Women are more likely to suffer from anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa while men with eating disorders are more likely to be overeaters.

Women are more likely to be dissatisfied with their weight and engage in dieting for weight control and purging.

When it comes to sex addiction men are physical and men are emotional. Men tend to obsess over sex and objectify women. Men tend to get involved in sexual behaviors that are not emotional.

Women look to sex for power or control, or to get the attention or praise that they want.

Women are also more likely to have a love addiction, which can easily be mistaken for a sex addiction. With a love addiction the addict looks for all her self-worth from her partner.

Men are about three times more likely to be addicted to gambling. Another difference with gambling addiction is that women tend to favour the slot machines and bingo while men are more likely to get hooked on table casino games or the stock markets.

Prescription overdose

Reason For Stopping Drugs

The biggest motivating factor for both men and women stopping drugs is for their children. 49% of women gave their children as the reason for stopping drugs, almost double that of the 26% of men that gave their children as their motivation.

Reason For Using Drugs

The trigger for men could originate for some men from traditional gender roles. Men may feel that they need to be adventurous and in control. Drugs and alcohol may seem like a good tool to help achieve these things. Men can be encouraged to keep their feeling hidden and taking drugs and drinking alcohol can appear to be a way of coping for some men.

Women often turn to drugs and alcohol in response to a traumatic event from childhood. In one study 30 to 59% of women in an addiction treatment program had a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder.

Although men are more often in situations that are physically dangerous women are at a higher risk (both as a child and as an adult) to be victims of personal violence. In addition to this women are more likely to be sexually victimized while using alcohol than men.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Does Your Relationship Need A Little Work?

Relationships take work. That’s probably not that shocking to a lot of people. We might all be taught that once you find the right person, everything will slot into place and it’s all perfect from then on. But most of us know that that’s simply not the case. Relationships take time, effort and work to be able to function properly. And sometimes it can feel like the work that you’re putting in isn’t being balanced by the good stuff you’re both getting out of it. It can make you wonder why you’re even putting in that effort at all. If you’re in that position, it can be really difficult to figure out what to do. Here are a few things that you can try if your relationship is on the rocks.


Image Source

Try to talk it through

This is not the same as arguing about things. Take some time, sit down and make sure to have a calm conversation about what it is that’s bothering you. Make sure that you really listen to what each other has to say. Many people just spend their time waiting to talk instead of really listening. But if you do that you might miss how your partner is really feeling. Be ready to accept that your partner might say things that you disagree with but make sure that you don’t get defensive or angry, arguing isn’t going to solve anything. Just listen and see if you can reach the root cause of your problems together.

Take some time apart

Before hiring a divorce lawyer, try taking some time away from each other. When you’re in a committed relationship, it can sometimes feel as though you’re losing a piece of your own life. It can feel stifling and restrictive. By taking some time apart, you can remind yourselves that you’re both individuals with your own lives. Then you can come back to each other with a fresh perspective that you can bring to the relationship. It’s also a good way to find out if the desire to pull away actually lasts when you’re not around your partner anymore, or if it’s just something that comes out during a heated argument. Whether you stay in contact is up to you, some couples find it better to be totally separate for that time while others prefer to keep at least a little bit of contact.

Consider counseling

Talking through your problems is extremely important, but it can be very difficult to see a way to solve them when you’re in the thick of it. In couples counseling, you’re able to bring in an unbiased third party like Susie Tuckwell who is professionally trained to help you get to the root of why you’re unhappy. Ninety-seven percent of couples have said that they got the help they needed from couples counseling. The presence and environment of a counselor can prevent discussions falling apart into yet another argument.

The truth is that there is no such thing as a relationship that doesn’t take work. Just because things aren’t playing out like some fantasy that you had in your head, that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth fighting for.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Why Addicts Should Choose Singapore as a Place to Go to Rehab

A good rehabilitation center should have the necessary facilities to assist drug addicted patients on their recovery journey. If you have a victim in your family, you will agree that this is a serious situation that requires the best solution. That is why people are ready to use any family resources possible to get the best rehab in the world.

For those who did not know, Singapore has some of the best rehab facilities in the world. This is one of the primary reasons why drugs addicts come from various parts of the world. However, there is more that they offer. If you read the highlights below, you will learn more reasons why you should choose Singapore as a place to go to rehab.

Why Addicts Should Choose Singapore As A Place To Go To Rehab

Draconian Drug Laws

The country is a leader in practicing stringent drug laws. Narcotics that are listed as illegal are rarely found in the country. The law is clear about what will happen if one is found manufacturing, distributing, or in possession of such drugs. The imprisonment terms range from punishment to life imprisonment, which is not something that any person would like to get involved in.

But how do these laws assist the country in having rehab centers worth considering? According to reports, people who are recovering from drugs are likely to have a better environment when they are in Singapore. This is because they will not get access to drugs even if they are using outpatient programs. Thus, the recovery process will not only be clear of drugs, but will also be quick as one interacts with people who are already drug-free.

Well-Equipped Rehab Centers

Being a developed country, Singapore does not strain for resources. Although most of them are imported, it is notable that all of the rehab facilities in Singapore follow world standards. The country values high-quality services, especially in medical care, which rehab facilities fall into. With the government in support of operations of these facilities, they are well-funded and equipped.

Thus, people from different parts of the world, especially developing countries, want to bring their addicted family members to enjoy these facilities. Some of the best amenities you will enjoy in Singapore rehab centers include but are not limited to the following:

  • Maintained sports facilities – Rehab centers in Singapore have generous sports grounds for patients to use. One has the option to choose a sport like beach soccer, cricket, tennis, and many others. Indoor games like table tennis, pool tables, and many others are also available. Thus, the patients have a variety of options to choose from depending on their interests and talents.
  • Talent promotion facilities – Drugs addict may have talents that need to be nurtured. Singapore is one of the countries that promote talents in rehab centers through the provision of musical equipment, art facilities, and many others. This means that your patient has a high opportunity of learning new skills and advancing their talents to new levels by the time they leave.
  • Disability facilities – Some drugs lead to disabilities which affect peoples’ mobility. If your victim is like this, there is no reason to get worried. Singapore’s rehab centers usually make this consideration by providing wheelchairs, support racks, and all other equipment that supports disabilities of any kind.

Singapore scene

Qualified Rehab Workers

The state has a high literacy level. They also get qualified professionals from other countries by giving work permits. As a matter of fact, you can easily get a work visa through the Visa Express Singapore agency. As a result of this, all rehab centers are well-equipped with qualified workers. An addiction patient will get enough one-on-one time with a psychologist to get the best assistance possible. Nurses and other workers are also trained to cater to all the needs of an addiction patient.

Reports from the health ministry indicate that all rehab centers in Singapore have enough workers to serve sufficiently when they are at full capacity. They also assure the entire world that the staff has the relevant qualifications. So if you are looking for the best facility to use, Singapore should be your preferred destination.

Services at a Low Cost

We have already mentioned that the Singaporean government supports the health sector very well. Rehab facilities are one of the beneficiaries whether they are government-owned or private. The result of such support is the provision of low-cost services to the patients. Both the medication and boarding services are affordable to both citizens and foreigners.

Another thing that makes it affordable is the use of insurance. You are likely to use health insurance to get some medications and services in Singapore. The good news is that they also accept international medical coverage policies. However, it is important to understand what your health insurance policy will cover before booking your patient.

Group therapy addiction

Serene Environment

Singapore is known to be a city-state. However, it has a vast serene region outside of the city where most of the rehab centers are located. If you do some research about these facilities, you will realize that most of them are surrounded by beautiful trees, flowers, and stunning natural habitats. This allows addicts to reflect on their life and focus more on what they want in the future.

According to psychologists, the serenity is therapy in itself. That is why addicts are in a better position to recover when they are in Singapore. Do not hesitate to bring your patient here to enjoy this rare tranquility and serenity.

Excellent Networking Opportunities

Drug addicts need a network of people who can help them in life. Most rehab centers in Singapore have various programs that bring recovering patients together to share their experiences. Since people come from different countries and careers, it is easy to make good friends. Some people partner in business from such meetings and prosper in life together.

Conclusion

If you are wondering why rehab in Singapore is the best, now you have the main reasons. Traveling to Singapore from another country is also an opportunity to enjoy excellent scenery and have many other experiences.


About The Author

Emily Simpson is a qualified Psychologist in Singapore. She has a Master’s Degree in Psychology and has helped tens of drugs addicts to get back into their feet. She has sat in various forums that enlighten people on the effects of drug abuse and how they can stop the menace. For the love of a drug-free nation, she has also written numerous publications on the negative effects of drug abuse on society. Her dream is to see fewer patients in rehab centers as a result of a responsible world that does not abuse narcotics.


 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Confronting a Friend About Alcoholism for the First Time

A common occurrence among alcoholics and friends of alcoholics is denial. We oftentimes deny that there is ever a problem with alcohol because it is such an uncomfortable subject to approach. Other times it can be difficult to tell whether someone truly has a problem with alcohol.

However, if you are concerned about a friend’s drinking, it is alright to approach them. By skillfully approaching the subject, you can hopefully help them make important, potentially life saving changes.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 15 million adults ages 18 and over qualify for having alcohol use disorder. That’s more than 6.2% of the adult population in the United States. Odds are, you know at least one person with alcohol use disorder. Since only about 6.7% of those 15 million ever get clinical treatment, the odds are also high that you know someone who needs help.

While it can be uncomfortable to approach someone regarding their alcohol usage, there are some steps you can take to ensure that you do more to help than to hurt. Here are general guidelines for bringing up and discussing the subject in the most supportive way possible.

Confronting A Friend About Alcoholism For The First Time

Time Your Approach Carefully.

The first thing to keep in mind when planning your approach is to talk with them while they are sober. You’ll have a much better chance of reaching them if they aren’t under the intoxication of chemical substances.

If your friend is someone who is frequently drunk and it’s difficult to find a moment of sobriety, then you may want to try them early in the morning or during a period when they are supposed to be sober, such as while driving or at work.

It’s also best not to approach your friend during times of great stress or anguish. The added difficulty of dealing with alcoholism on top of personal issues may cause them to shut down. Instead, try to find them at moments of relative peace and solitude.

Approach as a Friend, not an Authority

Make sure they know you’re approaching as a friend, not an authority. Some people assume that taking a hard-line approach is the way to go, but you may wind up only alienating your friend further and hurting them even more. Scolding a child or a pet for their behavior may work, but you need to have respect for your friend as an individual with free agency.

Instead of condemning them, take a compassionate approach and use non judgemental language. Don’t label the person as an alcoholic or demand that they get treatment. Simply offer your love and support as a friend and state your concerns about their drinking.

Friends Talking

Offer Help, Don’t Demand It

It’s important to offer your help as a friend and loved one, not to demand that your friend seek it. You can tell them about treatment options, or just urge them to consider an assessment by an addiction professional. You’re not there to save them, you’re just there to let them know that they have a friend available who is concerned about their well-being.

If your friend is ready for help, you can come prepared with treatment centers, counselor contact information, and directions to local AA meetings. You can even offer to drive them if they need it. They may refuse to seek help, and in this case there is not much you can do. A person who gets treatment for addiction needs to be ready to receive it.

State the Consequences

When speaking with your friend, make sure to mention specific instances or events that made you concerned about their drinking. This could be one too many nights they can’t remember, a drunken brawl, or destroyed property. Chances are that there have been multiple events you can reference.

Sometimes however, alcoholism can be more subtle and less physically evident. This doesn’t make the pain and destruction of the disease any less valid. Your friend may have grown distant or verbally abusive. They may appear depressed, anxious, and aloof. You should mention the specific ways that their drinking has affected your relationship in negative ways. Using real, concrete examples brings their drinking behavior into the real world.

You can also look up information about the health consequences of drinking. Explain how drinking can be negatively impacting their health and how it can only continue to cause harm.

Friends drinking

Be Prepared With a Plan of Action

If your friend winds up being open and receptive to the idea, you will want to have some sort of plan of action in place. Have some concrete steps for them to take, such as the location of nearby AA meetings and treatment providers who work with their insurance.

In some situations, it may be useful to call treatment centers and get pricing information beforehand. You can have admissions representatives hold a bed for your friend so that it only takes one car ride to begin treatment.

In some cases, the situation may not be so dire as to need treatment. In these cases, you can provide your friend with informational resources or the contact information of another friend in recovery. Offer your love and support and make sure that they know this conversation stays between you two.

Be Prepared For Pushback

Some people may become hostile when they are confronted with their drinking problem. It’s important to stay resolute and not cave to their pressure. Try not to take their hostility personally, as it’s a natural defense mechanism to deny a problem and direct the anger back at the accuser.

If your friend becomes angry, it’s best to remain calm and approach them at a different time. However, do not consider this backing down. Restate your concerns and tell them that if they continue to drink this way, you will continue to have an issue. Assure them you will be there to offer love and support and that you only wish to see them well.

There you have it! Every person and situation is going to be different, but these are some general guidelines for approaching a friend about alcoholism.


About the Author

Matthew Boyle is the Chief Operating Officer of Landmark Recovery, a chain of drug and alcohol rehab facilities in Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Indiana. He has been working in the healthcare space for 7 years with a new emphasis on recovery. Before his ventures into healthcare, Matthew graduated from Duke University in 2011 Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree. After Duke Matthew went on to work for the Boston Consulting Group before he realized his true passion lies within Recovery. His vision is to save a million lives in 100 years with a unique approach to recovery that creates a supportive environment through trust, treatment, and intervention.


 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

8 Steps to a Calmer Mind in 2019

Addiction recovery can be a stressful time for anyone.  If you’re not in the right frame of mind, it can be difficult to find the strength or motivation.   The daily stresses of modern life can all chip away, reducing your willpower to overcome addiction.  Even simple things such as getting too many emails, forgetting what you’re supposed to be doing today, or tiredness caused by lack of sleep.

It’s important to remember that stress comes in many forms; in fact we may not even realize that we are stressed.

When you’re pre-occupied by work, family, health concerns or even the task of overcoming your addiction, you may not realize you’re constantly carrying tension in your shoulders, in your neck or in your head.  You may not consider that you’re not as happy as you could be, and that things are getting you down.

Taking the time (however small), to work on calming your mind can help you to recognize your stressors, and better cope with them.

So here are 8 steps you can take to a calmer mind in 2019:

8 Steps to a Calmer Mind in 2019

  1. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness has grown massively in the past few years.  A kind of “meditation lite”, it involves focusing on the present, such as focusing on your breath, focusing on the sounds around you or the really tuning in to the food you eat.   There are 100s of mindfulness activities to choose from, some taking as few as 1-10 minutes.  There’s no right or wrong activities, just choose whichever works for you.

It’s important to remember that mindfulness practice takes time and not to put pressure on yourself about whether you’re doing it right or not.

Numerous studies show that mindfulness can help to calm people’s mind and enable them to cope better with daily stresses, thoughts and emotions.

A recent British study found that 11 minutes of mindfulness per day significantly reduced alcohol consumption for “at risk” drinkers.

Calm peaceful scenery

  1. Look After Your Gut Bacteria

Gut health is another field of research which is moving rapidly.   It was not that long ago that scientists made the connection that the gut in essence is the body’s second brain.

There is increasing evidence linking gut bacteria to depression, anxiety, and behavioral responses to addiction.  Taking a daily probiotic is one way of maintaining the healthy balance needed for good gut health.

There are dozens of different probiotics on the market, each with different proposed benefits. Lactobacillus (L.) rhamnosus for example is well researched in helping against anxiety. 

Exercise stretch

  1. Get More Exercise

There are hundreds of studies linking exercise with improved mood and ability to copy with situations we find difficult.  Some people like exercise more than others, but the key thing to remember is that exercise should not be boring.  If you don’t enjoy it then it becomes another drain on your resources.

If you don’t like high intensity workouts for instance, you could try Yoga which helps maintain good posture, flexibility and works on core strength.  Yoga is also an excellent way of calming the mind in itself. 

  1. Create Goals You Can Achieve

When we set unrealistic goals and don’t achieve them, we get down, lose momentum and get stressed out about the future.  Making a habit of setting small but achievable goals is a great way of putting yourself into a calmer more positive frame of mind.  Good goals should be SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

A goal to go out for a 5 minute walk, within the next two weeks for instance could be an objective which might sound small and insignificant, but it could be a stepping stone onto a bigger goal. 

  1. Turn off Daily Stressors

If it’s causing you stress, doesn’t benefit you and can be removed, take it out of your life.

Technology is a common, constant stressor for most people.  Getting constant notifications when you’re trying to relax, or focus on something important is not helpful.  If you don’t really need them, switch them off.

Most phones have sophisticated settings to select which apps can and can’t send you push notifications.  

Read a book outdoors

  1. Take a Break

Many of us are so preoccupied with modern life that we forget to switch off, to do something we enjoy or to give our brains a rest.  Our brains weren’t designed to be stimulated for most of the day.  In fact humans lived for thousands of years at a much slower pace.    Make a habit of being in nature, zoning out or doing things you enjoy to give yourself a rest.

  1. Eat Your Way to a Calmer Mind

What we eat has a huge effect on our emotions and mindset.  Consider eating more:

  • Oats – Credited with mild sedative properties.
  • Dark chocolate – Is a natural mood enhancer, improving serotonin levels and helping to reduce the stress response.
  • Complex carbohydrates – Such as whole meal bread, pasta, etc.. provide even energy and a host of B vitamins which promote brain health.
  • Eggs – Contain tryptophan which helps to create serotonin (happy hormone).
  • Fatty fish – Such as salmon, sardines, mackerel contain high levels of Omega-3 which can help to reduce depression and anxiety levels. Or consider supplementation.

Drink herbal tea

  1. Switch From Caffeine

Caffeine comes in many forms: tea, coffee, cola etc..  It’s part of a habit for millions of people worldwide, but if you want to be calmer then it may be best to switch away.  This is because caffeine is a stimulant.  It triggers the release of adrenaline which is associated with the stress (fight or flight) response.  You might not feel it, but caffeine can play a background role in keeping our stress-levels elevated and fight against our ability to truly relax.

Many herbal teas such as chamomile and green tea are associated with reduced cortisol levels (stress hormone). 


About The Author 

Article written by Oliver Neely on behalf of Step up Inn in Connecticut, USA.  Step Up Inn is a sober living home for women, designed to provide a safe and calm environment to aid people in their transition from rehab to normal life.


 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Give Your Mental Health A Boost This Year With These Strategies

It’s a whole new year, which means that this month is the perfect time to take a look at your life, your health and your wellness and consider how you can change and improve each aspect of that. By taking your health and wellness more seriously, you can improve your quality of life, and ensure that you have the best year ever, allowing you to start next year in the most amazing place, health-wise.

If there’s one area of your life that you should consider focusing on this year, it’s your mental health, after all, this is a key area of your health and wellness, and one that very few people put enough time and effort into taking care of.

Wondering what it takes to give your mental health a boost this year? Have a read of the tips and ideas below!

Peace meditate

Photo source: Pixabay

Be more active

One way to enhance your mental health this year is to take steps to become more active. If you want to give your mental health a boost and improve how happy you are, becoming more active is a great way to go about it. Physical activity isn’t only beneficial for physical health, but also for mental health because it helps to reduce feelings of stress, tension and anxiety, which is what makes being more active so important for your mental health. Whether you choose to take up running, swimming or yoga, it doesn’t matter – all that matters is that you’re taking your mental health seriously by taking steps to be more active to help improve your emotional wellness.

Seek support

There’s no shame in seeking support, should you need it. When it comes to your mental health, it’s important to understand that there is no shame in taking the time to get support, should you need it. Regardless of what the problem is and whether you need anxiety counselling, sex addiction counselling or support for another mental health problem, it’s essential that you feel like you can seek the support that you need without needing to feel embarrassed about it. If you are struggling, one of the best things that you can do is seek support, which is why it’s so important that you understand this.

Do what makes you happy

Want to improve your mental health this year? Then, it’s essential that you do what makes you happy. When it comes to mental health and happiness, these two things tend to go hand in hand, with you being less prone to develop mental health problems if you do what makes you happy. Spend more time doing the things that you love and less time doing what other people want you to do – this is important as it could have a huge impact on your mental health and wellness.

There you have it, everything that you need to know about giving your mental health and wellness a boost this year. Take note of the tips and advice above and you can make the whole process much easier for yourself.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail