It’s not uncommon for people to go through addiction treatment more than once. But if this is your first time, why not try to do what you can to make it successful?  Making the change to get sober can be a challenging journey, and most people need all the help they can get. Support can come from friends, family, a sober community, and professionals. However, there are many ways you can support yourself. This article will provide a list of ways you can ease the experience of addiction treatment and boost your ability to stay sober.

Exercise. Exercise can address all the aspects of one’s health: physical, physiological, emotional, psychological, and even spiritual. There are so many physical and psychological benefits to exercise that many addiction treatment centers are including it in their regime. Recently, exercise was also recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) as a means to prevent mental illness, especially depression. Since some people occasionally experience depression during their initial recovery, exercise can be a way to help heal both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction.

Eat Well. As you might already know, addiction can take its toll on the body. You might be experiencing the health consequences to addiction now. However, both exercise and eating well can help heal any damage to the brain and the body. Depending upon the type of addiction you had, some of that damage may be irreversible. However, with healthy food choices, eating regular meals, and being physically active, the body can restore itself.

Identify your negative thoughts and change them. Those who struggle with addiction frequently have thoughts that have to do with low self-worth, lack of confidence, or shame. These can easily drive a person to want to escape thoughts (and the associated feelings) through substances. Therefore, after you’ve gotten sober, part of a successful recovery is exploring the thoughts that might lead to cravings and substance use. It’s common in addiction treatment to include behavioral therapies which explore a person’s connection between their thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Two common forms of this type of therapy are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.

Have a circle of supportive people around you. One of the greatest keys to successful recovery is having a network of support. When you have others around you, whether they are part of a sober community or not, there’s less of a tendency to feel alone. When a person is facing a challenging journey and there is little to no support, they can more easily lose hope. However, when a there are others on the same journey (which you might find at a 12-step meeting) as well as professionals, friends, and family, then the journey of change doesn’t feel as frightening.

If you’re struggling in your recovery, try the above suggestions. Learning to incorporate these into your life make a big difference in your ability to stay sober and succeed in your recovery.

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