Saturday, September 22, 2018

Improved Wellness is the Key to Overcoming Addictions


Improved Wellness is the Key to Overcoming Addictions

By Melissa Howard http://stopsuicide.info/

Image courtesy of Pixabay



Overcoming an addiction is a highly personal matter.  No two people will face the same struggles, and no two recovery plans will be identical.  However, the need for addicts to achieve improved overall wellness is a universal truth. 

Proper nutrition

Pursuing a healthful diet can be a key to overcoming your addiction.  According to Today’s Dietitian, proper hydration and good nutrition help your body to heal from addiction.  Nutritional deficiencies can lead to anxiety, depression, reduced energy, and a decline in overall physical and mental health, all of which can spur relapses.  Through a healthful diet you can reduce cravings, stabilize your mood and improve your outlook. 

Physical fitness

Participating in an exercise program offers proven benefits to those recovering from an addiction.  Exercise can reduce your risk for falling back into your old habits, and it can help replace the “high” your mind and body are missing with a healthier version of euphoria.  Engaging in a workout regimen can prevent relapse, and it appears to ease the symptoms associated with withdrawal and recovery.  In fact, there are indications the more aerobic exercise you do, the less inclined you are to abuse substances.  Because the benefits of exercise to those in addiction recovery are so clear, some researchers recommend that anyone in a recovery program should have a supplemental exercise plan. 

Getting started

If you are just beginning a fitness routine, one suggestion is to start with walking.  It’s an inexpensive and flexible option, you just need a decent pair of athletic shoes and some 10-minute time slots here and there.  Any form of activity that gets your heart pumping and makes you breathe harder for at least 10 minutes is an acceptable cardiovascular option, and as you become fitter your choices increase.  You can add jogging, dancing, kickboxing, cycling, or any similar activity you enjoy.  Also, participate in some strength exercises for your overall fitness.  This can be pull-ups or pushups, weight training, or resistance band exercises.  The important thing is to find activities you enjoy and to stick to a routine. 

Address your mind

If you’re in an addiction recovery program, it’s important to address your mental health in addition to your physical health.  Addiction and other mental health issues often go hand in hand.  People who suffer with mental health disorders, such as anxiety or depression, sometimes choose to self-medicate through substances.  While those with substance abuse disorders can suffer with mental health issues such as anxiety or depression as a result of the substance abuse.  Thus there develops an unhealthy and connected cycle.  As explained by the National Alliance on Mental Health, when the two concerns are linked they are referred to as “dual diagnosis” or “co-occurring disorders.”  

Stretch it out

Reducing your stress levels can be beneficial to recovery.  Time notes that simply spending 15 minutes doing basic stretches when you rise each morning can lower your body’s cortisol levels.  Cortisol is a stress hormone and it tends to be highest when you get up in the morning.  Write yourself a note and attach it to the bathroom mirror or set it on your cell phone, and get your days started out on the right foot.

Be creative

Participating in artistic endeavors can improve your mental well-being and enhance your recovery.  According to some professionals, finding a creative outlet such as drawing, writing, painting, sewing, woodworking, ceramics or playing music can reduce stress responses, decrease depression, encourage a more positive outlook, and improve the body’s immune system function.  Engaging in the arts can enrich your life overall, encouraging your sense of well-being and life satisfaction. 

Your personal plan

Shape a unique recovery plan to suit your needs, but ensure you develop a lifestyle that pursues overall wellness.  Tend to your body and your mind with activities that promote mental and physical health.  With a well-rounded plan you can overcome your addiction and live a balanced and fulfilling life.

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