For people going through the recovery process, may it be from substance abuse, from alcoholism, or from any form of mental health issue, it is crucial to not only pay attention to healing your mind, but to also give enough effort to restoring your physical health. Since your physiological wellbeing can considerably affect your psychological state, and vice versa, you cannot take care of one while disregarding the other. In other words, a holistic healing approach is the best way to attain a foolproof, long-lasting recovery.
Having healthy habits is one of the most proven ways to effectively look out for your mind and body post-drug addiction. Since a habit is achieved through doing something over and over again, it eventually makes everything effortless and ‘automatic’. Aside from making the treatment and recovery process more manageable to deal with, maintaining good habits helps you focus more on reaching your personal goals while also lessening the possibility of relapse. And since habits are hard to break, once you acquire good ones, they can truly benefit your life as a whole.
How Habits Are Formed
The part of the brain that is linked to habit-making is the basal ganglia, which is primarily responsible for things like our motor control, the development of emotions, behaviors and pattern recognition. This section of our brain works with the pre-frontal cortex, which on the other hand, is responsible for our decisions. However, the more you repeat a certain behavior or action, the lesser your brain works, which eventually eliminates the decision-making part. Simply put, habits are formed when our behaviors become automatic to the point that we can perform a certain task even without being mentally aware of it.
On one of our previous blogs, we also mentioned how firing up the same neurons over and over again can develop new neural pathways, which eventually forms habitual patterns that we can even practice instinctively. As repetition is the key to maintaining a good habit, self-discipline plays a major role in its success. Though sticking to a particular pattern may be difficult at first, full commitment and determination can go a long way.
Healthy Habits for Someone in Recovery
The following healthy habits are the best ones to develop and focus on as you take the journey to an extensive and long-lasting recovery:
- Good Sleeping Habits – Since the body goes through very harmful effects when a person is abusively using drugs or excessively drinking alcohol, there is an immense need for it to fully recover. And what could be more beneficial to your recovering body than a good night’s sleep? Having a deep, uninterrupted slumber can greatly affect your body’s healing and recharge process. Good sleeping habits can even reduce the possibility of relapse. As a matter of fact, recovering addicts that have sleep disturbance are at an increased risk of relapse compared to those without sleeping problems, as stated on a research by the National Library of Medicine.
- Self-care Habits – Addiction can take away the most important aspects of anyone’s life. Even those that are considered healthy daily routines can be overlooked and replaced with corrupt, health-damaging habits. Getting back to a life without drugs or alcohol also involves re-establishing even the simplest self-care routines, such as taking a shower, going for a jog or a run, meditating, putting on make-up, getting a massage, or even having a good laugh. Do anything that can make you feel better and take your mind off the pressure of maintaining sobriety. If you’re truly sincere in taking good care of yourself, you won’t let anything, especially substance abuse relapse, to get in the way of achieving a healthy lifestyle.
- Nutritional Habits – The moment your body absorbs extreme amounts of drugs or alcohol, harmful substances immediately act and disrupt your body’s natural balance and progressively destroy your systems. Sooner or later, you become depleted of essential components necessary to maintain a healthy and well-functioning body. Apart from detoxification, maintaining a nutritious diet even after treatment is very effective in restoring your health. It’s like giving your body what it needs to recuperate and replenishing what has been lost during addiction.
- Active Habits – Being physically active can help anyone progress in recovery in a lot of different ways. Apart from the positive outcomes that exercise and recreational activities can bring to our physical health, it can also benefit our psychological mental health by serving as a way for us to release stress and depression with anxiety. Hobbies can help people in recovery to focus into something more worthwhile than their cravings. This way, relapse can be avoided while giving the person a chance to explore other environments, meet new people and try out other things.
At Next Level Recovery, we aim to build personalized recovery programs based on our “whole-life” approach. This includes all aspects of life, including relationships, career, health and psychological well-being. We believe in the importance of developing good habits in order to attain a progressive treatment and recovery that lasts. Feel free to ask us about our services by calling (888) 303-2785.