Recovery is not a short experiment in life but an ongoing lifestyle. These five practices will sustain your recovery long term in addition to not picking up drugs and alcohol, no matter what.
- Stay in the middle of the herd: Herd animals have a smart process. Moving in a herd means having the opportunity to get in the middle of the herd. Surrounded by your peers, you’re less likely to be picked off by a predator by being a straggler on the outside. Staying in the middle of the herd is a recovery term used to describe the need to be surrounded socially. Isolation is a trick up the disease of addiction sleeve to make you think you’ll be just fine on the outside of the herd and that you don’t need the herd anyway. Research into the neurobiology of addiction has found that when rats who were being studied were in an open setting with other rats, rats to mate with, things to do, and open access to cocaine- they chose the cocaine less often.
- Create meaning and value in your recovery: Part of the reasons the rat in the experiment, called Rat Park, was so successful was because the rats were able to make some meaning in their lives. There were things to do, people to meet, places to go- as opposed to previous experiments where rats were isolated in a small cage with nothing to do but consume cocaine-laced water. Creating meaning and value in your recovery gives your recovery a purpose. Without a purpose for being clean and sober, there’s simply no purpose in being clean and sober. Too many people lose the drugs and alcohol but don’t create any new meaning or value in their recovery. They continue on in the same fashion of misery, just without the substances.
- Regularly exercise and get creative: Fitness is essential to sustaining long term recovery. Regular exercise can get stale, however, which is why it is essential to get creative. Life stems beyond the gym. Go hiking, go kayaking, take a dance class, learn how to do a physical practice you’ve never tried before. Routine and discipline are important for recovery, but addicts always run the risk of feeling stale in their activities.
- Have an attitude of gratitude: Your attitude and perspective on life couldn’t be more important for your recovery. Gratitude is scientifically proven to change the brain for the better, especially in comparison to some less than grateful perspective counterparts. Gratitude shapes the brain to see more things to be grateful for. Resentment is considered to be a lethal threat to addicts and alcoholics.
- Get enough sleep: Sleep is critical for long term healing. For days full of gratitude exercise, meaning, value, and social activity, you need your rest. Rest is the opportunity for your body to heal and restore itself while your brain processes necessary information,
Lakehouse Recovery Center is committed to bringing you through your first year of recovery, setting the pace for the rest of your life. Our residential treatment programs are followed by a twelve month aftercare program to keep clients safe and accountable. For information on our integrative approach to treatment, call us today: 877.762.3707