How the Right Environment Affects Your Recovery
It’s necessary to have a supportive environment for weeks, months, even years, after getting sober. An environment can have a great influence on our thoughts, mood, feelings, and behavior. Although some might argue that the atmosphere of a place doesn’t really affect them, in many ways our environment has a strong influence on a person’s inner experience.
For instance, imagine being in a church. You can see the stained glass windows, the long pews, and the crowd of people listening to the man standing at the altar. Now, imagine walking through a jail. There’s a good chance that your thoughts and feelings will be much different when walking through a jail versus being in a church.
In fact, research shows that for children, there is no other variable that is of greater importance than the environment in which they develop and grow. Remember that an environment includes a variety of things, all of which can either support or harm your recovery.
An Environment Includes
People: The type of people that are in the environment can make a big difference. You might already know the difference between the way you feel when you’re around your old drug-using buddies versus spending time with those who are working on their recovery too.
Those who are in your environment can have an influence on your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. In recovery, having others who are sober, working on their recovery, or who are there to support your sobriety can help make an environment supportive.
Place: The actual place can make a difference too. For instance, spending time at a 12-step meeting where everyone is focused on the same thing is much different than spending time at a bar, a loud restaurant, or even home alone.
An important part of a supportive environment is the location. Ideally, in your recovery, you’re spending significant amount of time at places that facilitate your sobriety, such as sober living homes and recovery meetings.
Atmosphere: You might notice that each place has its own atmosphere. You might call this having its own energy or “vibe”. The atmosphere of a place can also contribute (or not) to the success of your sobriety. For instance, parties tend to have an atmosphere of celebration which frequently include drinking. Yet, the atmosphere at your therapist’s office likely feels supportive, engaging, and welcoming. The atmosphere of the environment can be just as influential on a person as the location and the people in the environment.
Good Examples of Supportive Environment
A good example of a supportive environment is a sober living home. This is a place in which there is a milieu of sobriety. The staff are frequently using recovery interventions and utilizing the 12-step program to facilitate sobriety in their residents. And the atmosphere itself is serving the overall well being of residents.
In fact, frequently sober living homes have an atmosphere of community. Because everyone is reaching for the same goal, there are many opportunities to offer support and be supported by others. Although there are people who are struggling with similar inner challenges, they have all made the decision to stay sober.
A sober living home is great environment for anyone wishing to find freedom from their addiction can safely return to his or her life.
The Lakehouse Recovery Center is a residential drug rehab center in Westlake Village, CA. We provide drug detox, addiction treatment, drug treatment aftercare, and relapse prevention. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, or visit our blog for helpful addiction and recovery tips.
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