If you’re a substance abuser new to recovery, you may have the mistaken idea that life without drugs and alcohol will boring. If you can no longer use chemicals, you might think, you can’t expand your consciousness at all. It’s time to let you in on a little secret: You can still alter your mind in sobriety.
Five Great Ways to Get a Natural High
- Meditation: Probably the best-known way to alter the mind without drugs, meditation works by focusing our attention on a simple mental activity. For example, some forms of meditation have us concentrate on the act of breathing. Other meditative practices, as well as certain forms of prayer, use a mantra: A word or phrase, often in an ancient language, that we chant, over and over. As our mind inevitably begins to wander, we gently return to our breath or mantra. This method of hyper-focusing serves to enhance our mental state, while eliminating worry, stress, and depression.
- Yoga: While a fair amount of meditation is incorporated into traditional forms of yoga, the yogic postures can alter our mind, as well. Perhaps the best posture for achieving an altered state is the headstand, which sends a rush of blood to the brain. Headstands also change our perception by literally turning our world upside down. Headstands should be done for short periods, however, especially if you’re new to the practice.
- Aerobic exercise: Ever hear of a “runner’s high”? It’s the common name for the euphoria that results from an extended period of exercise, such as jogging. It’s not just for runners, though; any type of aerobic exercise, including dancing, will produce the same effect. The high is actually caused by a rush of endorphins, which are opioid peptides made by the body to alleviate pain, reduce stress, and enhance mood.
- Outdoor sports: Add an outdoor environment to your exercise method of choice, and you’ll get an added natural high – from nature itself. Even without the endorphin rush described above, doing extreme sports in nature literally makes our world feel bigger. Think surfing, rock climbing, bungee jumping, or hang gliding, for example. Heck, even a good workout in the park will do the trick.
- Isolation tanks: Made famous by the 1980 movie Altered States, isolation tanks are enclosed saltwater pods, heated to body temperature, in which the occupant floats for about an hour. Also known as sensory deprivation tanks, they work by blocking out light and sound, isolating the occupant from outside stimuli. While the movie subject uses psychedelic drugs to enhance his experience, isolation tanks by themselves provide all the mind expansion a sober person could want.
The Lakehouse Treatment Center understands the worlds of active addiction and active recovery. Years of comprehensive experience have helped us build a unique program focused on changing lives and rebuilding families. From detox to sober living, The Lakehouse program focuses on learning how to live and have fun again- a treatment experience like no other. Call us anytime: 877.762.3707