If years of addiction research has revealed anything, it is that drugs have the capacity to destroy both mind and body.
For recovery to be effective, treatment must therefore be comprehensive enough to restore balance to lives severely destabilized by chronic drug abuse. Over the years, science has made significant inroads into addiction treatment that now makes it possible for many people to experience a more holistic journey back to sobriety.
Beyond the services provided at rehab facilities, there are things that the person in recovery can do to further restore the mind – body connection that is usually disrupted by the physical and psychological impairments caused by habituated substance abuse. Since rehabilitation from addiction is a process, the following recovery tips are suggested to augment rather than replace the drug intervention treatment process.
Recovery Tips for Mind and Body
- Guard Your Mental Space – Avoid stressful situations, people, places and things that can trigger negative emotions and problematic patterns of behavior. Paying attention to how environment and daily activities influence both moods and desires can transition the focus from the need to self-soothe with drugs or alcohol to taking steps to restore feelings of well-being.
- Physical activities – Incorporate habits into everyday life such as the practice of yoga or meditation that have been shown to nourish both the mind and body. Physical activity, whether it is running, swimming or walking help to increase serotonin which are those feel good chemicals that help to elevate moods and minimize feelings of depression. A report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse indicate that exercise is beneficial for both the body and the brain. While physical activity invigorates the heart and lungs it also stimulates the brain’s reward pathway and heighten important mood-boosting neurochemicals. In animal research conducted by NIDA scientists, exercise was shown to promote the formation of blood vessels in the brain, forge connections between cells, enhance repair of neural tissue, and generate new neurons in memory-formation areas.
- Make Nutrition a Priority – “Feed the body, Feed the brain” is a great maxim that describes the importance of good nutrition while in recovery. A consistent healthy diet has been shown to be highly beneficial for both the mental and physical wellbeing during recovery from addiction. Based on scientific research, deficiencies in certain nutrients and chemicals can cause physical lethargy as well as disruptions in brain function and the ability to think clearly.
- Sleep – Sleep deprivation is a recipe for falling into physical and mental problems. Good sleep habits provide restoration for mind and body. Studies show that most adults need approximately eight hours of sleep each night. However, everyone is different so identify your sleep needs and take steps to ensure that you meet them regularly. You can improve your sleep by creating a sleeping environment that is conducive to sleep, a calming bedtime ritual and sticking to a regular sleep schedule.
- Reengage in Life – Isolation and hopelessness are common characteristics of addiction. While in recovery it is important to engage with others that support your recovery. Attend group meetings, build healthy relationships and participate in hobbies and social events that do not threaten your sobriety. Taking the time to create and pursue new dreams and goals help you to reengage in life on a new a positive level.
There are unlimited ways that people in recovery can stay healthy and happy. Many drug rehab centers and wellness programs offer various services that support both mind and body and enhance the recovery goals of those that have overcome addiction. Make your physical, emotional and spiritual health a priority. Continuously explore new ways to stay motivated, have healthy relationships as well as improve your mental and physical health.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.