4 Changes to Make For Long-Term Success
Tilt the odds in your favor by making changes in your life
Some habits help you move forward in life, increase your productivity, or give you a more optimistic and positive outlook, such as getting in the habit of getting enough sleep, setting aside time for peace and quiet each day, and making the time to connect with the people you love. Other habits have the opposite effect and can derail your plans or make it difficult for you to accomplish goals or succeed. If you have a few bad habits, learning to give them up and replace them with better ones can help you succeed, not only on the road to recovery from addiction, but in other areas of your life, too.
1. Work on Negative Thinking
Sometimes, negative thoughts pop into your head without you wanting them to. You might be having a rough day and your mind might start wandering down a negative path. Negative thinking can affect your sobriety in several ways. It impacts your self-worth and can make you feel that you are less worthy or less than ideal as a person. It also makes it difficult for you to move forward in your life, as you might be so worried that you will make a mistake and let yourself or others down. When your thoughts take a negative turn, it can be difficult to see the point of staying sober or you might be tempted to return to drugs or alcohol to make yourself feel better.
There are ways to keep your negative thoughts in check or to transform them into good thoughts. Try exercising, which releases endorphins to make you feel better, meditating every day, spending more time with supportive family and friends, and saying at least one positive, uplifting thing to yourself daily.
2. Eat Better
Diet is a key part of the recovery and treatment process at Brentwood House. Meals at the center are low-glycemic, meaning they don’t contain added sugar or foods that are high in simple carbohydrates or starches. Avoiding foods that are high in sugar or that don’t have much to offer nutritionally can help you feel better, both emotionally and physically, which can help you manage or avoid any cravings. Giving up unhealthy eating habits can also help you better identify cravings. When you aren’t eating regularly or giving your body the nutrients it needs to thrive, it’s easy to confuse hunger pains or cravings for food for drug cravings. Continuing to stick to a healthy diet is an important part of your long term recovery.
3. Find New Activities
Whether your old activities included going to clubs and bars, or simply spending time lounging with people you used to use drugs with, returning to those activities can be a triggering event. Even if you don’t plan on using drugs or drinking, if you are in the environment or around people with whom you used to do those things, you might have a craving to do them.
Improve your chances for long term success by replacing your old, potentially triggering, activities with something new. For example, you can join a new club, take up a new hobby or sign up for a class so that you can learn a new skill. Finding a new activity to participate in will not only give you something to do to avoid your old activities, it will also give you something to take your mind off any cravings that might occur.
4. Stop Being a Couch Potato
Exercise is a key component of the treatment program at Malibu Beach Recovery Center and Brentwood House, specifically yoga, which helps improve breathing to improve a person’s mood and dopamine levels. Creating and sticking to a regular exercise program can play a big role in your long-term recovery. Avoiding being a couch potato really can be as simple as practicing yoga by following a DVD or by finding another exercise video or DVD program that you enjoy.
Getting off of the couch and going outdoors to enjoy nature can also help you break the habit of being sedentary. Instead of staying indoors, get in the habit of taking daily outdoor walks or finding some way to spend more time in the natural world.
Changing your old habits can be a challenge. But, with help, and with the desire to overcome your addiction for good, you can make the changes you need to succeed in the long run.