On The Road To Sobriety: 8 Tips For Recovery : Alcoholism or alcohol addiction is more than just a “bad habit.” It is a debilitating psychological disease that affects people from all walks of life. Scientists cite factors like sex, genetics or socio-economic causes predispose people to addiction.
It is important to understand that alcoholism is a real disease. It can cause fundamental changes to the brain and its neurochemistry. This means that a person who is an alcohol addict may not be able to control his actions.
Alcohol addiction treatment is a proven way to help someone overcome addiction. The following are some of the ways that can help you in your journey to recovery.
Leading a healthy life
Being a chronic user of drugs/alcohol can take a huge toll on your physical, mental, and emotional health.
During recovery, it is important that one prioritizes one’s health and builds fortitude to remain on the path of sobriety. The importance of this is duly stressed during alcohol addiction treatments by doctors.
Some of the ways to lead a healthy lifestyle are:
- Get plenty of sleep
- Exercise regularly
- Make room for recreational activities and hobbies
- Eat well-balanced, regular meals
- Practice mental wellness- yoga, meditation, etc.
Form and adhere to a Schedule
Having a disorganized and chaotic lifestyle can hamper your recovery. It is important to have a daily or weekly schedule and adhere to it. It will help you in staying true to both your short-term and long-term goals. For example, picking a career and pursuing education.
Develop Healthy Relationships
Once you are sober you may realize that your past relationships may have been unhealthy or toxic. They may have even led you to rely on alcohol in the first place. Studies show that maintaining toxic relationships can heighten the risk of having a relapse.
If it is difficult to find new friends, it is recommended that one joins a support group. Spending quality time with loved ones and avoiding situations that encourage you to drink is also vital.
Change or Avoid Old Habits and Routines
Though it is said that old habits die hard, it is merely a smart choice to avoid your same old patterns that support your alcohol/drug habit. Because, if no changes are made to your lifestyle it is easier to slip back into your drinking habits.
The immediate changes that one will need to make are seemingly obvious, like not hanging out with people who supported your alcohol habit. You cannot expect to hang around with your old drinking pals and dealers and try to remain sober.
Be prepared for PAWS (Post-acute withdrawal syndrome)
Depending on your type and level of alcohol dependence, withdrawal symptoms may last from six months to two years. Sleep troubles, irritability, panic attacks, and anxiety to prolonged depression are some of the variety of symptoms one may experience.
PAWS and the symptoms involved can hinder your recovery if you are not careful. Apart from recognizing them, it is essential to know when to seek help. Seek medical or professional help when the symptoms are overwhelming
Identify Your Personal Triggers
To prevent a relapse, understanding your external triggers (people, things, places, and situations that elicit cravings associated with substance use) is necessary. Internal triggers like feelings, emotions, and thoughts have to be taken care of. One of the first steps of preventing them is identifying them and forming a plan on how to deal with them.
Common triggers include:
- Relationship troubles
- Emotional distress
- Financial or professional problems
- Environmental factors and relationships that may encourage drinking
Stay Calm and Composed at all times
People who use alcohol or drugs often have trouble dealing with anger. If left unchecked it can have adverse impacts on your health and eventually your sobriety. Anger is a natural emotion, but how one deals with makes all the difference.
Seek help from your therapist or doctor, to find ways that will help you deal with anger positively. So that you will not hurt yourself or others or more importantly pick up a drinking habit as a result of it.
Recognize Relapse Warning Signs
A relapse can creep up on you unknowingly. Usually, it is because one ignores the warning signs. It involves three phases: emotional, mental, and physical relapse.
The warning signs of relapse include:
- Going back to addictive thinking patterns
- Trying to seek out situations and people who indulge in alcohol and drugs
- Practicing self-defeating or compulsive behavior
It is important that these signs should not be overlooked and that help is acquired at the right time to prevent a relapse for alcohol addiction.
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