While I was in rehab from substance abuse, I learned an extremely important lesson, which was how to treat my body and mind in the best possible way. And, while they were healthy habits I picked up while in recovery, it can be learned and practiced by anyone looking to enhance their life quality. Many believe that leaving behind a life of abuse and excess means shutting the door on fun and good times; when in reality widens our mind to endless new possibilities where we can grow as people and start a journey towards a happy and healthy life.
In order for anyone to successfully hop on board, I’d strongly suggest working on these 6 things I learned from recovery:
Make amends with yourself and the past
This is a hard process for anyone, not just a recovering addict. Making peace with ourselves and those we’ve hurt can be one of the most challenging things we can go through in life. Letting go of our pride and acknowledging that we’ve hurt people is something difficult, but realizing that we still have the power the make it right will take a huge burden off our backs once we decide to move forward towards inner peace.
Walking down that path will not only get rid of all shame and guilt we might have but will also empty our minds and hearts from all negative feelings that had been harvesting within. There will be room for self-love and acceptance, which is the foundation of happiness.
Eat better, feel better
We usually hear: “You are what you eat” and there is some literal truth to it. Having a balanced and nutritious diet will not only improve our health but it will also clean our bodies to the extent that we will literally feel happier and better.
By having regular healthy meals, we make our bodies get used to a certain type of food that rewards our system and at the same time, we avoid hunger pangs, which can be mistaken with substance cravings sometimes.
Renew your relationships
For me, the hardest thing about addiction was the damage it did to my relationships; my family, my friends, my loved ones. I was a closed book, I did not let anyone get close, and it was extremely hard for the people I loved to understand what was actually happening with me. It made forgiveness and acceptance later on, that much difficult.
Accepting that we made a mistake will always be the first step towards redemption. Healing old wounds we might have inflicted on those we never really wanted to hurt is a task that will always be rewarding for both sides. The isolation we once felt will be diluted with new experiences and relationships, which, for recovering addicts, can also diminish chances of relapse in the future.
Get up and get active
Working out has endless benefits to our bodies and minds. It has been widely recognized that exercise fights off depression, anxiety and all other kinds of negative feelings that might push to a relapse in the future.
It also improves our health by diminishing risk of possible diseases. And last but not least, getting in better shape is also linked to a better self-esteem, which as a chain-effect, is also connected with a better attitude towards life and therefore a higher chance to become successful and happy.
New interests means new adventures
Part of the journey of a recovering addict is to find new activities that stimulate our brains and that are entertaining enough to adopt them as hobbies or interests. Opening our minds to new types of experiences will always bring good things in return.
Trying new things leads to new worlds where new people are waiting to nurture from our own life and where we in return can also gain knowledge from what they’ve been through. It’s a whole new scenario that has nothing to do with our old selves and that has an endless amount of opportunities and possibilities to offer.
Keep calm and carry on
It sounds like a cliché but all good things in life take time. So learning how to be patient and how to relax at the right time can make the whole journey a lot easier and enjoyable.
It is also a good opportunity to take on new activities that stimulate our brains in good ways, such as meditation, yoga or even prayer. Regardless our beliefs, it’s always a good to count our blessings and remember how far we’ve come and who’s there with us.
Going through recovery is a hard and challenging experience, but it is also an experience that will enrich your life towards what you’ve always dreamt. Surrounding ourselves with positivity, optimism, love, self-respect and sharing all of those things with our loved ones will always bring light on our way and show us the right path to a happy and healthy life.
If you’d like to ask a question or would like to suggest another thing you’ve learned from being in recovery or to take care of yourself, feel free to leave a comment below.