What is the process to effectively overcome an addiction and sustain sobriety? One of the most frequently asked questions by early recovery people in our groups could be summed up this way: What do you need to do to stop using drugs and stay sober?
There are many possible and practical answers to this question. In the first place, we understand that the most important thing is to remember that believing that stopping consuming for a while is enough to achieve a sustained recovery, it simply will not work , because you will end up relapsing if you do not carry out a process that includes becoming a better person.
If you are living with an active addiction and without treatment, drugs or alcohol will end up causing more pain and suffering than you initially tried to remedy or solve; And it is that when people consume they cannot develop a full life, it is as if they work day by day, just to survive. What makes it possible to modify many of the behaviors, thoughts and emotions related to the consumption of alcohol or drugs, includes growing, initially, emotionally .
To achieve a sustained recovery, these are some central components that every person in treatment should try to perform:
- The first is the direct treatment of the symptoms of dependence on alcohol or drugs. In this phase, the symptoms that are experienced by the abrupt suspension of the substance that is abused on the nervous system and the body are treated. Therefore, solving insomnia, anxiety problems, difficulties in energy levels, among others, are very important aspects at this stage.
- The second is to focus on the harmful effects of addiction on the physical, psychological and spiritual health of the person in treatment. For this, participation in different groups will be of great help, because addiction treatment is not only related to achieving sobriety but to the development of human connections of value and significance.
- Thirdly, we include psychological issues and family functioning , problems of anxiety, depression or chronic stress associated with consumption are treated , together with overcoming the fear of changing lifestyle by learning how to have better interpersonal relationships.
There has been a growing interest in using yoga therapy for substance abuse treatment and recovery. When done correctly, yoga has the ability to help break the cycles of cravings and dependency. As such, many substance abuse recovery treatment centers – including the Behavioral Health Retreat – offer yoga as a holistic therapy and encourage patients to continue practicing it during their recovery journey.
Exercise and your well-being
Before we talk about yoga, let’s talk about exercise in general, which has been shown time and again to offer a huge range of benefits for physical and mental health.
Just thirty minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week (think a brisk thirty-minute walk, or even three ten minute jogs) is associated with everything from better sleep and reduced stress to a better mood, increased energy and greater mental acuity. Many people have reported that exercise helps them better-overcome anxiety, stress, and depression, as well as improve general health conditions.
Incorporating exercise into recovery treatment is nothing new. Turns out, it offers all of these benefits, and then some.
Benefits of yoga for mental health
Yoga and mental health are closely linked.
Current theoretical models suggest that the skills, knowledge, and self-awareness learned through yoga and mindfulness practice can target multiple psychological, neural, physiological, and behavioral processes involved in addiction and relapse.
By focusing both mind and body during the recovery process, it is possible to increase both confidence in the ability to be successful and the ability to disqualify triggering thoughts. Both can be critical to maintaining sobriety in the long run.
Prevention of relapse is possible
Overcoming substance abuse requires a multifaceted plan of action, of which yoga and other forms of exercise are only one part. We recommend putting a sobriety plan in place both now and in the future.
We are here to help.
Being able to modify any of the behaviors related to the consumption of alcohol or drugs includes growing emotionally.
But what we read above is not going to be enough to sustain the changes that are initially achieved when you stop using; for that, you have to work very actively. And what do we mean by that? Well, again there are several important points:
- Treatment requires that you put a lot of energy, commitment, and responsibility into it. Without these elements, it just won’t work in the long run and around the corner, you can relapse.
- For that, you will have to go to treatment sessions with your therapist to analyze what “people, places, and things” are related to your consumption. As you will see, the patterns of alcohol or drug use tend to have a mechanics that is often repeated over time and methods and actions can be developed to modify these circuits that perpetuate addictive behaviors.
Anyone reading this text, a family member or close friend with active disease, will know what we are talking about: addictive processes are accompanied by certain predictable forms of behavior, which tend to be repeated over and over again. Therefore, participation in groups will add other tools by sharing your experiences with people who have the same difficulties and are in the same struggle. The support of others and the group’s contribution to your recovery will be very helpful.
Again, the most important thing is to put into practice the guidance that both therapists and group coordinators give you. If you take only one set of guidelines into account and apply them in practice, one day at a time, life begins to improve quite quickly. But for that you have to make the indications and suggestions come true by implementing a set of concrete actions.