There are many ways to look at the process of recovering from addiction to drugs or alcohol. For some, it is a life-saving intervention that demands the addict treat their recovery as a summons to life, or else to choose death. For others, they were able to make the choice for recovery before losing family, jobs, friends, and bank accounts. But, the loss of self-esteem and dignity was enough to push the addict to get help. Many people underestimate the role of Self-Improvement in Addiction Recovery.
Most drug and alcohol treatment centers will teach the disease concept of addiction. Making sure the person who is abusing mood-altering substances realizes they now have a medical condition – a disease whose symptoms include an increasingly, uncontrollable physical and psychological craving or compulsion for their drug of choice.
Self-Improvement in Addiction Recovery
Once the person is physically detoxed from all drugs and alcohol, the remainder of the recovery process will focus on those psychological dispositions that played a role in getting the person started, and the mental decisions that increased the drug use, and the emotional benefits the person gained while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. And this is where the role of self-improvement in addiction recovery can be helpful to:
- to bring about a clarity of mind that focuses on your best interests, your physical health, and your emotional needs
- a critical look at your past lifestyle choices, how they may have failed you, and how you would like to succeed in life
- to make time for self-reflection, quality relationships, and repairing any damage caused by drug or alcohol abuse
This may seem like a daunting task, but actually it is simply another way to look at the process of recovering from addiction. After a successful detox, recovery is all about self-improvement. And it can be a beautiful journey that results in enormous personal growth and real happiness. Here are 4 ways to incorporate self-improvement to live a fuller and more balanced life.
4 Self-Improvement Tips While Recovering
Be Open to New Experiences
And this includes being open to new activities, new ways of thinking, a new job, and especially new friends – like those you will be meeting in 12-step groups and during outpatient and aftercare counseling. Being open is the same as being teachable and having a desire to learn. Treatment programs teach us to put the old man away (or the old woman), in order to discover a new way to live and a new way to love. Declaring that 12-steps groups are
A big part of recovery and self-improvement is being willing to invest time and effort in new ways of living, thinking, and behaving.
Include Holistic Wellness in Your Life
Holistic living seeks to balance the whole person – body, mind, spirit, and emotions using simple and natural techniques. It’s not as hard as you may think to live holistically. Eat well, exercise, tend to your spiritual nature and seek to keep your mind clear and balanced. Some examples of holistic ideas and therapies include:
- Managing stress naturally – Yoga, meditation, reflection, journaling, and mindfulness
- Eating a well-balanced diet, cooked at home with a minimum of processed foods
- Natural, herbal remedies when approved by a medical professional
- Releasing serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins through exercise
- Increase activities that make you happy or inspire you creatively
- Group counseling, psychotherapy, or a life coach to help maintain a balanced life
Learn to Set and Reach Small Goals
You may wonder what this has to do with self-improvement in addiction recovery, but moving forward is a key part of progressing your self-development. How often do people make new lifestyle choices, only to give up before they’ve seen any measurable improvement? Set SMART goals to decrease your chances of giving up and becoming disappointed in yourself:
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Achievable
- R – Realistic
- T – Timely
Make the Decision to Live Life While Sober
One of the best self-improvement gifts you can give to yourself is deciding to live a good life – while sober. This could be increasing your happiness, staying motivated on-the-job, traveling, saving money, being the best friend, son, or mother you can be – anything that you decide is an improvement to your quality of life, you should pursue wholeheartedly.
Many people will unleash the same energy they used seeking their drug or drink of choice into following their heart’s desire for living a good life – the life they know they should have been living all along.
First Steps Recovery believes in treating the whole person, and not just the addict. When a person completes an in-house drug treatment program or is actively engaged in outpatient drug treatment, they should expect a life that is satisfying and meets their emotional, mental, and physical needs. We are committed to your safety, your comfort, and your success for long-term sobriety and a greater quality of life.