At Ekka we believe new habit formation is key to success in recovery and in life. We were curious to see what some of our friends thought about this. The good crew at Drug Rehab shared some quality information with us on the topic and we have to say #4 was a new one for us that we really liked. Enjoy!
Poor habits are a significant part of the addiction experience. For many, these routines are comforting, and sobriety not only causes physical and emotional shock, but also removes a person’s proverbial safety blanket.
Consequently, instituting new habits in recovery can be a key factor in preventing relapse. Many believe forming new, healthy habits in recovery can enable neuroplasticity, or rewire the brain, to aid the recovery process. Regardless of what you believe, the following healthful habits have proven to enhance a person’s mental and physical health, and ease the temptations of drug or alcohol addiction.
The spoken word holds power — so much so, that many people believe they have positively changed their lives merely by repeating positive statements, or affirmations, aloud. This small, seemingly insignificant routine is an ideal practice for recovering addicts who may still experience embarrassment, shame and low self-esteem as they journey into life after rehab.
As you begin recovery, consider affirmations an investment in your mental health. Some examples to get you started include:
Since Bill and Dr. Bob founded Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935, recovering alcoholics and drug addicts have flocked to 12-step programs to sustain their recovery. Although not a foolproof method to maintain recovery, the programs have millions of followers and research shows the 12-step programs do work.
One 2009 study shows nearly 50 and 45 percent of those who attended AA meetings for one year or 18 months, respectively, maintained sobriety. Comparatively, nearly 25 percent of those who did not attend meetings for the same lengths of time were able to maintain sobriety.
This data, combined with thousands of recovering addicts’ personal anecdotes, prove following the program and embracing a sober community can be key to avoiding relapse. Newly sober individuals are encouraged to go to “90 in 90,” or attend 90 meetings in their first 90 days sober, to begin a positive habit and start their recovery off right.
In your sobriety, consider joining a 12-step program and committing to a daily or weekly meeting. Once there, connect with a sponsor, whom you can connect with on a more individual level.
Many recovering addicts believe silence is an aid to their addiction, and therefore feel a simple way to enable recovery is to tell their story to anyone who will listen. For some who face the influence of stigma surrounding drug addiction and alcoholism, this task is easier said than done. Sharing your story may help eliminate this stigma, however.
If you’re shy about sharing your experience, consider writing your story down, either in a journal or an online forum; pray and tell your story to God; open up during AA or NA meetings; or make a new, sober friend and trade stories. These people will help you stay accountable, and spreading the tale of your experience may even help another addict seek recovery.
Another seemingly small habit that can make a big impact is making the bed every morning. According to Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit,” better productivity, a higher sense of well-being and sticking to a budget are all correlated with making the bed each morning.
Many ambitious celebrities have also been quoted saying this small habit has enabled their success. In his 2014 commencement speech at the University of Texas, former Naval Adm. William H. McCraven said, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. … The little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right.”
As you work to maintain recovery, start by making your bed and keeping your bedroom tidy. Organizing this personal space will help you clear physical and psychological clutter, and start your day on a positive note.
If you find yourself having more questions than answers in your recovery journey, it may be time to hit the books and educate yourself on the subject. Your doctors, addiction professionals at rehab facilities and meeting leaders at AA and NA may be knowledgeable sources of information. You can also do research yourself, either at your local library or online using resource websites such as DrugRehab.com. These online resources often have call centers you can reach by phone, should you have any specific questions and need more help.
So there you have it! A few awesome super simple and super healthy tips to keep you sober. For some more easy to implement habits that support recovery and all around wellness make sure you check out our Top 5 Rituals For Recovery blog post, it has some real gems in it.