Last updated on May 29th, 2019 at 10:13 am
Recovery from addiction is an ongoing process that involves making better decisions and living a healthier lifestyle. During this phase, many people undergo various types of treatment and therapy to restore equilibrium after substance abuse. People in recovery benefit greatly from making healthier life choices that support physical well-being.
How Optimal Health Improves Recovery
When the body is healthy, it’s easier for a person to handle life’s challenges. Many people must relearn how to handle everyday life in recovery, and learning to take better care of the body should play a role in treatment.
Some of the keys to a healthier lifestyle and curbing the possibility of relapse are:
- Proper nutrition
- Outdoor activity
- Mindfulness exercises
“Mindfulness” is the idea of being more self-aware of one’s choices. During alcohol and drug rehab, many people learn mindfulness through exercises, yoga, counseling and other therapies.
Being mindful helps a person make sense of a situation and understand the body’s reactions to stress, fear, temptation, cravings and more. Recovery doesn’t end with rehab: Recovery requires a daily reaffirmation of one’s commitment to living sober.
Mindfulness exercises and meditation typically accompany many other therapies and counseling structures in recovery, and it’s important for people in rehab to remember what they learn there so they may apply to their lives in recovery. These exercises also serve to rebuild self-esteem and help people in recovery remember they are more than their addictions.
Understanding and using mindfulness will also help the individual make better dietary choices and develop healthy exercise habits.
Benefits of Good Nutrition
Many people struggling with addiction cause serious harm to their bodies. Not only do many addictive substances alter the body’s systems and brain chemistry, but drug abuse often leads to self-neglect.
When a person is in the grips of a serious addiction, he or she will likely look for the next dose before addressing basic needs like food and water. It’s not uncommon for people who enter detox to be malnourished and dehydrated, and nutrition therapy can help their bodies recover so they can more easily handle rehab.
A weakened body will lead to a weakened mind, and it’s vital for people in recovery to physically rebuild themselves so they can handle the stress of rehabilitation. Many people who enter substance abuse treatment receive nutrition therapy and dietary counseling to help them recover physically. After rehab, good eating habits can make sober living easier.
Proper nutrition will help a newly recovered person process stress and stay focused on sobriety. When a person is unhealthy, malnourished or dehydrated, it becomes very difficult to handle stress and stave off cravings, and the risk of relapse increases.
Living Healthy, Active Lifestyles
Exercise and outdoor activity are also important in recovery. Many people dread their daily workout routines, but in recovery, it’s a good idea to find a few exercises or physical activities that help release endorphins and keep the body fit. During rehab, people recovering from substance abuse will have the opportunity to explore new physical activities that help them release stress and manage cravings in healthy ways.
People who complete substance abuse treatment often cultivate new hobbies that afford them healthy outlets for stress relief and a way to connect with others. One of the lesser-known benefits of increased physical activity is making new friends. This is important because many people who complete substance abuse treatment often leave to find themselves isolated from their old friends and acquaintances.
Team sports, learning new physical skills like martial arts, yoga, rock climbing, hiking and other activities help keep cravings in check. Additionally, seeing the results on one’s own body after committing to regular exercise and physical activity is usually positive motivation to keep on track with a healthier lifestyle.
Rebuilding Emotional Stability
While mindfulness exercises, nutrition, and physical activity are crucial to the healing process after completing treatment, it’s also important to rebuild one’s emotional health. Addiction can cause feelings of regret, low self-esteem, sadness and guilt for pain caused to others. People who enter rehab learn how to confront and address these feelings in healthy ways. After rehab, it’s vital to use those lessons learned and apply them to daily life.
Finding the Right Treatment
If you’re wondering where to start in searching for the right drug or alcohol rehab program, Addiction Treatment Services can help. We connect individuals and families all over the country to the best treatment centers, therapy programs, counselors and other substance abuse resources – from intervention all the way through outpatient treatment and aftercare.
Before you start looking for a program to help yourself or a loved one recover from addiction, understand the different levels of care that are available to you. Contact us if you want a more-detailed explanation or some assistance in your search for the right treatment program.