The Focus On You

*Self-Care & Lifestyle Blog*

Author: thefocusonyou (page 2 of 62)

The Benefits Of A Sober Lifestyle

Thanks to DrugRehab.com, a website and resource dedicated to promoting a lifestyle of recovery, they provided an informational article to share with my readers.

Even if your life hasn’t been destroyed by drugs and alcohol, eliminating or reducing, your substance use can only benefit your life. This article details the benefits of remaining sober, especially for recovering addicts. The piece I want to highlight is the fact that many people medicate with pills, marijuana or alcohol in the name of “self-care.” I have worked with people who are struggling to stay sober and these benefits are life changing. All the things we take for granted (our jobs, healthy relationships with our families, clean criminal record) are the things people in recovery spend years trying to rebuild.

This is why I’m so happy to partner with DrugRehab.com on this post and to put a spotlight on the resources they provide on their website. Follow them on social media, check out their podcast and read testimonials about how a sober lifestyle improved people’s lives.

The journey from addiction to sobriety is a taxing one, but sobriety offers numerous benefits that impact a person’s quality of life. The short-term wins include fewer hangovers and a clear memory of what happened the night before. Long-term, recovering addicts can experience a sense of mental clarity and build new, healthy relationships.

Although the road to sobriety will be a long one, there are so many blessings waiting for you at the finish line. Here are some highlights to look forward to once you reach your recovery.

Mental Clarity

Sober thoughts make for better decisions. When you’re under the influence, it can be difficult to think clearly. Research shows drug abuse can reduce cognition. In sobriety, without constant thoughts of planning your next fix and harmful toxins in the brain, you can use a clear mental space to turn problems into solutions. A clear mind will also benefit your education and your career.

Sleep

Ample sleep is a key strategy for remaining sober. Minimal sleep can be a trigger for relapse. Stress and a lack of sleep can reduce a person’s willpower and expose the potential for drug or alcohol use. We forget how much our bodies need rest until they shut down and force us to sleep. Drinking and frequent drug use affect normal sleeping patterns and can make you sick. More sleep equates to a healthier body and a healthier you.

Free Time

Substance abuse is all-encompassing, consuming your time to obtain drugs, use them and think about how to get more. That leaves little time to appreciate the small things and enjoy alternative pleasures in life. As an addict, you find it easier to choose substances over family, friends, reading a book or enjoying other hobbies. Sobriety will provide you with more time and mental space for productivity and fun.

Improved Personal Finance

Making the decision to get sober will not only benefit your health, but also your pocketbook. Compulsive users underestimate the amount of money they spend on a quick fix to sustain them for an entire night. Combine food, partying, drinking and binging on drugs, and you’re left with a lengthy bill and a trail of bad decisions. When you’re under the influence, trying to rationalize spending becomes a thing of little importance. Your newfound sobriety will limit excessive spending on drugs and parties and support budgeting, saving and other fiscally responsible habits.

New Friends

As you become sober, you will quickly realize it’s time to reevaluate relationships, including leaving some friends behind. People are one of the main relapse triggers, and in order to brave a new direction, you have to let go of people who encouraged your old habits. This may be emotionally straining, but it will make room for new friends who encourage healthy habits.

Support groups and recovery programs are prime opportunities to meet such people. There you’ll meet people sharing some of the same experiences and traumas you’ve encountered, who are actively participating in a similar recovery journey. They can support you, hold you accountable, and become the friends you may need to lean on.

Newfound Beauty

Addiction affects your outside as much as your inside, and sobriety may offer an opportunity to reinvest in yourself physically. Substance abuse can cause weight gain and loss, and even affect the skin and teeth. Eliminating these toxins from your system is the first step toward improving your appearance. Though it is important to maintain sobriety for all of the health benefits, knowing you’ll look great in the process can be a great confidence booster.

Reap the Rewards of Sobriety

Recovery from drug or alcohol addiction has numerous benefits, but can be difficult if ventured alone. If you are struggling with addiction or are worried your substance use has begun to negatively influence your life, resources such as DrugRehab.com are available to help you.

Sources

Benton, S.A. (2011, February 2). Recommitting is the Key to Long-Term Recovery from Alcoholism. Retrieved from

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-high-functioning-alcoholic/201102/recom mitting-is-the-key-long-term-recovery-alcoholism

 

Dray, T. (2013, August 16). What Are the Benefits of Staying Sober? Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/123504-benefits-staying-sober/ 

 

sobriety

Kiara Anthony regularly contributes to DrugRehab.com, along with other publications.

She earned her undergraduate degree in Mass Communications from Towson University, and her graduate degree in Communications from Trinity Washington University.

A Beginner’s Guide To Mindfulness

Mindfulness has been a popular buzzword in wellness circles even though it’s a practice that has been used for hundreds of years. Various cultures around the world embraced mindfulness techniques to deal with everyday difficulties and to help honor religious beliefs.

Using a definition from “The Mindfulness Solution”, by Ronald Siegel, M.D., mindfulness helps us observe how we interpret distress, how to let go of destructive mental habits and replace them with more useful ones.

Mindfulness is a practice of slowing down, listening to your body, taking one task at a time, unplugging, etc. Being mindful means you focus on just “being” and not “doing.” Click To Tweet

Other benefits?

  • Reduces anxiety and social phobia.

  • Can be used with children, elderly and anyone with physical challenges.

  • It’s free. That’s not a typo. Yes, it’s free.

  • You don’t need insurance, a prescription or a specialized therapist.

  • Helps with personality disorders like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • Useful in drug and alcohol recovery

  • Encourages physical activity

  • Increases connections with others

Based on this checklist, I’m happy to tell you that you don’t need any tools, skills or special coach to begin mindfulness practices. The book I quoted above is a user friendly manual that includes mindful practices and exercises for relationship issues, health problems, chronic pain, aging and grief, plus many more.

On a personal note, having fibromyalgia and anxiety disorder, I have to practice a form of mindfulness daily. It’s so routine that I don’t even know I’m doing it. So, what has a lack of mindfulness cost me?

  • I tripped down the stairs carrying laundry because I wasn’t paying attention.
  • Fibromyalgia flares have cost me time at work and missing important family events.
  • Anxiety attacks in public places.
  • Forgetting to check my bank accounts because I’m multi-tasking every other damn thing you can think of! Overdraft fees add up!

How can you become more mindful? Let me give you distinct examples:

  • Mindful Walking: Although my friends enjoy when I Snapchat my walks with my pup, that actually disconnects me from the healing benefits of walking my dog. When I’m NOT taking pics and playing music, I focus on taking deep breaths, watching her stride, monitoring where she stops to sniff, turning my head to the sunlight & taking notice of my surroundings. Wherever you walk, be aware of how your body feels, how the sun or wind feels and what you see.

Example: I have worked with anxious clients on paying attention to their surroundings & examining them. How many white cars are passing by while you wait for the bus? What do the billboards say on your way to work? Count how many Hondas you see until you reach your destination. Wiggle your toes as you examine your surroundings. How do your toes feel as you wiggle them?

 

  • Mindful Eating: How many people eat lunch at their desk or eat breakfast standing up in the kitchen? It’s difficult having a chaotic schedule but slowing down our meals is actually therapeutic. Some mindful practices involve eating one raisin at a time and paying close attention to all aspects of the raisin. Is it chewy? Sweet? Can you resist eating it and just rest it on your tongue? I have taught clients to use gum or Starbursts as a way to “ground” themselves into the moment. When we’re nervous, overthinking or about to enter a scary situation, an edible object can be therapeutic, reminds us to slow our breathing and moves our body’s nervous energy elsewhere. Challenge: Try eating one meal this week without any electronics, television or distractions. I encourage you to watch your breathing and posture as you eat. Sit comfortably. Take smaller bites and chew your food more. Sip your coffee or tea one day this week taking notice of the flavor, temperature and the feeling it gives your body. See what you notice.

 

  • Kill JudgmentOne of the main tenets of mindfulness involves limiting judgment on our thoughts. For example, let’s look at this sentence: “It’s hot and there’s a lot of traffic today.” Is this statement a fact or a judgment with a million feelings behind it? This introduces you to the Acceptance Theory. If you accept that it’s hot, grab an ice water before hitting traffic and play your favorite Spotify list, how has your mood adjusted? Sitting in judgmental thoughts invites low energy, grouchy attitudes and impatience. Being more accepting reduces negative thoughts and doesn’t attach you to people or outcomes (remember one of the messages behind The Four Agreements: Don’t Take Anything Personal).

Try some of these mindful techniques and see how your mood changes.

Does your breathing slow down?

What facts can you turn from judgments to plain acceptance? Start telling yourself, “Well, it is what it is.” Become more neutral towards thoughts that used to get you angry or sad.

This week I’ll be sharing some mindful exercises on my Instagram Stories! Follow my page here!

 

 

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