Each day, we’re filled with thousands of thoughts, feelings, moments and more. All of these impact us not only on a daily basis but add up over time to create what our daily lives entail – and since they all combine to form our lived experiences, they’re all equally important. True health and well-being are based on three primary areas that tend to cover nearly every aspect of living: mind, body, and spirit. Part of addiction recovery is working on emphasizing these three areas of life – oftentimes, addiction can take away from these most vital components of living and so during recovery, we have to strengthen them again.
When we’re actively involved in substance abuse, our brain becomes flooded with dopamine, a “feel good” chemical that causes us to involuntarily want more and more of the drug. In many cases, loved ones will state that their brother, sister, mother, etc. are acting differently than they used to – for instance, people may suddenly lie, steal, or act defensively/mean when substances are involved, even if they would never say anything or act a certain way if they were sober. In fact, many addiction recovery professionals associate addiction with “hijacking” a person, because they no longer are themselves.
This is one of the most commonly discussed areas of addiction, and that’s because it’s the easiest to see; addiction can significantly affect the body in the way the brain functions, but also in the way the body functions. A clear indicator of this is when someone becomes intoxicated – a person is no longer able to think clearly, and it may become more difficult for them to make rational choices. Health organizations state that long-term addiction can lead to a number of physical health problems such as: a weakened immune system, damaged kidneys, liver or lungs, heart problems, rotted teeth, skin infections and more.
The least discussed by society – but one of the most important aspects to discuss in addiction treatment – is how a person’s spirit becomes affected by substance abuse. Substances can take over nearly every aspect of a person’s life, and this can cause them to lose important relationships with friends and family, their career progression, meaningful hobbies and more. Over time, a person’s life can become centered by only substances and less with things that contribute to happiness, health, and fulfillment.
Treatment is about not only treating the addiction but also helping a person regain balance in mind, body, and spirit. Everyone is on different paths and have different needs, which is why a personalized treatment plan is crucial – without it, certain needs may not be met, and it may become easier for a person to dive back into their old lifestyle.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help individuals reduce old, negative thought patterns that are keeping them down and replace them with newer, more productive ones to uplift their happiness and health. In addition to that, group therapy can provide valuable lessons and experiences along with moments of connection to build social support. When individuals in recovery begin to focus on nutrition management, they’ll find that their mind, body, and spirit become replenished. Even effective tools of treatment such as dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), can provide incredibly useful tools for everyday life.
Exercise is a crucial component of healing and growth in recovery, as it reduces stress, improves serotonin levels, and sets us up to think more clearly. Nutrition not only affects the brain but the body too – and with healthier eating habits, we’re likely to suffer less with mental illness and despair; furthermore, proper rest can help the body heal itself from the damages of addiction – which is greatly needed for a person’s full recovery. If you’re looking for some excellent, sober-filled activities to dive into, rock climbing and playing sports could not only give you a chance to connect with others but could yield you with positive physical benefits such as greater flexibility and strength enhanced blood circulation and others.
Mindfulness can help us regain a sense of balance amidst the chaos; psychologists say that mindfulness can help reduce rumination and stress while boosting working memory, focus, less emotional reactivity, greater meta-cognitive flexibility, relationship satisfaction and so much more. Even activities such as yoga can not only aid the body and mind but the spirit, too – with a greater sense of grounding, we can make decisions that are more proactive for our health. Not to mention, social support can provide a wonderful base for a happier, healthier life and can help individuals find nurturement throughout their sobriety journey. Lastly, therapy can greatly help individuals work through deep problems they may not otherwise have dealt with – in effect, all of these strategies can help a person’s mind, body and spirit grow.
If you’re ready to seek help, speak with a professional from Avalon Malibu today.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 844-857-5992 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.