In any mental health or recovery program, a big focus is not only on overcoming unhealthy behavioral patterns but replacing them with new healthy ones. Humans are habitual beings, and we tend to thrive on routines, rituals, and patterns. It is why the major cultural traditions and spiritual organizations of the world have always been rooted in ritual and repeated experience. The human brain is programmed to work in patterns.
Our brains reflect what we experience in conditioned mental structures. The majority of our deeply constructed beliefs about the world, ourselves, and others grow from our experiences and up-bringing. To replace belief systems or behavioral patterns that are no longer working for us, we must replace them with healthy patterns that will.
Healthy Lifestyle Changes
Some of the simplest and yet profound changes we can make have to do with our basic necessities: food, physical exercise, and sleep. This may sound simple but can often feel overwhelming when we are trying to survive through the process of recovery and healing. It is important to note that we don’t have to (and shouldn’t attempt to) do everything at once, and to be humble, honest, and compassionate throughout the process.
Tips for Making Changes
- Start small. Trying to do everything all at once often ends badly. It is okay to be ambitious and excited about change and progress, but it’s almost more important to be humble and compassionate with ourselves and our situation. We are having to relearn patterns that have most likely been programmed into us for the majority of our lives. It takes time, practice, and patience to learn new habits.
- Don’t give up. There will be some days where you sleep in late instead of going to yoga class, and it’s okay to honor those moments. Yet, don’t give up. Allowing one set back to turn into an unhealthy pattern is the opposite of what we are trying to achieve.
- Surround yourself with the positive. The journey of recovery and healing are uncomfortable. Though it is important we face that discomfort, it’s also important that we learn how to experience healthy joy and pleasure. Surrounding ourselves with positive experiences and people is key in relearning how to make healthy choices an inherent part of our lives.
- Have fun! Learning healthy habits may seem mundane, but you can find fun and exciting ways to reset your life. Learning a new hobby, going out on sober dates, and trying new healthy foods can keep the process stimulating and healthy for your body and mind.
Getting sober and leading a healthy, happy life comes with a lot of changes. Though some adjustments may be scary, they are also exciting and vital for living a happy and healthy life. At Avalon, we know how difficult it can feel to adopt new, healthy habits, but we are here to help. We offer programs and guidance to help you or your loved one begin to live a happier and healthier life. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call us today at (844) 857-5992. You deserve to live your best and healthiest life. We can help you throughout your journey.