In many ways, recovery is similar to addiction as both concern the formation of habits. Whilst addiction is invariably caused by the formation of bad habits, recovery is sustained by the formation of good habits.
Bad habits that support an addiction are formed over many years. Likewise, good habits that support your recovery are also reinforced over many years. For your recovery to sustain itself, you must work hard to sustain good habits otherwise it’s likely you will revert back to your old destructive ways.
It’s important not to view good habits as chores. Try to incorporate good habits into your daily life so you do not view them as hard work.
Below, we discuss our top 4 good habits that are commonly attributed to helping people sustain their recovery.
1. Make meaningful social connections
We are sure you have come across the classic ‘rat park’ study published in 1981. This study said that addiction is not caused by substances but by your living conditions. Caged rats who were isolated were much more likely to drink water laced with opiates when compared to the rats that lived in ‘rat park’.
The rats who lived in rat park were allowed access to other rats and anything else a rat could possibly desire such as food and space to wander around. We believe it is possible for you to recreate your own ‘rat park’ by cultivating meaningful social relationships.
One way of achieving this is by attending Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Here, you will meet other survivors of addiction who will hear you out and assist you in sustaining your recovery. The path out of unhealthy bonds is to form healthy bonds.
For more information about ‘rat park’, read this book titled ‘Chasing the Scream’ by Johann Hari.
When you exercise, your brain will release endorphins. This is one reason why exercise is so addictive but in a positive way. It’s not uncommon to hear people describe themselves as ‘sober runners’. This is no coincidence that so many people in recovery are dedicated to exercising. It’s because exercising works in helping these people sustain their recovery.
Try exercise out yourself and we promise you will also attain worthwhile results. Exercise is best combined with point #1 above (making meaningful social connections) and you can achieve this by joining groups who practice the type of sport or exercise that takes your fancy.
Another favourite activity amongst the recovery community is reading. Reading transforms you away from your current reality to a calmer and more exciting place. It’s important to eliminate excuses that prevent you from reading. For instance, you may protest that you don’t have enough time to read. If so, you are really saying that you aren’t willing to spend the necessary amount of time on your recovery and on yourself. Try to vary what you read by mixing fiction with non-fiction. Some of our favourite genres are travel writing, biographies and self-help.
Many people who are in recovery are naturally sensitive and creative types. If you identify with these traits, then know that writing could be the perfect way to enjoy your time. Writing also provides a way to allow you to express your feelings and convey your thoughts in ways that allow you to explore yourself in new ways.
Writing is undoubtedly a powerful tool when it comes to self-discovery. Writing has a meditative effect that lightens the soul. Perhaps this is because writing allows you to purge the build-up of negative emotions that are difficult to eradicate through mere thought. The easiest form of writing is journaling. Many rehab clinics encourage clients to take up journaling because it is an effective means of sustaining your recovery.
How we can help
At Rehab 4 Addiction, we offer expert advice when it comes to placing people in drug and alcohol rehab clinics. We may also advise on how to claim the costs of sending a loved one to rehab via a health insurance policy. Not all rehab clinics accept payment by way of insurance policy. We shall advise you on which clinics will accept this form of payment when you contact us on 0800 140 4690 today. You may also contact us through this website.