Here's a guest post from Michelle Peterson. It focusses on recovering from addiction and while it's not something I've covered directly in the past, it's clearly relevant to everything on the site. Helpful links are also included.
Finding positivity during the process of recovery can be difficult. You can be dealing with guilt and shame, not to mention the daily struggles of life, but negativity can be challenged as you make efforts to overcome addiction. Finding ways to manage the transition and live your life positively is important, both for you and your loved ones. Here are a number of areas to focus on during your recovery.
Take Small Steps
How you begin the process of recovery, and how you sustain it, is something which can be deeply personal to you. Taking smaller steps and avoiding any sense of immediacy or urgency toward a definitive end goal can be beneficial. Focus on an approach which is best for you, and have a mindset which emphasizes your needs. By committing to a process that's at a pace you're comfortable with, you can identify smaller, more manageable goals along your journey. You can develop techniques which can help you recognize and challenge negativity or unwanted habits, and help give you greater acceptance that overcoming your addiction cannot be achieved overnight. Above all, try to stay positive and think well of yourself, because a good mindset is key to recovery.
One of the key aspects of recovery and finding positivity in your environment is communication. When dealing with feelings of shame and guilt, it can be quite daunting to seek help and reach
out to others. It can cause isolation and loneliness. But receiving help from others can help create an environment filled with optimism, and make the act of recovery seem less overwhelming. You can find support from therapists, online communities, and groups of people confronting their addictions. Surrounding yourself with tangible support can raise your self-esteem and give you much-needed self-belief and motivation.
Finding positivity during recovery can be difficult, but rewarding. Whether you have passions which have fallen by the wayside or you want to take up new interests, this can be a time which you can fill with opportunity and joy. Consider making a list of things which have brought you happiness in your life, or activities you would like to experience. They may relieve stress or even take you back to a time that predates substance abuse. Whether it's creative or physical pursuits, you can give yourself the means to find happiness and engage with others. You can also look to volunteer. Involving yourself in the community or a cause which is close to your heart can be mentally and emotionally enriching. It can help raise your confidence, giving you a valuable boost of self-worth and satisfaction. The more happiness that you can bring into your life, the better for your recovery.
Being physically active has been suggested to have a number of benefits, and can be particularly helpful during recovery. Exercise can produce dopamine and endorphins, which give you a sense of delight and euphoria. The act of working out can help disrupt cravings, as well as reduce feelings of depression and hopelessness. It can also potentially reset your bodyclock, making sleep more attainable and your nights more restful. Be vigilant, however, that you don't use exercise as a substitute for your addiction. You can workout for just 30-60 minutes a few times a week, and that can help your mental and physical well-being. If you haven't exercised regularly in the past or are otherwise a little hesitant, you could invite a few close friends to participate in a workout session with you. Whether it's at a gym, outdoors, or even at each other's houses, you can turn exercise into a fun and enjoyable social gathering.
As addiction specialists note, “Getting to the root of your addiction will be a confusing and emotional experience, but understanding your substance abuse completely is an important step in conquering it. Additionally, marriage and/or family counseling can help facilitate healthy conversations with your loved ones and pave the way for stronger relationships.” As you continue on your journey of recovery, finding positivity will be important, and with these tips in mind, you can continue to build foundations to seek out happiness in your life.
Please take a look at Michelle's website, recoverypride.org to see more of her work. Keep an eye on this site, as she’s working on some exciting content that should be available soon.