Overcoming an addiction to drugs or alcohol is never easy, even with an extensive inpatient or outpatient treatment program. Tending to your mental health throughout your addiction recovery is essential to prevent relapsing and to maintain the willpower to steer clear of temptation. Understanding the link between mental health and addiction is a way to remain focused on your addiction recovery while maintaining your focus on your journey to a life of sobriety.
The Mental Health and Addiction Link
Maintaining a proper balance in the mind is imperative to prevent relapses while focusing on building a better and more fulfilling life without the use of drugs and alcohol. When you struggle with depression, anxiety, insomnia, or other mental ailments and disorders, it becomes increasingly difficult to work towards a life without the use of substances. If the mind is not properly balanced and focused on, you are more likely to find yourself drawn to the temptations of drugs, alcohol, and even prescription medications. Tackling your mind’s overall health is one of the most important goals to keep in mind when overcoming addiction and working towards a different and healthier future.
Maintaining a Healthy and Fulfilling Lifestyle
Maintaining a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle is one of the most important factors to remember while overcoming any addiction. Learning about nutrition and reeducating yourself about the importance of vitamins and proper nutrients is essential to provide your body with what is required to stabilize your moods while keeping you happy and healthy.
Incorporating healthy eating along with regular exercise is a great way to release natural dopamine in the body, providing you with a sense of relief and the motivation to keep going throughout your recovery process. Implementing a regular exercise regiment and nutritious foods with every meal is a way to regain a sense of control over your life and your future.
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the body have shown to contribute to increased anxiety, insomnia, depression, and addiction. By eating the right foods and building your body’s strength, keep temptation at bay while minimizing the risk of experiencing a relapse.
Taking Proper Medications
Caring for yourself mentally is not only about eating properly and exercising regularly. Ensuring you take any medications that are prescribed to you is essential to minimize any symptoms you experience that lead to addiction or other negative lifestyle behaviors. Struggling with mental illnesses such as severe depression, bipolar disorder, and even schizophrenia increases the difficulty when it comes time to remain sober and free from the use of drugs and alcohol altogether.
Working together with doctors, therapists, and counselors is a way to learn more about your diagnosis while treating it with proper medications and remedies. When you have been properly diagnosed and prescribed the right medications, treating addiction is much easier, especially when you feel mentally strong enough to move forward with your care plan.
Building a Sense of Community With Stronger Relationships
Building a sense of community with your friends, family members, and loved ones can drastically assist in your journey to a life of sobriety. With strong and unbreakable bonds, feel the love from those in your life without feeling alone and isolated as you face your addiction head-on each day.
Relearning how to effectively communicate with loved ones while maintaining and building your relationships is essential during the recovery process, regardless of your past and history of drug or alcohol use. With a solid support group of friends and family, gaining the self-esteem and confidence you need to push through the tough times is easier.
It is equally as important to rebuild a strong relationship with yourself. Redefining your purpose in life provides you with a more positive outlook while also allowing you to see and set goals for both the short and long-term. Once you feel positive about your own life and you have a clearly defined purpose, overcome any obstacles that arise while working through your recovery.
Working towards better relationships with those in your community is extremely helpful when going through a recovery process. Connect with neighbors, co-workers, and those in your local area to avoid feeling alone in your journey.
The Importance of Aftercare
Even after you have completed an intensive outpatient program or an inpatient treatment program, aftercare is a must. Aftercare often involves working together with therapists, counselors, and doctors who specialize in addiction and overcoming addictions, regardless of severity. Schedule regular meetings with a counselor or therapist of your choice to learn more about the root causes of your addiction and how to avoid them once you are living independently on your own again.
Spend time at local meetings designed for individuals who have struggled with addiction in the past or are still struggling to overcome a current addiction. Consider reaching out and requesting a sponsor once you have completed an inpatient rehabilitation program. Sponsors are other likeminded individuals who have overcome their addiction and want to assist others in doing so themselves. Having a sponsor available 24/7 is a way to find relief when you are feeling tempted to use alcohol or drugs again-especially when other family members and friends are not around. Sponsors are available at rehabilitation treatment facilities and also local group meetings designed for overcoming addiction.
Attending local NA (Narcotics Anonymous) and AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) groups is a way to express yourself without the fear of being judged, guilted, or shamed. Opening up and communicating about your personal flaws, struggles, and challenges is a way to prevent feeling trapped in your mind as you work through your addiction.
Focusing on the importance of your mental health is a key element involved in the addiction recovery process. By understanding your mental health needs and creating a plan of action to improve your mindset is a way to tackle the challenges and obstacles faced when overcoming a serious and severe addiction of any kind. With the right resources and emotional support, move forward with your new life with less fear of relapse as you learn to love life without the use of addictive substances.