10 Tips to Lead a Happy Sober Life
07/19/19: Addiction RecoveryAlcoholism and drug addiction are huge problems in today’s world, not only in the United States but in many other countries around the world. These diseases can have a devastating impact on individuals, families, and communities. The destruction and devastation caused by addiction are immeasurable, with so many lives lost far too early, loved ones are left heartbroken and distraught over their deaths. Addiction can change people, and it can make people do things they would never do if they were sober. Addiction can wreak havoc on personal relationships, careers, finances and so much more. The statistics surrounding drug and alcohol abuse are startling. They paint a picture of a true crisis and catastrophe in many regards. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that there were over 42,000 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016 alone, while more than 700,000 people have died from drug overdoses in the U.S. from 1999-2017, as confirmed by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The problems are clear and sadly far too many people will pass away from their drug and alcohol use. Thankfully, there’s hope on the horizon and as many sad stories as there are, there are also many success stories of people who have worked incredibly hard to overcome addiction and move on to a healthy and happy life where sobriety is a priority. If you are recovering from addiction, you should be so very proud of yourself. Your dedication and commitment to improving your life and making the most of this second chance is really commendable. In order to have the highest chance of success with your sobriety, you should keep in mind these 10 tips to lead a happy sober life. These suggestions could make a big difference for you as you seek long term sobriety.
1. Find a BalanceIt’s probably common sense that you should keep drugs and alcohol out of your home and avoid situations where these substances are flowing freely. At the same time, you need to work toward finding a comfortable middle ground with your family and friends. For example, if you are a recovering alcoholic, going out to a bar or nightclub with your friends may trigger you, and this situation should be avoided. However, you wouldn’t necessarily want to avoid a close friend or family member’s wedding just because there may be some champagne at the reception. With self-reflection and self-control, you can find a middle ground and a balance that allows you to stay out of sticky situations and stay away from temptation without missing out on big moments with your loved ones.
2. Discover New InterestsAnother thing you should do to move forward following your addiction is to pursue new interests and maybe even find a passion you can dedicate your time and energy to. After spending so long bogged down and drowning in your substance abuse and addiction, you deserve to enjoy the simple things in life, by finding hobbies and activities you’re really interested in. When you have different activities to keep you busy, whether that be going to the gym, knitting, reading, or playing a sport, you will have less time on your hands to think about your triggers and temptations.
3. MeditateFor many recovering addicts, meditation is life-changing. Taking the time out from your day and getting in touch with your mental and spiritual health is oftentimes key to understanding what your body and mind need. Meditation will help you clear your mind, relieve your anxiety, and overall improve your health as you continue your concentration on sobriety.
4. Recognize the Benefits of Being SoberAddiction can cloud your mind and memory. That’s why it’s so important that you take the time to understand the benefits of sobriety. If you set aside some quiet moments of reflection where you look at how much healthier and happier you are sober, then you’ll be more likely to remain sober. There are so many benefits of being sober and you should respect the positive progress you’ve made in your life.
5. SocializeGetting out and enjoying social activities is another key to your new and improved sober lifestyle. Spending time with your family and friends is important and it’s quite possible you can build new friendships with fellow former addicts too. Loneliness and isolation can drive people back toward the deep dark depths of their addiction. It’s essential that you put yourself in some social settings and make sure you have a supportive group around you.
6. Enjoy Sober Physical ActivityGet up and moving! Exercise is essential for anyone’s physical, mental, and emotional health, and this is particularly true for those who have struggled with addiction in the past. You will benefit greatly from finding a physical activity you love. Whether this is a favorite hike, weight lifting, rock climbing, swimming, or something else, give it your all and you’ll be amazed at the results.
7. Accept HelpAddiction can be very tough for the people around you but, don’t be ashamed to ask for help or let someone know you need their support. If you surround yourself with people who are considerate of your situation and confident in your ability to overcome addiction, you’ll be so much better off.There’s nothing wrong with accepting help, support, and guidance when you need it.
8. Get CreativeTap into your creative juices and you’ll be feeling better than ever before. By focusing on the present rather than the past and enjoying creative activities such as writing, drawing, painting or building, you’ll feel better overall. This will once again give you another thing to focus on besides your recovery.
9. Respect, Don’t ResentIt’s quite possible that you may have some rocky relationships remaining from your addiction or some words that have been left unsaid. Try to remember that as hard as your addiction journey was for you, it was also difficult for those who care for you and love you. In order to move forward with your life, you should try and let go of any lingering resentment. Instead of respect and appreciate those who have stood by you through thick and thin.
10. Be GratefulLast but not least, it’s time for you to take a step back and count your blessings. You are alive, healthy and taking the necessary steps to live a beautiful life free from the grasp of addiction. It’s always going to be hard, but you should be so proud of yourself and you should be so grateful for your second chance at life. Make the most of that amazing second chance!
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