Living with addiction can be a crippling and destructive process that affects not only you, but everyone around you. The moment of clarity that starts you on your journey to a healthier life is one of the most beautiful things you will ever experience and the feeling when you emerge successfully from rehab can be even better. At the end of your long journey you will have blossomed like a butterfly, and with a renewed sense of purpose you can begin your new life.
The truth is though, recovered addicts never really leave their past behind. While we are able to shed the cocoon and free ourselves from a constant battle, the reality of addiction will stay with us forever. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but rather a part of our everyday lives and an opportunity to increase our strength and resilience. Returning to complete ‘normalcy’ can take a lifetime but fortunately there are a range of common ways in which we can continue to grow and succeed. Today we’re going to explore how sports and exercise can keep us on the road to recovery and help us to beat addiction for good.
Strengthening Mind and Body
The daily battle to overcome addiction is fought on more than one level. On one hand, there are physical processes that we may not fully overcome for years after treatment. The other aspect is the mental one, and having the strength to avoid relapse each and every day. The body and mind will both miss whatever your addiction provided you with and that’s where exercise can help.
Exercise can release endorphins that act as a natural and perfectly healthy high. Incorporating physical exercise as one element in your long-term recovery process can therefore help you to cope.
When it comes to your daily mental battle, stress is one of your biggest enemies. Stressful and traumatic events can enhance the chance of relapse for recovering addicts by increasing stress-related cravings. Exercise has also been shown to reduce stress – and therefore its associated symptoms – for many people, due to a chemical in your brain. In these two ways, exercise serves as a positive tool in rebuilding healthy habits and a healthy life.
Unhealthy Addiction Becomes Positive Habit
While it would be overly simplistic to say that you can just replace one habit with another, there are behavioural aspects to addiction that can be substituted with regular exercise. Exercise can become a positive, healthy and meaningful routine in your everyday life that, along with other recovery support, can help to sustain your sobriety. On another level, exercise can simply be the distraction that you need during testing times, taking your mind off your stresses and symptoms.
Increase Your Support Group Today
The people in your life, from your mentors to your family and friends, are all important factors in your overall success. Having a support group to talk to, rely on and even use as a distraction is an important element of sustained rehabilitative success. Taking up team sports can increase your support group, giving you a new sense of camaraderie and another avenue for support.
Do You Need More Help?
Exercise is simply one element in a multifaceted and holistic approach to recovery. It is not a panacea to your problems and there is no shame in needing more help. If addiction is beginning to take its toll on you or your loved one, there are ongoing counselling services and aftercare support that can guide you.
At the Ray Hader Clinic in Melbourne, our professional aftercare services are another element in your holistic journey to avoiding a relapse. Contact us now to continue your journey and increase your strength. Call (03) 9804 5757 today!