Maintaining a healthy mind and body is key for patients success on the journey to recovery.
There are certain types of therapies and exercises that are important for people who are overcoming addiction. Learning more about these can help patients as they deal with problems like cravings and urges.
Nurturing a healthy mind can be instrumental in helping to address many health problems like addiction, anxiety, insomnia, and more.
Mindfulness and meditation are two methods that can be used to alleviate a number of mental and physical health problems. Meditation has become a widely accepted form of therapy and is now implemented in numerous treatment centers.
These types of practices teach you how to cope with urges and cravings. They also help you recognize the self-sabotaging thoughts that enter your head and teach ways to dismantle and invalidate those fears. Mindfulness promotes more introspective and critical thinking about the ways addiction affects an individual.
Exercise is a tool that many patients in recovery use to help cope with the urges, build structure, and enhance overall health. While exercise does not cure addiction, it can provide benefits that improve your chances of continuing treatment. Exercise can be effective in improving patients’ quality of life by boosting self-image, mood, increasing sleep and reducing stress. Some exercises that can help during the addiction recovery process are:
Yoga is a great option for individuals in recovery because it involves intense mental focus while emphasizing clarity of mind. Many treatment centers incorporate elements of yoga and meditation into their treatment programs. Yoga is a great place to start your fitness journey post release from rehab because it helps you limber up the body and establish a baseline strength without posing this risk of serious injury.
Research shows that just being in nature can boost dopamine levels and relax you. Hiking offers us Vitamin D, restorative effects on the brain, naturally occurring stress reducing chemicals, and improved blood pressure from fresh air.
Running is a great activity for individuals in recovery. Running for even just 20-30 minutes a day is linked to lower stress, healthier weight, and better mental cognition. It’s also a great excuse to get outside and enjoy more nature. Runners high is the purported euphoria that runners get while engaged in a long period of running, which is linked to higher dopamine levels.
Moving through water is highly therapeutic and fun way to get exercise. Depending on your level of intensity, swimming is a great aerobic exercise that has been linked to reducing depression, reducing pain, and improving quality of sleep. It’s also a low impact activity for those who may not be able to engage in higher impact activities such as running and hiking.
Exercise not only plays a huge role in body health but can also help maintain mental health. One study from Harvard has shown that regular exercise can lead to improved memory and thinking skills and can also reduce the risk of developing a substance use disorder.
Urges are something that everyone in recovery will have to deal with. However, exercise can help when a patient is experiencing urge and can be a coping method, giving the brain another subject to focus on other than cravings. Likewise, improving mental health can help the way that patients deal with urges when they feel them coming on.
Getting into a daily routine that involves exercise can help turn it into a habit. If the body and mind are focused more on exercise that means it is occupied making it less easy to slip back into old ways of thinking that could induce a relapse. Working out, whether it is jogging, yoga, lifting weights can help individuals in recovery from letting their mind wander to unhealthy thoughts.
Improved Sleep and Memory
Insomnia is something that a lot of people with substance abuse disorders go through the recovery process experience. However, getting into a routine that involves exercise and regular therapy that can improve mental health can help to get the body back into a natural sleeping pattern. Not only can it improve the amount you sleep, it can also improve sleep quality.
People who exercise regularly tell you how relaxing it can be and how it can help to reduce stress to the point where it has become a cliché, but it is actually true. Harvard Health found that aerobic exercises can have remarkable changes on your body, metabolism, heart, and spirits.