The Importance of Healthy Lifestyle Changes for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

If you’re struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it may be time to consider making some healthy lifestyle changes. In other words, if you want to truly recover from your addiction—and avoid relapse—then it’s important to make sure that your body experiences the full recovery period needed to undo the damage caused by drugs or alcohol.

You may be ready to make some healthy lifestyle changes but are unsure of where to start. The first step is figuring out what you want to change and how much time you can dedicate to making those changes. It’s important not to feel like you need to change everything at once, especially if you are in an active addiction recovery program or went through rehab recently. Setting unrealistic goals for yourself can set you up for feeling overwhelmed, which is counterproductive when trying to make healthy lifestyle changes.

Change One Habit at a Time

When you’ve already gone through residential treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, you know how hard it is to make behavioral changes. Maybe they taught you how to cook healthy meals while you were there and perhaps they helped you stay active. So when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, focus on changing one habit at a time and try not to worry about the other things until later on.

You’ll Be in Recovery for Life

If you’re recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction, it’s important to keep in mind that the disease of addiction is progressive and recurring. Addiction is a chronic disease that has no cure. It does not get better if you stop using drugs or alcohol. You must commit yourself to a lifelong process of recovery, because as long as you live with addiction, it will always be part of your life. The best way to prevent relapse is through healthy lifestyle changes and continued treatment for your drug use disorder.

Learn to Navigate Triggers

The good news is that a healthy lifestyle can help you better manage triggers and cravings. When you have made a commitment to change, it is important to consider the new lifestyle changes that can help you better manage triggers and cravings. Avoiding triggers is one of the best ways to avoid relapse. A trigger is anything that reminds you of your drug use or makes you want to use drugs again. For example, if someone comes into your life who has been using drugs with you in the past, this person could be a trigger for you because they may push you toward drinking or taking drugs again.

On the other hand, making new friends who don’t drink alcohol or use drugs can be helpful in avoiding triggers because they won’t put pressure on you to drink or take drugs when going out with them socially. Common triggers include being around friends who are still using substances, going places where people have used substances in the past, and seeing things that remind one about using substances.

Enjoy Healthy Foods

A healthy diet can provide you with added energy while also helping you repair any damage you’ve done to your body during your time using drugs or alcohol. The most important thing is to eat a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Processed foods are not recommended since they’re often high in sugar and fat. And of course, abstain from alcohol and instead drink lots of water throughout the day.

Exercise to Overcome Addiction

Exercise can have an incredibly positive effect on both your mind and body. It can help improve your mood, help you sleep better, make it easier to think clearly, reduce stress, and prevent disease. Exercise also helps balance brain chemistry by producing enough happy hormones to help you feel good. Many of these brain pathways are damaged by addiction and need time to recalibrate. Exercise helps.

Incorporate Self Care into Your Routine

Make time for yourself each day. Whether it’s meditating or reading a book from the library, take time out of your schedule every day so that you can focus on improving yourself without being distracted by other obligations. Find activities that fulfill both physical needs but also emotional ones, like spending time with friends. You can also look to hobbies that you enjoy and help your mind stay alert and focused.

Be Kind to Your Body

In order to fully recover from drug or alcohol addiction, it’s important that your body experiences the full recovery period needed to undo the damage caused by drugs or alcohol. While you’re in inpatient rehab, you may receive additional medications or supplements to help your body overcome the physical damage done to organs.

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