After everything you have learned in a drug and alcohol inpatient treatment center, you may no longer feel the need to rely on drugs or alcohol anymore. However, your addictive personality could still take over by replacing one addiction with another. Instead of looking for a replacement addiction, here are healthy approaches you can take in recovery.
You know that drugs and alcohol are harmful to your life. However, you may still look to find a way to cope with heavy emotions. Just because you have completed treatment doesn’t mean you are cured of human emotions and hard days. Drugs and alcohol used to calm your mind. Now, you may be looking for something to give you the same high that drugs did.
Common things people in recovery replace their drug and alcohol addiction with include:
You may think that these addictions are “safer” than the damages drugs and alcohol can do to your body and mind. In reality, these replacements can give you the same effects that any substance can. You can still experience cravings, withdrawal, and negative consequences that can affect the rest of your life.
Falling back on a replacement addiction can feel like you are back to square one, with all of your work toward sobriety going out the window. Luckily, there are things you can do to help yourself cope with replacing one addiction with another.
Create an Exercise Regimen
One thing you can do whenever you feel cravings is get some exercise. If you want a natural high, those feel-good endorphins will do the trick! You do not have to have a gym membership or own expensive equipment to reap the benefits of exercise. Going outside and taking a walk around the block is enough exercise to help you combat cravings.
Exercising outside can also significantly benefit you and your recovery. According to Consumer Reports’ article “The Healing Power of Nature,” spending time outdoors can improve your health. Whenever you feel overwhelmed with emotions and need time to think, you can take a walk outside or go on a hike. As a result, your mind will be in a better place, away from the negativity.
Take Up a Hobby
Drugs and alcohol were most likely your go-to when you had too much time on your hands. Now, you need to find more productive ways to entertain yourself. That is where hobbies come in. According to an article published by Poughkeepsie Journal in 2017, a hobby can boost your mood and improve your self-confidence. You can take up a project like scrapbooking or discover a DIY project. You can also sketch or fill out a coloring book. Get invested in a good book or join a book club. These hobbies will give you something to look forward to every day and bring fun into your life.
Find a 12-Step Meeting
12-Step meetings are crucial in recovery. Addiction can make you feel alone in your struggles; listening to other people’s stories can make you feel better. You may hear several stories of those in recovery who have traded one addiction for another. You can hear first-hand that your life will get more complicated when you trade addictions. You can learn what solutions have worked for those you meet and gain support from others like you.
Meditation focuses on your mind, body, and soul. Mindfulness practices like deep breathing and yoga allow you to feel connected to yourself and your world. You will no longer focus on your negative thoughts but on the present moment. Deep breathing and yoga allow you to focus on the movement of your breath and be mindful of how your body is doing. You will not have to rely on drugs or alcohol to feel connected to the world with calming practices like these.
Writing in a Journal
You may turn to behavioral addictions during recovery because you still have overwhelming thoughts in your head that do not seem to stop. Journaling can provide you with a healthy place to release those thoughts. Whenever you feel stressed or depressed, write it down in a journal. You can even write letters in the journal addressed to people or themes that stress you out.
Replacing one addiction with another is no different than replacing one problem with another. Luckily, treatment at a Hawaii recovery center like Hawaii Island Recovery can show you the dangers of replacing addictions and provide you with better methods of coping with heavy emotions.
You have done a great job living a life away from drugs and alcohol. On the other hand, do not assume that replacing a drug addiction with a behavioral addiction is a safe choice. While you may not be able to snort, inject, or drink, gambling, shopping, porn, or other behavioral addictions can provide the same negative consequences. Addiction replacements bring you back to square one in your recovery. Learning how to avoid these addictions and fill them with healthier alternatives will get you on the right path to recovery. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we understand the importance of keeping up with your recovery and working toward living a healthier life. As a leading rehab in Hawaii, we can provide you with continuing care, including life skills education, individual and group therapy, 12-Step meetings, and more. Call Hawaii Island Recovery today at (866) 390-5070 to learn more about how we can support you through your recovery journey.