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10 Surprising Ways to Help Keep Addiction in the Past

March 09, 2018

Today, we welcome a special guest blogger, Adam Cook, from Addiction Hub. Addiction Hub is a web based resource for individuals, families, and health workers to find support for addiction related issues. Thank you to Adam, and please check out for more resources!


10 Surprising Ways to Help Keep Addiction in the Past

2018 marks the beginning of a new year and a new opportunity to be the best version of yourself. And that means keeping your addiction where it belongs, in 2017. While battling your inner demons is much easier said than done, here are 10 unexpected ways to keep yourself safe and sober one day at a time.


1. Live for today. In the grand scheme of things, today is all you’ve got. Quit focusing on the past and worrying about where you’ll be in the future. Wake up each morning with no other thought than to make today your best day ever.


2. Get creative. They say that music soothes the soul and that is never truer than when you’re in drug or alcohol recovery. The National Center for Biotechnology Information in conjunction with the US National Library of Medicine recently released an abstract advocating the use of music and art therapy in substance abuse treatment, especially for women and adolescents. While you may not be the next Mick Jagger or Ansel Adams, tapping into your creative side will help you stay away from your dark side.


3. Don’t challenge your willpower. There are going to be challenges and you’re going to have to face them. But don’t actively encourage your sobriety.


4. Exercise and eat right. Your body and brain need fuel and that fuel comes from what you put into and the way you use your body. sums it up quite nicely with four words: strong body, sound mind. By exercising and eating healthy foods, you allow your body to heal from the inside out and to release natural endorphins that can make you feel good 100% of the time.


5. Stop focusing on fear. Fear is a four letter word and one that has implications that reach far beyond being frightened. When you’re in recovery, it is easy to fear that you will make mistakes. Stop fixating on the things that scare you and shift your attention – and your energy – to those actions and activities that make you feel brave and strong.


6. Up your social life. The benefits of friendships are many. The least of not which, according to the Mayo Clinic, is that, “friendships can have a major impact on your health and well-being.” In addition to giving you a sense of purpose, maintaining an active social life can improve your self-confidence and help you cope with traumas, including your own addiction.


7. Volunteer. Another way to give yourself purpose is to volunteer for a cause you feel is important. As a recovering addict, you might, for instance, volunteer as a mentor for youth facing similar issues with drugs or alcohol. Whatever you choose to do, with each hour of time you give you make the world a better place, and simply knowing that can be a huge motivator during recovery.


8. List what you are grateful for. Even if you’re struggling financially, socially, or emotionally, you still have plenty to be grateful for. Your sense of smell, healthy hands and feet, the sun, and books are just a few things you should cherish each and every day.


9. Create goals. While you certainly shouldn’t live for tomorrow, you should set goals for yourself that will help you lead a better life today and every day. Even if you have to start small by, for example, setting the goal to stay sober for the next hour, each passing victory will encourage you to do more good for yourself.


10. Boot negativity out the door. The vast majority of how we feel is directly related to our perception of negativity. Make a conscious effort to look at the positive and even the worst situation won’t seen quite so dismal.


Remember, today is a new day. It’s your day and your time to shine. Don’t let your past interfere with your present. You can beat addiction, you just have to start by embracing the small things that make you you and that make you happy each and every day.

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