4 Ways in Which Exercise Helps You Recover From Addiction

When you are trying to recover from an addiction, it may seem impossible to find the willpower to work out. You may be tempted to tell yourself that you need to get better first and that you will create a healthy routine once you feel more stable. However, there is ample evidence that exercise can be invaluable during the recovery process, and many former addicts claim that it made all the difference for them. Here are four reasons why you should be getting fit as you get sober.

 

It Triggers a Natural High

 

The runner’s high is not a myth, but a chemical reaction that happens in the body during moderate-intensity endurance exercise. According to Runner’s World, researchers have theorized that this response may have allowed our hunting ancestorsto run long distances by masking their pain and discomfort. Nowadays, it can serve a similar purpose for recovering addicts suffering withdrawal symptoms. It is also simply a healthy way to achieve a high comparable to drugsin its intensity, which could be crucial for someone on the edge of relapse.

 

It Improves Your Mental Health

 

By exercising, you will be helping your mental health just as much as your physical health. Exercise has been shownto help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, both of which are commonly found alongside addiction. Specific exercises that have been shown to improve mental health includeyoga, dancing, running, and strength training.

 

Nevertheless, you should remember that physical fitness does not represent an all-out cure for mental health issues. For many, it is only useful when applied within the context of treatment, such as counseling or medication.

 

It Rewires Your Brain

 

Exercise doesn’t just make you feel better; it physically rewires the way your brain responds to negative emotions. Interestingly, your brain does not distinguish between the physical stress you feel at the gym and the emotional stress that makes you anxious. In both cases, your brain triggers the production of cortisol, which causes the symptoms of stress.

 

When you exercise regularly, you are exposing your brain to stress and improving its ability to process it. As a result, when encountered with emotional stress, your brain produces less cortisol, lessening the actual physical sensations of stress. According to Men’s Health, this same response has been listed by experts as one of the reasons why exercise can also boost confidence. When you feel less stressed, you feel surer of your ability to tackle anything life throws at you.

 

It Helps You Set Up a Healthy Routine

 

Your exercise habit is likely to have a positive knock-on effect in other areas of your life. Research has shown that people who work out regularly feel more compelled to eat a healthier diet. As you put effort into your exercise routine, you will be motivated to keep up the work in the kitchen. Similarly, once exercise has become a habit, your mind is free to focus on other things you can actively try to improve.

 

Exercise can help you sleep better, which is another foundation of a healthy lifestyle.  By focusing on building a workout habit, you can get much better results than trying to change your life all at the same time. For recovering addicts who need to change their daily routine while maintaining a sense of control over their lives, this singular focus can be an anchor around which they can build a healthy lifestyle.

 

 

When creating your new fitness routine, the one rule is to choose exercises you enjoy. Aside from that, look for workouts that involve controlled breathing (running, yoga, swimming, strength training) because these can have meditative properties. Prioritize longer workouts at moderate intensity, particularly if you want to get that runner’s high, but feel free to throw in a more challenging exercise if you are up for it. If it gets you moving and makes you feel good, incorporate it into your schedule.

 – Written By: Susan Treadway

Validation

Validation

val·i·da·tion
valəˈdāSH(ə)n/
noun
  1. the action of checking or proving the validity or accuracy of something.
    “the technique requires validation in controlled trials”
    • the action of making or declaring something legally or officially acceptable.
      “new courses, subject to validation, include an MSc in Urban Forestry”
    • recognition or affirmation that a person or their feelings or opinions are valid or worthwhile.
      “they have exaggerated needs for acceptance and validation”
      Do you need validation?
      I am here to tell you the answer. The answer is NO. You do not NEED validation. You WANT it, but you do not NEED it. Here is why. You already are equipped deep down inside with everything you need. You are already perfectly imperfect. You are already you. So you that the only thing you need is YOU. All of the accolades, the pats on the back sure feel amazing, I know they do. But, will you perish without them? NO. Therefore, they are not a need. They are a want.
      Today, outside of you is trying to tell you that you need it. T.V, Movies, Books, Magazines, Facebook, Instagram etc. etc. is all trying to get you to feel like you need something to feel validated. Guess what? They are all trying to sell you something. Something that you don’t need. You need water, food, shelter, sunshine on your face. You do not need “Likes” you do not need “Loves” you do not need $100 face cream to feel validated.
      What do you need? You need to come home. You need to sit still, alone, and be quiet. You need to listen to your own inner wisdom. Your own inner light, teacher, GOD, GODDESS or whatever you want to call it. That inner light, is you. The longer you listen to what it has to say, the more you will understand that it is all you need. You are good enough. You are smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like you.
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