Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Healthy Habits: Avoiding Relapse - Turn To Yoga, Meditation, Or Swimming To Bring Strength and Peace in Addiction Recovery


People working through addiction recovery face significant challenges when it comes to avoiding relapse. Major life changes are needed in order to maintain sobriety, and this requires shifts in both your thinking and your actions. Many people find that activities like yoga, meditation, and swimming can provide valuable mindset changes that can be quite beneficial in recovery.

Boost your mental and physical health to stay strong during recovery

Succeeding in recovery requires that you leave bad habits and connections behind and create new habits that support your sobriety. Avoiding relapse takes strength on multiple fronts, and finding the right activities to support your efforts is vital to your success.

To keep yourself busy in healthy ways, you need to find activities that help you deal with stress and manage your emotions. Many people find that meditation, yoga, and swimming are particularly good recovery hobbies, especially since they are adaptable to people of all ability levels. These activities can not only improve your physical fitness, but they improve your mental health, too.

Yoga changes your brain for the better

Yoga accomplishes a great deal for both your mental and physical wellness. Uplift explains that meditation and yoga promote positive structural changes in your brain and these can help you stay strong in your recovery. Specifically, yoga enhances the cerebral cortex that is key in thought, awareness, and attention, as well as parts of the brain that regulate mind-body awareness and emotion.

Yoga can shift you from the sympathetic nervous system in your brain to the parasympathetic nervous system, meaning that you feel more relaxed, less anxious, and you move away from a place of fight-or-flight. It also reduces your cortisol levels, the stress hormone that can cause mental distress as well as physical illness.

Simple meditation techniques can provide big benefits

Many people also find that meditation is essential in staying sober and avoiding a relapse. Meditation helps you quiet your thoughts and is a valuable way to manage stress. Those who practice meditation work on focusing on the moment rather than looking forward or backward, and this practice of mindfulness tends to reduce anxiety, negative thoughts, and depression.

Meditation does not require a substantial time commitment to produce benefits as just 10 minutes a day can have a substantial impact on your wellbeing. Gaiam shares some basic meditation techniques that focus on simply breathing, walking, or using a mantra, and some people even utilize applications for their smartphones to guide them as they learn meditation.

Swimming boosts your wellbeing too

Some people working through recovery turn to swimming as an activity that helps them build their mental strength. The CDC explains that swimming has been shown to decrease issues with depression and anxiety while improving one's mood. Swimming can improve one's quality of sleep and it can also help boost your focus, clarity, and memory.

The journey of addiction recovery is a complicated one, and significant life changes are needed in order to avoid a relapse. It is essential that you find ways to cope with the ups and downs of life as you move forward in your sobriety, and embracing activities such as meditation, yoga, and swimming provide big benefits in this respect.

Author: David Wilcox

[Image via Pixabay]

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