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5 Ways to Increase Mental, Physical and Emotional Strength in Early Recovery

on Tuesday, 09 September 2014. Posted in Breaking News

5 Ways to Increase Mental, Physical and Emotional Strength in Early Recovery

Recovery from addiction can often be among the most intense experiences of someone's life.

The recovering addict has to unlearn deeply engrained habits can be deeply taxing, on top of dealing with bodily symptoms of withdraw, so it's no wonder that some people in recovery use imagery related to war in talking about "fighting" against addiction.

There is no "magic bullet" that can take away your addiction easily, but here are some practices you can do to gain the inner strength to face the struggle, and begin the process of "getting your life back."

1. Put exercise and other healthy habits in your daily routine

Regular physical activity can have a powerful benefit to many aspects of the recovery process. On one level, it serves as a distraction that reduces depression and anxiety, a chance to get your mind off of troubling thoughts.

It also provides emotional enjoyment, and a sense of satisfaction after you can see what you can accomplish after pushing yourself. Having a body that feels good can help to improve your mood and self-image in all areas. If you don't have an exercise routine, experiment with different athletics or ways of exercising until you find something that works for you.

Taking care of yourself in other ways, such as putting care into tasks of daily hygiene can be another way of building up a sense of self-love that is an important part of the recovery process.

2. Yoga can be a helpful option to build up a better mind-body connection.

One form of exercise that is particularly noteworthy for potential helpfulness in this area is yoga. Yoga can be a form of relaxed and intentional stretching to build strength in the body, endurance for the mind, and a sense of calmness and well-being.

By utilizing both the body and the mind, this form of exercise builds appreciation of how different aspects of the self are connected, and can be both controlled and treated with grace as you learn to create helpful ways of dealing with and minimizing stress.

3. Focus on positive things.

Every person has core beliefs about him or her self and life and the surrounding world. These core beliefs are affected by past experiences, are often held unconsciously, and can profoundly influence thoughts, behaviors, and emotions.

Some of these core beliefs are shaped by fears or internalized past experiences of rejection or failure, causing you to focus on negative aspects of your life or doubt your adequacy. When negative thoughts such as "I can't do anything right," arise, learn to answer them by focusing on good things in your life, on realizing that "I may have some weakness, but I also have a lot of strengths. My life is sometimes hard, but I have a lot of good things happening too."

4. Writing or other forms of self-expression.

Many people have hidden thoughts that can cause a great deal of stress; they keep ruminating over a fear or reminder of failure, unknowingly creating bad feelings without giving themselves room to either reflect on or move on from those negative feelings.

Journaling, or an expressive form of art can be a way to build habits of self-discovery, so you can better understand your own feelings, getting them out in the open. Taking time to reflect on your self can also be a time of celebrating growth, and gaining awareness of how you are making progress day by day.

5. Surround yourself with supportive relationships.

The path of recovery is too difficult to make on your own. Supportive friends and family who are willing to listen to you and can offer help will build your resilience in a powerful way, and remind you that you are not alone, and are not even the only person who has faced these challenges before.

However, your mind cannot continually face dealing with intense emotions all the time. Sometimes, you should decide to put feelings off to the side, and learn how to simply enjoy life. Other people can sometimes create situations to give you a break, and use laugher to gain a sense of perspective.

photo credit: F L I R S T - Palk Clap via photopin cc

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