Healthy Habits: How to Make Your Addictive Personality Work For You

We know that addiction is a disease. Treating it isn’t as simple as saying, “No more for me, thanks.” Drug and alcohol abuse changes your prefrontal cortex, which makes it difficult for you to make rational decisions, even basic ones like “No, I don’t want to use today.”

We also know the pitfalls, perils, and problems associated with addiction. Maybe you, like many others, have lost out on friends, missed opportunities, experiences, and money chasing a bit of relief from pain. While addiction can be challenging to deal with, what if there was such a thing as a positive addiction?

The Science Behind Saying “No” 

Dr. Nora Volkow, the director of the NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse, states, “When the frontal cortex isn’t working properly, people can’t make the decision to stop taking the drug—even if they realize the price of taking that drug may be extremely high, and they might lose custody of their children or end up in jail. Nonetheless, they take it.”

Couple this with an addictive personality, and you can see why it can be challenging for people to kick bad habits. However, what if we could replace bad habits with good habits? Kick the harmful addictions out and replace them with positive addictions?

Is There Such a Thing as a Positive Addiction? 

William Glasser was an American Philosopher and Psychiatrist who wrote about the mind and its inner machinations. Glasser wrote heavily on the nature of addictions and addictive personalities. Addictions are chemical habits that, over time, stop being unconscious choices you make and start becoming psychological and physiological needs. There are steps that you can take when working on overcoming your addiction that can allow you to create, as Dr. Glasser describes them, “positive addictions.”

Positive addictions are more than just things you enjoy doing. Having a hobby that makes you happy and allows you to spend your time in healthy, productive ways is good for the human body and psyche. To turn your addictive personality into something that can benefit you requires some essential steps.

Creating “Positive Addictions” 

There are four steps to help yourself create positive addictions:

#1. First, think of something that you love doing. Something that maybe, as time an addiction wore on, you lost interest in.

#2. Refamiliarization is the second step. In the same way that you familiarized yourself with drugs, alcohol, and the lifestyle associated with those things, you’re going to want to refamiliarize yourself with that hobby. Meditation, art, sports, music, writing, etc. What made you fall in love with it? If you can answer that question, you are well on your way to building a new, positive addiction.

#3. Once you’ve rekindled your love for that old hobby or found a new one, you will need to set aside time each week to engage in that hobby. As someone who struggles with addiction, you set aside time to use. However, setting a time to engage in your new healthy habit satisfies that “ritual” part of the brain that is often associated with addiction processes.

#4. Once you’ve gotten your new, healthy habit settled, keep at it. Many activities such as yoga have been proven to have calming, endorphin-rushing side effects that don’t come at the cost of your mental and physical health.

Healthy Habits for Someone in Recovery 

There are many healthy habits you can create for yourself in recovery. Some of these may include:

  • Good sleeping habits: A good night’s sleep can help your body heal from the damage caused by addiction. Good sleeping habits can also help reduce the possibility of relapse.
  • Self-care habits: Creating a life without drugs or alcohol involves re-establishing even the simplest self-care routines, such as taking a shower, going for a jog or a run, meditating, or putting on makeup. When creating healthy habits, do anything that can make you feel better and take your mind off the pressure of maintaining sobriety.
  • Active habits: Being physically active has positive outcomes for your physical health and can also benefit your mental health by serving as a way for you to release stress and depression. Exercise can also help you focus on something more worthwhile than your cravings.

The Benefits of Positive Habits 

Addiction doesn’t always have to exist as a pejorative. We can become obsessed with wonderful things. Building healthy habits is a great way to ease the burdens that come with kicking unhealthy habits. By practicing healthy habits and building positive addictions, you are not only keeping yourself occupied with something you love, but you are also investing in both your present and future self.

Treat yourself with kindness. The world can be an unforgiving place at times. It helps to forgive yourself and treat yourself with compassion, love, and adoration. When you find yourself shackled with harmful addictions and you want to free yourself from them, building positive addictions is a great way to start.

Many people struggle with substance use disorder. When you’re in the throes of addiction or a mental health emergency, it can feel as though there is no way out. At Achieve Concierge, we take a comprehensive approach to substance use disorder and mental health issues. Our team of caring professionals wants to help you defeat your addictions and build healthy habits. Our members have access to a variety of services, from cognitive-behavioral therapy to recommended medications. If you have COVID-19 concerns, we offer telemedicine services that can be scheduled and arranged in the comfort of your home. If you or someone you know is struggling and needs immediate help, we offer same-day services as well. Don’t wait or hesitate. Achieve Concierge is here to help you build the better life that you deserve, free from the shackles of addiction. Call us today for more information on the programs we offer at (858) 221-0344.

Staying Happy and Anxiety-Free During “Safer at Home” Order

Staying Happy and Anxiety-Free During “Safer at Home” Order

COVID-19 took the nation by storm. For many Americans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or depression, it completely halted their coping strategies and healing processes. Everything went from normal to lockdown in a matter of days. For many people, their coping mechanisms included support groups, church, being outside, playing sports, or visiting friends. This all came to a screeching halt.

With no end to the coronavirus in sight, no one really knows when life will go back to normal — if it ever does. These coping strategies may help you get through the remaining months of the “safer at home” orders that are being implemented by many states.

Online Zoom Hangouts

Just because social distancing is encouraged doesn’t mean that you need to distance yourself from your support groups, loved ones, and friends. When you can’t see them in person, Zoom hangouts are the next best thing! Reach out to your support groups, your family, and people you have developed friendships with (or would like to). Virtual hangouts could be a great way to stay connected to others who may also be trying to maintain the same coping strategies that you are.

Organize one night a week when your friends all get onto a video chat platform and talk about your week or play a game together. Several streaming websites have started “watch with a friend” programs that allow people to watch the same show at the exact same time. You can even chat with each other during the program.

Pick Up a New Hobby or Skill

Language learning platforms and educational websites are thriving right now. This is a perfect time to learn a new language for your big trip next year or learn how to sculpt, paint, or code computers. In this age of technology, you have unlimited information at your fingertips. Sometimes it all gets to be too much, and you just need to distract yourself. Try listening to a new podcast series, tackling home renovations, or cooking the latest dish. The sky’s the limit!

Start a New Physical Activity Regime

Now is a great time to get into a workout routine, as we are all at home. Start with one 30-minute walk or jog and increase the amount of activity every day to create a habit. Exercise is proven to boost your mood and happiness. Try to exercise outside when you can to get extra Vitamin D as well.

Check-in on People You Care About

This is a time when many people are nervous, and everything is unprecedented. Remember that everyone else is also trying to cope with these world changes. It could be beneficial for you to send your friend a text asking how they are holding up or reminding someone you love that you’re thinking about them.

Don’t Try to Break Every Bad Habit at Once

Many people are wanting to utilize this time to kick their bad habits. Take it slow while you are combating old habits and reinforcing new ones. Don’t go cold turkey and stop everything right away — adequately tackle one addiction before moving onto another one. Make sure that you are replacing a bad habit with a good one. For example, if you decided to quit smoking, try replacing it with going for a walk.

Refrain From Negative Talk

Try to not hold yourself back with negative self-talk. Instead of saying “I’m stuck inside,” try replacing that thought with “I am grateful to have time to focus on myself and my home.” Working from home is an excellent opportunity to switch your focus from external issues to internal issues.

Having a mindset of being stuck or restrained during this time is not productive, and it will only stress you out more. Take a step back when you are feeling overwhelmed to focus on yourself and your opportunity to grow.

Avoid Obsessing Over Coronavirus News

While it is important to make sure you’re in the loop on the latest pandemic coverage, you should also be mindful that you don’t need to hear the same coverage over and over from news stations. Every morning, go on the internet or turn on the television for one hour and allow yourself to get the news you need — and then shut it off. Instead of watching constant news updates, focus on staying healthy and calm during a global state of unrest.

The qualified team of mental health professionals at Achieve Concierge understands how stressful these unprecedented times are. Whatever your needs may be, we are committed to providing the highest level of mental wellness care with personalized service that is second to none. To learn more, call us today at (858) 221-0344.