What You Need to Know About Recovery from Addiction

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Whether you are in recovery from an addiction yourself or helping a friend or family member recover from their own addiction, there are a few things that you will need to know to make the process go as smoothly as it possibly can. There are so many things that people don’t realize about recovery addiction that it can really throw them off when it comes up.

With that in mind, here are a few things anyone touched by   should know about recovery:

Rehab is only the start

Getting into a good rehab and recovery centre like the Canadian Health Recovery Centre is only the first step in the journey out of addiction. Rehab will help you to gain control of your addiction, and hopefully, kick the drugs, but the period after rehab is even more important and must be managed with even more care, You cannot afford to be lax in managing your recovery if you want to be successful.

Addiction is a Disease of the Brain

When times are tough, it’s always worth remembering that addiction is a disease of the brain. It is not down to poor morals or a lack of care about one’s life. IT will probably need to be managed for many years to come and it will take a commitment that will sometimes be difficult to maintain, Treat those with addictions just like you would people with cancer or heart disease when it comes to the understanding your show them.

Addiction Has No Cure

Addiction has no cure and as such individuals in recovery will always be in remission, and should, therefore, avoid any situations in which they may be tempted to use again, as best they can.

Developing a New Addiction is a Real Possibility

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When people give up one addiction, it is not unusual for them to replace it with another one, albeit one which is usually less harmful. For example, many heroin addicts get a taste for sugar, some ex-alcoholics take to gambling, or maybe they will take up shopping or overeating to fill the void that drugs and alcohol once filled. It’s important to be aware of this so that you can see what you’re doing when you’re doing it and work to change/manage your behavior so that it is not too harmful to your life.

You Need to Be Active in Recovery

You cannot overcome an addiction with good intentions, Even in the recovery stage, you need to be very proactive about looking after your physical and mental health and avoiding the temptation that will take you back to your drug of choice. Attending AA meetings, meditating, using more positive affirmations, taking up hobbies and surrounding yourself with positive clean friends are all good ways of doing this, but feel free to think of your own.

It Is Possible

Perhaps, the most important thing you need to know about recovery from addiction is that it is possible. Many people have successfully kicked the habit and gone on to lead healthy, happy and more productive lives and there’s no reason why you or your loved one cannot be one of them, Sure, there may be relapses along the way, and plenty of tough times to come, but if you keep working towards your goal of being addiction-free, you will get there in the end.

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How To Feel Better About Yourself

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Did you know that you can change how you feel in an instant?  

See, you can’t control the outside world but you can control your thoughts, feeling and actions – meaning you can shift your focus to encourage more positive thoughts, or you can shift your perception to see things in a more helpful light… which, in turn will lead to you feeling more positive, which will subsequently lead to you taking more positive and empowered action.

Yet, if it’s true that we can change how we feel in an instant, why do so many people stay stuck in a state of misery, depression, anxiety, stress or upset?  Why do so many people stay “stuck in a moment they can’t get off” as U2 put it?

The answer is that we have emotional habits that are second nature to us, they run almost automatically, as they operate from the subconscious rather than conscious mind.

A habit, according to Wikipedia, is a routine of behaviour that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously. Now, if you want to change how you feel about your life, or yourself, you need to develop better habits.

One the best habits you can develop to living a happier life is to embrace the paradigm of loving yourself; meaning rather than beating yourself up the whole time you accept yourself for all that you are, focus on the good in yourself, and practice self-care rather than self loathing.

It’s not just internal though, indeed, one of the best ways to feel better about yourself is to contribute to others as this gets you out of your internal world and shifts your focus to the external, which on the basis that people when feeling down, tend to ruminate and get ‘stuck in their own thoughts’ is a good idea.

Whether you merely help an old lady across the road, or do something more structured such as to volunteer in mississauga, when you start to shift your focus away from your problems and to helping other people you will be rewarded exponentially in terms of the shift that takes place within your psychology and physiology.  Indeed, it’s been reported that many people experience something known as a “helpers high” due to the endorphins released when you help another person.

In addition, here are three tips to help you feel better about yourself and your life up from the inside out rather than the outside in.

  1. STOP TRYING TO FILL THE VOID

It’s very easy to chase after external things (e.g. spending sprees) or people, in order to fill the void within – but the best way to fill the void you feel is to find nourishing ways to flesh out your life that provide meaning and fulfilment.

  1. STOP DOING THAT WHICH HURTS YOU

If we were to consider the metaphor of back pain; there’s usually a trigger that causes this pain  – similarly, there are activities you engage in on an emotional level that trigger emotional pain.

  1. GET RID OF NEGATIVE PEOPLE

Negative energy is contagious, it rubs off on you, so if you’re around negative people you will become negative yourself.  The trick therefore, is to get around positive people and allow their energy to rub off on you meaning you will energetically be pulled up rather than dragged down.

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Short But Sharp Practices To Look After Your Frame Of Mind In This Busy World

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We all know that we need to look after ourselves, especially now with so many different factors impacting our frame of mind, from the much talked about fear of missing out (FOMO) due to things like social media, but also, the stresses we’re all feeling with jobs that overwork us, but underpay us. We can feel the pinch in every part of our lives now, which is why it’s important for us to look after the one thing that matters: our frame of mind. You don’t have to look far to see the impacts of depression and anxiety on adults of all ages, and even children now. So, being in an age of the quick fix, are there any short but sharp practices we can do to look after our frame of mind, and not admit defeat to these common mental health problems?

Look At Your Self-Image

If you are working a job that dents away at your pride every time you walk in through the main entrance, after a while, you can begin to feel like there’s a cloud hovering over your sense of sanity. This turns into negative thoughts and can contribute to a low self-image. When we feel like this, we can trick our brain into kick-starting a positive attitude again. This might sound too simple to be true, but, from a scientific perspective, your brain is unable to tell the difference between a real thought and an imagined one. This is why many athletes or business people use self-talk. It’s not something that is relegated to the movies, it’s definitely worth trying, even though we might feel foolish at the very outset, but the more you do it, the better you will feel, and therefore this positive attitude will compound itself. The other way of improving your self-image is to look at what you see in the mirror. If you find that you look tired, sleep more, or take more pride in your appearance. It’s reinvigorating if you feel in a negative state of mind, but you see yourself dressed sharply. And sometimes, even if you work in a professional job where uniforms are standard, such as the nursing profession, you can wear cute nursing shoes that are stylish, yet practical. Taking pride in your appearance is a very simple way to retrain your negative state of mind and turn it into a positive. We all have days where we don’t feel attractive, but there are ways around this. And if you can trick yourself into feeling great, then you will feel great.

Take A Mental Break

If you work a stressful job, or you have a stressful home life, that temptation to run away is always something that hangs over us. But if you feel like life is a non-stop treadmill, you need to get off it from time to time, so you can rest and recuperate. Sometimes, we can overwork our minds, so we end up feeling run down by life in general. And this is where taking a break, no matter how short it is, from our daily pressures, gives us the time and space to re-center. You don’t have to go on vacation to the Algarve; you can spend 10 minutes in the morning focused on something that you love. If you feel like you’re giving too much of yourself to other people, it’s time to recapture your sense of self. This means taking time away. Go away on the weekend, or participate in hobbies that you can engage with by yourself. Whatever makes you happy, make sure it’s about you.

Look At The Big Picture

If you’ve been feeling like this for some time, is it a short-term sacrifice for long-term gain? For example, if you are going through a difficult period in work, but it’s with a view to getting a promotion, or gaining valuable experience so you can get to the career you want, reminding yourself of the bigger picture can give you that sense of focus again. In life, we can feel like we lost track of our goals, or we didn’t have any in the first place. If you haven’t got any goals, and you’re unhappy for what appears to be no reason, it’s important to examine the bigger picture, are you in the best place for your frame of mind? If not, then it’s time to undertake a major overhaul of your core beliefs in life.

Are You Fueling Yourself?

We can all feel under the weather, tired, or even exhausted, physically and mentally. So, are you giving your body and brain what it needs? You might have lifestyle habits that are not what your body craves. While it’s easy to say you should eat a healthy diet, sometimes we don’t notice what is actually bad for us until we cut something out. So if you find yourself constantly tired, is it because of a poor diet choice, or is it something else in your life? But the diet is the best place to begin. Because it’s something we can have immediate control over. Now, so many of us are intolerant to wheat, dairy, nuts, etc. So look at taking something out of your diet that you might consider to be the culprit, for at least a month, and then see if you feel any different. If you don’t have the right fuel for your body, it’s unsurprising that you’re struggling. And, it’s important to remember that if your body is not functioning properly, neither is your mind. There’s a lot of talk about the blood-brain barrier, where certain foods can have a detrimental effect on your brain, and this is something lots of us have to think about. It’s the age-old expression, you are what you eat. So if you are someone who lives unhealthily, and doesn’t undertake any exercise, it’s hardly a surprise that you’re not running on optimum. So make sure you fuel yourself properly, and this also means making sure you’re eating enough for your energy expenditure. While there’s a lot of focus on and eating and dieting, this might not be the right thing for you.

Looking after your frame of mind in this busy world isn’t just about a few simple exercises, but it’s an ongoing practice. By looking at yourself image, having a break, as well as reassessing the bigger picture, in conjunction with the adequate fuel, you have a solid baseline in which to begin.

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Changing The Way You Feel: Some Of The Obvious Changes To Make

Life can be one of those things that we can sail on through when it’s going well. We can be happy in our careers, be successful and fulfilled, married or settled with someone, having a family or having positive goals for the future, and just knowing and feeling like life is good. However, in an instant, things can change once more where life can feel tough. A job may be lost, we may not feel physically well or even things like relationships failing or struggling with finances. Men notoriously find it difficult to talk about things when it gets too much, and so the stress of the situation can take over and then things like anxiety and depression can set in before we even realize it. However, there are changes you can make to make yourself feel so much better. I thought I would share with you some of the changes you could make.

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Change your diet

One of the obvious things to do would be to change your diet. It may sound crazy, but what you put into your body, be that food or drink, can have a serious effect on what you get out of it. In hard times, we can be more likely to turn to things like junk and convenience food and wash it down with alcohol as a way of masking the problem and in attempt to make ourselves feel better. The truth is, it has an opposite effect. Which is why things like a well-balanced diet and even attempting to cut out the alcohol could be a wise move to make. Men’s Sober Living is easier to achieve when you have support, and eating well can actually help to increase your energy levels and help you to feel better about things.

Start exercising more

It is important to ensure that you start exercising and moving your body more. This can be a great way to naturally rid yourself of bad demons and feelings you have in the way of stress, anxiety and depression but they talk hold. I understand that exercising isn’t for everyone, especially if you are the type of person that doesn’t do it. But you can really improve the way you feel just by being more active and making that promise to yourself.

Make positive decisions for the future

You might also want to consider what you have in terms of goals for the future. It may sound silly, but often men can struggle with moving forward if they don’t feel like they have a direction or path to take. It might be that your career is getting you down, your home life isn’t so great, or you feel like you haven’t done much in the way of your life. But it doesn’t mean that it is over, and making positive changes and goals for the future can be just the motivation you need to take steps in the right direction.

Sometimes it is difficult to overcome things, but a lot fo the time it is in the mindset and how you feel. I hope that implementing some of the above changes can help you change the way you feel right now and for your future.

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Getting Back On The Road After A Car Accident

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Getting back into your car after suffering from a road accident isn’t easy. While you may not have suffered the physical traumas, there are still the psychological effects that are prevalent after an accident takes place. The thought of getting back behind the wheel again may give you untold amounts of anxiety, and despite the assistance of an auto accident lawyer, no amount of compensation is going to make your life easier when it comes to dealing with your feelings. Still, you can’t avoid it forever, and there are ways to make getting behind wheel possible again. Consider the following for example.

Talk to somebody

You shouldn’t keep your fears to yourself, so talk to anybody who is willing to listen. Friends and family are a start, and the more you get your frightened thoughts out into the open, the less burden you will be carrying around on your shoulders. While those closest to you may not understand exactly how you feel, they should at least be sympathetic to your feelings. Consider trauma counselling too. Usually done through CBT, the counsellor will talk through your traumatic experience with you, help you to manage your fears, and give you tools to eventually overcome them.

Consider a driving course

This is especially useful if you were in any way responsible for the accident, or if you panicked in the face of a dangerous road user. By taking a defensive or advanced driving course, you will sharpen up your skills to help you manage most situations, and regain your sense of confidence in getting back behind the wheel.

Equip your car

Modern cars are fitted with a range of safety features, and these are designed to protect you and your car when out on the road. From driving assist features to airbags, you will at least have added peace of mind, even if you never have to make use of them. You don’t need to swap your car for the latest high-end vehicle with all the safety bells and whistles attached, as mid-level cars have certain features as standard, and you can get your existing car modified with anything you feel necessary to improve your state of mind.

Go for a short drive

As with any trauma, you need to pace yourself when dealing with it. In this case, you should get back on the road in stages. This means going for short, undemanding drives, perhaps with another driver sitting with you to give you peace of mind if your nerves get the better of you. After a while, take short car journeys alone, even if it’s only to the shops or the commute to work. You should also visit the crash site. Avoiding it forever may be problematic, and as any counsellor will tell you, visiting the cause of your trauma is your first step to overcoming your anxiety, no matter how difficult it may be. After taking these small steps (although they will be huge in your mind), you will be able to drive for longer distances again, including your annual summer road trip.

Finally

We hope you never get involved in an accident, but if you do, the steps above should help you to get back out onto the road. Let us know if you have any tips based on your personal experience.

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It’s Time to Talk: Lifestyle Factors that Can Affect your Mental Health

If you’re feeling down in the dumps, unable to concentrate or constantly tired then you’ll know how draining this can be. You may think that this will pass and this is completely true, but there could be an underlying reason behind the way that you feel and if you don’t tackle the problem at its root then there is a high chance that it will keep on coming back.

Your Activities

The exercises you do will affect your mental health as much as they affect your body. Some studies indicate that exercise can be just as effective as taking antidepressants. Exercise works by reducing the amount of muscle pain you experience and it can also increase your mobility as well. It’s completely understandable that you don’t want to go to the gym, but if you can somehow find it in yourself to go for a walk or even a run then this is great and you can even take the dog with you as well, if you have one! Exercise gives you the chance to think clearly and it also helps you to improve your mood and self-worth as well. It also helps to give you a lot of structure for the day ahead.

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Social Bonds

Your social activities can also affect your mental health. Research really does show that friendship can help you out a lot with your mental health. People often feel isolated when they feel depressed, so by having a good friendship circle, you can be sure to really count on people when you need them the most. If you struggle to make friends then try and volunteer or even go out with a large group of people so that you can feel more connected with the community. If you are religious then consider going to a church function or even try and make friends with those who are in need. If you have been in an accident and you are unable to go out every now and again then consider contacting Sevey, Donahue & Talcott to see if you are able to get any compensation, and also look into physical therapy.

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The Way You See Yourself

If you look in the mirror and you see yourself as being unattractive or even not-worthy then this will have a profound impact on your life. You may not want to go out, and you may even find it difficult to attend social events as well. If you want to avoid all of this then one way to do so would be to change the way that you see yourself. Try and workout, or buy yourself some new clothes. This will give you the rush of endorphins you need to see yourself in a more positive light and it is a great way for you to give yourself a boost to your self-esteem as well.

So there are certain lifestyles that can have a huge impact on your mental health, and sometimes, you may not even know that this is the reason behind it.

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Rebuilding Your Life After a Serious Injury

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A serious injury can change everything. A split second and suddenly your whole life is set on a new course – and not necessarily one you would have planned for yourself. Rebuilding your life at any time is always going to be a challenge but with time you can create a new life for yourself that will be happy and fulfilled.

After any life-altering accident, the first thing you and your family should be thinking about is getting help. Though there is a lot of work for you to do yourself over time, a law company like Finkelstein, Meirowitz & Eidlisz, LLP will be invaluable to you in getting compensation and making financial arrangements. At such a stressful time, having a professional who can guide you through the necessary processes will make a huge difference.

Once you have someone on your side dealing with the practicalities, you should focus on rebuilding your life. Taking it one day at a time, your main job right now is to recover as best you can and to turn your attention to the future.

Talking to Your Friends and Family

It is no understatement to say that we all rely upon our friends and family. They are there for us through thick and thin, ready to lend an ear to our troubles and do everything they can to make us feel better. This is even more true after an accident and your family are vital to getting you through tough times.

Suddenly suffering a disabling injury can make you feel isolated in your experience. It’s unlikely that your friends and family can completely empathize with what you are going through, but they do know and empathize with you. Talk your troubles through with them, let them be there for you and be honest about how you feel. While putting on a brave face might be easier in the short term, eventually, you are going to have to face your problems sooner or later.

Taking Care of Your Mental Health

While you are busy focusing on your physical recovery, it is easy to lose sight of your mental health. Depression is common after suffering a life-altering injury and you should be aware of any significant mood swings or intense emotions. There is never any shame in feeling depressed or anxious, especially in these conditions and it is important that you talk to your doctor about what you are feeling as well as your physical progress.

Over time you are likely to work through the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Having your family and friends around you as you work through your emotions will help you to get through this difficult time. Talking about how you feel will allow you to understand and reframe issues to find either a solution or a way to accept what has happened. It takes time, but you will get there.

Finding New Meaning

Everyone has existential doubts and for some of us, the anxiety of finding a purpose or meaning in life can be damaging. After an accident, especially one that has had life-altering consequences, it is perfectly normal for you to experience your own bout of existential doubt.

When you have had change forced upon you, it can be difficult to let go of the life you had before and figure out a way of living now.

The good news is that because all humans have this type of doubt at some point, everyone you talk to will understand broadly what you are experiencing. Plus, as doubt tends to force us to rethink our choices and make different decisions, you already have all you need to find a new purpose or meaning in your life, even if it is far from your original idea.

Instead of focusing on what you have lost, try to think about the things you still have and what you can do. It is easy to get sucked into the negative, especially when you are having to learn how to cope with lasting injuries such as amputations or severe damage. Try congratulating yourself on any progress, however small it is and do more of the things that make you happy. Watch movies, listen to music, read books – whatever it is, make happiness your main goal for now and everything else will follow.

Moving On

For a while, the only thing on your mind will be your recovery. You will notice every change, worry about how you may be affected and be consumed with the emotional fall out of your injuries. This is completely normal and given how much change there is for you to process, it makes sense that you will need time to come to terms with your new life.

However, there will come a time, no matter how long it takes, when you will begin to think about other things. Your future won’t seem so scary and you will be able to think more clearly about what you can do with your life. A major part of finding new meaning is figuring out how you want to spend your time. This sounds like a big deal, but it isn’t really. Take things one day at a time, then maybe start planning a little further ahead. Gradually, you won’t think so much about what has happened because you will start thinking more about what is happening now and what going to happen.

In other words, you will move on.

Rebuilding your life will always take time, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. You can work towards building a brighter future for yourself with the help of your friends and family, legal professionals who can promote your case, the doctors who will work tirelessly to improve your condition and with your own determination.

You have been the victim of fate, but don’t let that get in the way of who you can be. Remember how lucky you are and be grateful for something every day, even if it is just that it hasn’t rained. You can do it. You know you can.

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