Successful recovery comes from the harmonious balance of mind, body, and spirit. Because every aspect of our physical being is interconnected, all aspects must be healthy in order to achieve a healthy whole.
Multiple studies support the relationship between addiction and a struggling mind. Emotional trauma, depression, anxiety, poor self-esteem, the mental damage from social and psychological isolation and other negative psychological factors can all increase the risk for addiction.
Researchers have concluded that childhood trauma and abuse are especially damaging to a person’s self-image, and these are strongly linked to later addictive behavior.
The Relationship Between the Mind and Optimum Health
The very nature of addiction means a person actively involved in addictive behavior won’t be able to be entirely mentally healthy. Even those in recovery from substance use may continue to suffer from shame, depression, self-doubt, and more. This can make them more vulnerable to cravings and relapse and reinforce their inability to cope successfully with emotional and life challenges.
It is not uncommon for those with substance use or eating disorder to also suffer from another co-occurring mental disorder, which can make recovery more challenging. It is important that all co-occurring disorders are treated simultaneously.
Treatment plans that combine traditional therapeutic techniques with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) have the highest rate for successful long-term recovery.
How to Continue Healing the Mind
While an addiction treatment program will help arm you with the tools you need to carry on your recovery journey in the “real” world, there are many steps you can take to continue healing your mind. Here are some suggestions:
- Regularly review coping and relapse prevention skills. Preplan the actions you will take if confronted with a trigger situation.
- Overcome negative thinking through the regular practice of positive self-talk. Healthline gives good examples of turning negatives into positives.
- Regularly practice exercise, yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or other stress management techniques. Eat a balanced, nutritious diet.
- Maintain a strong support system. 12-step or other support groups can be especially helpful, as members understand what you’re going through. Identify one or two individuals you can call on in case of a crisis.
- The 12-step philosophy stresses the importance of reaching out to those whom our addictive behavior has hurt. This can serve to relieve guilt over past behavior, which can enhance your healing process.
- Volunteer in your community. Studies have shown those who help others are less likely to relapse. If you are in a 12-step support group, sponsoring a new member can be a great way to reach out to others.
- Continue to attend individual or group therapy for as long as you need. It takes time to resolve traumas of the past. Believe in your ability to overcome emotional pain and to obtain inner peace.
- Creative expression helps the mind heal. Find creative outlets that appeal to you. Identify activities that bring you joy and pursue them. Keep a gratitude journal.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Read inspirational stories. Limit negative news, movies, or TV.
Your mind has a powerful effect on the healing capabilities of your body. By being proactive, you can help promote healing within your mental, physical, and spiritual being.
Turning Point of Tampa has been offering Licensed Residential Treatment for Addiction, Eating Disorders and Dual Diagnosis in Tampa since 1987. If you need help or know someone who does, please contact our admissions department at 813-882-3003, 800-397-3006 or firstname.lastname@example.org.