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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Feeling Overwhelmed? How to Stay Positive During the Coronavirus Outbreak

When you’re in addiction recovery, maintaining a positive attitude is essential. However, with the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 crisis, you might be feeling that goal slipping out of your reach somewhat. How can you keep your upbeat attitude when it seems like all the news lately has been negative, if not downright frightening? Here are some tips.

1. Limit Your Exposure to the News

It may seem like you’re being more responsible by staying informed and checking in with the day’s headlines frequently, but doing so is a surefire way to give you information overload. Since bad news travels faster than good news, especially online, refreshing your feed multiple times a day will create digital burnout and leave you feeling mentally exhausted. Instead, impose limits on when you allow yourself to look at social media or watch the news on TV. Choose one or two trusted outlets, and only check them during your allotted time slots.

2. Follow Negative Information With Something Cheery

As we learned from Mary Poppins, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” In other words, once you’ve caught up on the latest information about the spread of coronavirus, engage with something lighthearted to boost your mood, such as compilation videos of adorable baby animals.

3. Turn off the Alerts on Your Devices

If you have the settings on your phone, tablet or computer set to ping whenever there’s breaking news, try silencing your devices or disabling the alerts altogether. Many people find the sounds or vibrations coming from their phone nearly impossible to ignore, and will put everything aside to see what they’re about. To help you learn to focus more of your attention on individual tasks, disregard these stressful intrusions. The information will still be there for you when you’re ready to pick up your device again, and you’ll be amazed by how much better you feel when you’re not checking those notifications every few minutes.

4. Take Mental Health Breaks

Evidence increasingly suggests that taking regular mental health breaks can help improve your concentration and allow you to feel more present and engaged in your life. If your mind has been on overdrive lately due to the barrage of information about coronavirus, recognize that you might be feeling burned out, and take a break to de-stress. Whether that comes in the form of a brief meditation, a walk around the block or a series of yoga poses, whatever helps you clear your mind can benefit you.

5. Call a Friend or Family Member

In this time of self-quarantine, we probably all have people we haven’t seen for a few weeks. If you’re holed up at home and feeling lonely, reach out to say hello and see how everyone has been doing. They probably need a pick-me-up just as much as you do, and will appreciate your thoughtfulness. Meanwhile, it’s in your best interest to avoid the relapse trigger of loneliness.

Begin Your Recovery Journey at Complete Harmony

Are you looking for a holistic alternative to traditional drug and alcohol treatment programs? Reach out to us today for a confidential conversation with our admissions advisors.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

How Spirituality Can Play a Role in Your Recovery

The idea of spirituality might make you envision New Age concepts like astrology, tarot cards, healing crystals or chakras. The reality, however, is that spirituality can be more accessible than you think. Essentially, it boils down to any practice that helps you find the meaning amid all the chaos of daily life.

Spirituality can be especially valuable for people in addiction recovery because of its ability to help you understand yourself, find greater meaning in life and make you feel a connection to the world at large.

What Is Spirituality?

Many people tend to conflate spirituality with religion. However, while spirituality is often a component of religious practices, it is not a belief system in and of itself. That means even skeptics and nonbelievers can find value in spirituality, and that there is no wrong way to incorporate spiritual practices into your life.

Another way in which your spirituality might differ from religion is that your definition of spirituality can and should be fluid and evolve throughout your life, whereas many people of faith do not deviate from or question their relationship with their god or higher power.

Anything that causes you to feel the interconnectedness of life and have a greater appreciation of your place in the universe can be a spiritual experience. For some, listening to a moving piece of music is profoundly spiritual, while others find solace in traditional worship services and prayer.

Benefits of Spirituality in Addiction Recovery

Substance misuse often makes people feel isolated from the people around them. In contrast, spiritual practices lead to feelings of connectedness. The result can be a sense of awe, gratitude and positivity. With regular spiritual reflection, you will gradually learn to become more compassionate, tolerant and generous toward other living beings.

Becoming a more spiritual person is also a worthy goal to work toward if you want to cultivate better overall mental wellness and peace of mind. You can respond more constructively to any anxiety and stress created by addiction and subsequent recovery.

Ways to Incorporate Spirituality in Addiction Recovery

Though spirituality takes many forms, here are some that can be particularly valuable for people trying to maintain their sobriety.
  • Meditation: Meditation is a way to improve your mindfulness, equanimity and relaxation. While there are a vast array of meditation techniques, the most straightforward involves sitting still in a quiet place and focusing on your breath and any sensations you might be experiencing.
  • Yoga: There is a close connection between yoga and meditation, because yoga also involves specific breathing techniques as you move through a fluid series of poses. The spiritual goal of yoga is to teach you how to quiet your mind and become more aware of your place in the world around you.
  • Gratitude: The practice of gratitude helps you feel more positive and learn to live in the moment. You don’t have to add anything complicated to your routine. Merely taking a few moments out of each day to jot down notes about things you are thankful for can help you feel more connected to others and increase your sense of positivity.

Finding Serenity in Sobriety

It’s possible for you to go through addiction recovery and learn how to become more resilient along the way with tools learned through spirituality. At Complete Harmony, we can help you reclaim your physical, mental and emotional health with our non-12-step, holistic approach to rehab. Connect with us today to learn more.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Returning to Rehab After a Relapse: What You Should Know

Like with other chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, relapsing is a common characteristic of addiction. If you’ve returned to drug or alcohol use after a period of sustained sobriety, it does not mean you’ve failed, or that you won’t be able to learn the skills and habits necessary to manage an addiction over the long term. Instead, it indicates that you didn’t fully address the root causes of your disease in treatment, and that you might need to return for a second stint in rehab.

Should You Re-Enter Treatment?

There is no cure for addiction. However, a treatment program can teach you how to take an active role in managing your illness and avoid pitfalls that could trigger a relapse. If you do fall back into your old patterns of addictive behavior for several days or weeks, you might find it increasingly challenging to get your recovery on the right track. Each day you continue using, the goal of long-term sobriety slips further away from you.

As reluctant as you might be to admit you need to go back to rehab, if you relapse, you must seek help as soon as possible. Returning to a controlled environment that removes triggers and provides you with no access to addictive substances will put you back in the driver’s seat.

Round Two of Rehabilitation

Another reason for relapse is that the rehab center you initially chose did not fully meet your needs. For example, perhaps their treatment philosophy didn’t align with your values, or you felt they did not provide you with an adequate amount of structure. Relapse centers vary widely in the approaches they take to putting their clients on a healing path, and what clicks with one person might not necessarily connect the dots for you. Finding a center that takes a different approach than the last one you went to may produce better results.

Cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy, for example, can be extremely effective at treating addictions by changing how you think about and respond to various situations. Over time, these treatment modalities can help you unlearn the habits associated with your addiction as you develop healthy new coping mechanisms.

Combining these evidence-based approaches with holistic therapies such as yoga, massage and meditation will give you a robust foundation for managing any stress and negativity that may enter your life. Knowing that you have a strategy for relaxing and rewarding yourself other than drug and alcohol abuse can be the difference between experiencing a self-destructive relapse and responding with equanimity.

Speak With a Recovery Advisor

If you are exploring your options for addiction rehabilitation, whether for the first time or for follow-up treatment, consider the reasons to add Complete Harmony to your list. Our holistic, non-12-step approach has helped hundreds of men and women from all walks of life break the cycle of addiction and achieve lifelong freedom from drug and alcohol use. If you have not found 12-step treatment successful in the past, or you have struggled with frequent relapse, we invite you to reach out to us today.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Benefits of Traveling out of State for Addiction Recovery

If you’ve made the life-changing decision to seek help for your drug or alcohol addiction, your next step is to find a facility that can meet your needs and provide you with the most effective treatment options. Because of the abundance of resources from coast to coast, you may decide to seek treatment outside your home city or state. What are the advantages of doing so, and what should you keep in mind as you research your choices?

Advantages of Traveling for Rehab

Being willing to go to rehab in a different state broadens your options considerably. Because there is no one-size-fits-all approach to addiction treatment, it’s essential for you to identify the precise combination of amenities and treatment approaches that you believe will be most beneficial for you.

For example, if you have a dual diagnosis of an addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder, it’s crucial to find a program that can address both problems simultaneously. You’ll look forward to the process more when you know you’ll be getting exactly what you need out of it.

Turning Over a New Leaf

Another benefit of seeking treatment away from home is that it gives you the feeling of making a fresh start in brand-new surroundings. You won’t encounter any of the familiar stressors, triggers or negative influences associated with being near your regular stomping grounds. Your former drinking or drug buddies will be hundreds of miles away, instead of right down the road.

Going to rehab in your hometown might also cause you to give into an impulse or temptation to leave treatment early, which can jeopardize your success immensely. Studies have proven a correlation between the length of time spent in treatment and a reduced likelihood of relapse. The longer you stick with the program, the more you will improve your chances of making a full recovery.

Find the Environment That’s Right for You at Complete Harmony

Seeking addiction treatment in a comfortable environment will help increase your chances of long-term success in recovery. As you’re looking for programs that align with your preferences, you might want to consider how your surroundings can affect your treatment plan. For example, a well-appointed, resort-style atmosphere near the beach can provide a tranquil, relaxing backdrop for your recovery.

Depending on the challenges you are facing with your addiction to drugs or alcohol, you can often see remarkable improvement by shaking up your routine and removing yourself from unhealthy situations. Many people find it beneficial to travel for rehab because it allows them to remove themselves from their typical surroundings and gives them the time and space they need to begin healing themselves mentally, physically and spiritually.

If you are struggling with addiction and co-occurring disorders, reach out to us today to get started on the pathway to a happier future. At our California holistic drug rehab center, we welcome adult men and women with comprehensive, non-12-step care in a beautiful setting that is fully conducive to the recovery process.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Using the Teachings of Buddhism in Addiction Recovery

Many people who come to addiction recovery from secular backgrounds may struggle with the traditional 12-step philosophy. Even though the 12-step program welcomes anyone who would like to participate, regardless of beliefs, several of the steps explicitly mention accepting the existence of a higher power.

A faith-based program or one that has religious overtones might not speak to you if you are among the rising number of Americans with no religious affiliation. Fortunately, there are many alternative options to pursue lifelong sobriety, and one of those is to incorporate the teachings of Buddhism.

What Is Buddhism?

Buddhism is more of a philosophy or way of life than it is a religion – at least, in the traditional Western sense of the word. The practice of Buddhism does not involve praying to any gods or acknowledging the presence of a higher power in your life. Because of the nature of Buddhism, you can be a Christian, an atheist or anything in between and still benefit from the teachings of this ancient practice.

The Buddha taught his followers how to achieve enlightenment by liberating themselves from suffering, and that is the goal people still aim for today. The core of Buddhism, also called the Three Universal Truths, means accepting the following.

  1. Everything changes; nothing in this world is permanent.
  2. Desire causes suffering.
  3. We should be selfless. People shouldn’t try to own things or envy what they haven’t got.

Applying Buddhist Ideas to Your Recovery

Buddhism teaches us that we suffer when we don’t get what we want, which has parallels with the cycle of addiction. Addicted people crave their substances of use when they try to stop using them, which causes them to return to their unhealthy behaviors time and again.

Meditation, which is part of the foundation of practicing Buddhism, teaches practitioners to recognize, accept and let go of their difficult thoughts and feelings. When you establish a regular practice, meditation can help release the attachment you feel towards substances or behaviors, and can ease feelings of stress and anxiety about no longer using.

As many recovering addicts can attest, shame only intensifies the addictive behavior. In a form of meditation called loving-kindness meditation, you focus your attention on someone who loves you and allow those feelings of love to permeate your heart. You can bring your breath into this by inhaling love and exhaling guilt. This type of meditation can help you become more enlightened by learning to forgive yourself.

Find Your Healing Pathway Here

While many people have found the healing they needed through 12-step treatment, it isn’t the right fit for everyone. At Complete Harmony, we offer non-12-step, holistic addiction recovery for adults who are seeking an alternative to the faith-based approach. If you prefer to pursue a more natural, balanced approach to regaining your mental and physical well-being, reach out to us today to speak to one of our recovery advisors about what we offer.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

New Strategies to Improve Your Mindfulness

If you made a New Year’s resolution to increase your awareness of the world around you through practices such as meditation, you might be wondering if there are any proven techniques available for doing so. Many of us go through our daily motions with a vague idea that we could improve our lives, but we don’t create strategies that outline the path for how we’ll get there. Instead of wandering aimlessly through life, set your intentions and become more mindful of how you spend your time each day in 2020. Here’s how.

1. Try a Digital Detox

As helpful as technology like your phone and tablet might be, these devices likely represent a significant source of distraction in your life. Think about how you behave when you’re waiting somewhere like a doctor’s office or hair salon. Do you find it’s easy to sit quietly and take in your surroundings, or is your first instinct to take out your phone and start scrolling through social media? If you’re like most people, your phone is your go-to.

One recent study found the average American checks their phone an astounding 52 times per day. And while you may be using some of your screen time to do productive things such as responding to emails or making a to-do list, you might then “reward” yourself by playing games or looking at your favorite celebrities’ Instagram pages. The technology in your life is a barrier between you and your ability to behave mindfully. Try gradually tapering off your usage, or consider designating specific times of day where you refrain from using your devices.

2. Don’t Try to Multitask

Many people view busyness as a point of pride. They wear their ability to juggle projects simultaneously as a badge of honor. However, while you might think you are being more productive when you try to switch gears between one task and another, multiple studies have shown this mindset is a myth. Shifting attention between projects does not allow you time to fully focus on anything. If your goal is to be more mindful in this new year, promise yourself to work on one thing at a time, being present at each step of the way.

3. Spend More Time in Nature

The world outside our doors is full of beauty in every season. Exposure to nature can help lower your stress levels and blood pressure. Even looking at pictures of a flourishing forest, blooming flowers or a flowing waterfall can have beneficial effects. Next time you feel stressed or anxious, head to a nearby park or hiking trail and do a walking meditation. Your mood will improve almost immediately as you ground yourself in the sights and sounds of nature.

4. Get a Pet

Pets are excellent for your mindfulness because their natural attitude toward life is to live in the moment – the same goal you are trying to achieve with the strategies outlined here. Pets provide a source of unconditional love and acceptance, and they don’t ask for much in return.

The act of gently stroking a dog or cat’s soft fur can be a meditative practice in and of itself, and doing so also helps boost the natural serotonin levels in your brain. Engaging with your pets can help calm you and reduce stress, which is essential if you’re trying to become more mindful.

Start Your Recovery Today

Complete Harmony is a holistic recovery center in sunny Southern California that provides an alternative to the traditional 12-step approach. With a combination of evidence-based treatment methods such as cognitive behavioral therapy and healing methods that include massage, yoga, meditation and acupuncture, we can create a customized wellness plan that helps balance your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. To speak one-on-one with a recovery advisor, reach out today.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Strategies for Navigating Holiday Highs and Lows

For many people, the holiday season conjures mental images of warm family dinners, holiday parties, gift exchanges and crackling fires. However, for others, this time of year can bring sadness, loneliness, tense family dynamics, financial strain and a form of depression called seasonal affective disorder.

If you struggle with emotional ups and downs during the holidays, you are not alone. In one survey of 1,000 people, nearly half of them said they would prefer to skip Christmas altogether to avoid the finance-related stress the holiday creates. That eye-opening number shows how ill-prepared we often are to cope with the unique stressors of this time of year.

Stress is a significant relapse trigger for many people. However, your time in recovery has provided you with all the skills you need to protect your sobriety – you just need to know when and how to use them. Here are our top strategies for making it through this holiday season with your sobriety intact.

1. Remember You Aren’t Alone

Because addiction can have long-lasting effects, going through a recovery program does not “cure” you of your disease. Instead, it teaches you to manage the symptoms. However, learning how to balance your emotions and make good decisions is an ongoing process.

When you were in active addiction, you may have developed a habit of secrecy and isolation, but now that you’re working on your sobriety, you must learn how to come out of your shell and share your feelings with people you trust – especially when you’re feeling down. If you’re struggling, you don’t have to do so in silence. Others can offer valuable advice to help pull you out of a rut.

2. Don't Take Time off From Your Recovery Routine

Though holidays may be special occasions where you get to prepare your favorite foods, spend more time with loved ones and maybe enjoy a few days off work, you still need to engage in your recovery routine just like you would on any other day. Even though the holiday season can feel different, you can’t skip the things you consistently do to stay on track and maintain your emotional well-being, such as journaling, meditating, exercising, sleeping well and going to therapy.

3. Learn to Leave Your Past Behind

The holidays might bring back repressed memories of how you behaved when you were in the grip of your addiction. For example, maybe you drank too much at Christmas dinner one year and started an argument with your grandfather about your opposing political beliefs. Though you can use your past to reflect on the many good reasons you chose to pursue sobriety, it isn’t productive to dwell on embarrassing things you did or said.

Sobriety is an opportunity to make new memories and forge new traditions during the holidays. It’s also a time to recognize that you are working to be a better person, and that your past does not define you. Embrace the holiday season as a present you have given yourself.

The Greatest Gift Is Your Sobriety

This holiday, put yourself and your needs first. You decided to walk the path of sobriety, and while it is not always a smooth or straight one, there are countless rewards along the way. Don’t let stress get the better of you during this emotionally challenging time of year. You know what’s best for you, so now, all you need to do is act on it.

If you’re seeking a holistic route to recovery outside the traditional 12-step approach, Complete Harmony can help show you the way. To discover the benefits of our healing center, contact us today.
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