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Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Value of Patience in Addiction Recovery

Recovering from a substance use disorder requires more than merely finding an accredited treatment center and enrolling yourself in the program. You might be surprised to learn it’s a multi-stage process that may include detox, psychotherapy, group meetings, education on healthy coping mechanisms and self-care strategies to prevent a relapse.

For many people, two significant stressors in addiction recovery are the time commitment involved and the realization that maintaining sobriety requires a lifelong process. Patience will be an essential ingredient in your success. Consider these benefits of becoming a more patient person.

1. Learn to Live in the Now

The idea of temporarily putting your life on hold so you can fully focus on completing an addiction treatment program might be daunting. After all, today’s always-on, instant-gratification culture has led to the prevailing mindset that there should be a quick fix for any problem. However, in many cases, this attitude can be dangerous and can even lead to addictive behaviors in an attempt to “solve” problems. For best results, it’s crucial not to rush through your recovery process. Take things one step at a time and appreciate what you learn at each stage of the journey. Practices like yoga and meditation can help you become more mindful and less likely to dwell on the past or worry about the future.

2. Process Challenging Emotions

In addiction recovery, you may find difficult feelings like shame and guilt bubbling up to the surface. If you abused substances to mute mental health symptoms or sweep emotional responses under the rug, you’ll need to learn healthy ways to work through these once you achieve sobriety. Patience can help you accomplish this goal. In setting realistic objectives and taking steps to achieve each one, you will learn the value of putting in the work to receive the reward.

3. Appreciate All Your Progress

When you embrace the idea that there are no overnight solutions in recovery, it can be incredibly encouraging to look back on the progress you’ve made and evaluate how far you’ve come on your path to sobriety. You might find it helpful to keep a journal and review past entries on a set schedule – for example, once a month. You’ll be able to see how you’ve grown and evolved as a person when you consider the solutions you’ve found to various obstacles.

How to Cultivate Patience

If you’re easily frustrated or find yourself giving up at the first sign of adversity, you will be glad to know you can build your capacity for patience the same way you might work on improving your strength, balance or agility when you exercise. Here are some tips for doing so.
  • Don’t try to take shortcuts: No matter what you’re doing, focus your full attention on it. Remind yourself that anything worth your time is also worth your energy.
  • Pick up a new hobby: Pastimes that require a slow, deliberate approach, like crossword puzzles, gardening or needlework, are excellent for helping make you a more patient person.
  • Add daily mindfulness practices: Meditation and breath control exercises can help you de-stress, let go of negativity and live in the moment.
  • Stop rushing through your days: Be grateful for the simple pleasures in life; slow down and reward yourself for daily accomplishments, no matter how small.

Cutting-Edge, Alternative Addiction Treatment

Complete Harmony offers a full range of clinically proven addiction treatment modalities, coupled with holistic amenities like acupuncture, massage and yoga, to put you on the path to wellness. To learn more about non-12-step therapy in California, contact us today.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Why Empathy Is an Essential Ingredient in Addiction Recovery

Empathy is the ability to relate to others and view the world from their perspective. This quality can form the foundation for healthy relationships and improve your connections with others. It helps validate and reinforce your most crucial treatment takeaways as you repair relationships you might have torn apart through your self-destructive behavior.

Making Empathy Part of Your Recovery Process

As your attachment to drugs and alcohol grew, you may have driven away friends and family or hurt people who were close to you. Once you commit to a sober lifestyle, one of your challenges will be to mend fences you damaged during your years of active substance abuse.

Addiction can cause self-centeredness as obtaining and using drugs or alcohol becomes a priority. Part of changing your life for the better includes restoring your emotional stability. In group and individual therapy, you will discover the support you need to guide you in replacing negative habits with healthy ones.

Your first step in becoming a more empathetic person is to tune into your emotions. Use your thoughts and feelings to try to understand other people’s lived experiences. You can start by talking to peers you meet during rehab or in your recovery group about their involvement with substance abuse. During these conversations, take the opportunity to practice your active listening skills and demonstrate you’re paying close attention.

Benefits of Practicing Empathy in Recovery

While each person has different takeaways from recovery, consider these advantages of making empathy one of your sobriety goals. Practicing empathy helps you:
  • Avoid getting stuck in a negative feedback loop
  • Improve communication skills, leading to less conflict
  • Gain more profound compassion
  • Become more selfless and put others’ needs ahead of yours
  • Learn to listen without passing judgment

Are You an Empathetic Person?

To help you assess how well you relate to others and put yourself in their shoes, ask yourself these questions:
  • Do you find it easy to tell when someone is upset?
  • If you notice a friend or co-worker seems more subdued than usual, do you ask if they want to talk about it?
  • Can people count on you to provide practical advice?
  • In a conversation, do you listen to what others are saying, or do you find your mind wandering?
  • Are you good at reading between the lines and picking up on things others leave unsaid in conversations?
  • Are you usually excited about the chance to meet and talk to new people?
  • Can you respect someone else’s views and values, even when you don’t agree with them?
  • Do you tend to connect emotionally with your favorite characters in movies and TV shows?

Embrace Your Recovery

If you’ve resolved to make 2021 the year when you seek help for a substance use disorder, Complete Harmony proudly provides a full continuum of holistic treatment options. People looking for an empowering alternative to traditional 12-step recovery programs will find it here. To learn more about what we offer, speak with one of our recovery advisors today.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Best Gifts for People New to Recovery

Only a few shopping days remain until Christmas, and you might still be looking for the best gifts for everyone on your “nice” list. It can be especially challenging to select presents for people who are recovering from substance abuse issues. If someone you care about is in the early stages of addiction recovery, how can you spread holiday cheer without triggers? Here are some gift ideas you can use.

1. Inspirational Books

Many people who successfully overcame addiction issues have published inspirational books about their journey. If your loved one is a bookworm, you can give them the gift of reading this holiday season with a memoir that reminds them they aren’t alone and inspires them to keep working toward their goals.

2. Exciting New Experiences

People in active addiction often lose sight of previously enjoyable activities because drinking or drug use becomes their top priority. Now that your loved one is clean and sober, show them how rewarding life can be by taking them ziplining or skydiving. If they’re not thrill-seekers, arrange an afternoon at an outdoor ice rink or a cultural attraction like an art museum.

3. Online Classes

E-learning has flourished during the COVID-19 pandemic, so buying online courses for your loved one could be an excellent gift idea. Since boredom can be a significant relapse trigger, they’ll need activities that fill their spare hours, and learning something new is an excellent way to stay busy and expand their horizons without leaving home.

4. A Sober Getaway

The idea of vacationing without drugs and alcohol may be somewhat foreign to people who are new to recovery. You can make the most of this opportunity to help reinforce their new lifestyle by taking them on a sober getaway. Pick a destination and activities that will minimize the chance of encountering triggers, like a yoga retreat or a camping weekend.

5. A Pet

If your loved one is far enough into their recovery that they’re ready to take on the responsibility of being a pet parent, a companion pet can be an excellent gift for someone new to sobriety. Spending time with a pet can reduce stress and lower blood pressure. Dogs can encourage their humans to exercise more, since they benefit from going on daily walks. Pets also provide unconditional love and comfort. Many dogs and cats are intuitive enough to pick up on their humans’ mood and know when something isn’t right. Since taking care of a pet is a major commitment, ensure your loved one is ready and willing to look after another living being before following through on this gift idea.

Spreading Holiday Cheer Without Triggers

Armed with these gift ideas, you can make the holiday merry and bright by slipping the perfect present under the tree or into your loved one’s stocking. And, if someone you care about is caught in the cycle of addiction, consider giving them the gift of sobriety by researching treatment options for them. At Complete Harmony, we offer a holistic approach to addiction rehabilitation and non-12-step programming tailored to each client’s unique needs. Contact us today to learn more.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Maintaining Your Sobriety on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and many people are looking forward to the opportunity to enjoy their favorite dishes and gather with family and friends. However, if you’re working on your recovery, you might be dreading Thanksgiving and all the pressure it brings.

Even if you have successfully stayed substance-free for several months, holidays like Thanksgiving often represent a unique temptation to drink. How can you enjoy the long holiday weekend without jeopardizing all the hard work and progress you’ve accomplished up to this point?

1. Bring a Non-Alcoholic Drink

Many Thanksgiving hosts consider it polite to offer their guests a choice of alcoholic beverages. Someone might thoughtlessly hand you a beer without realizing what a risk that could represent for you. To combat this, arrive at the gathering with a cooler full of your favorite non-alcoholic drinks, and be sure to keep your beverage of choice close to hand at all times.

2. Have an Exit Strategy

Gatherings like Thanksgiving can be stressful and triggering for many people. Plan what you’ll do if you start feeling overwhelmed and need to take a moment to yourself. For example, you might find a quiet area where you can sit and practice deep breathing techniques until you calm down. In some cases, you may even decide to leave early. Have a polite excuse planned ahead of time, and if you drive yourself to the get-together, make sure you park somewhere nobody else is boxing you in.

3. Be Grateful

Don’t lose sight of the true spirit of Thanksgiving: practicing gratitude. Make a list of everything you have to be thankful for this year – improved physical and mental well-being, new friendships and the opportunity to make a fresh start in your life. You can even begin or end your day with a gratitude meditation to help you count your blessings and reflect on the things that bring you joy.

4. Rely on Your Sober Support Network

A sober supporter can keep you grounded and remind you of your goals to remain substance-free this holiday season. If you can’t find a friend to attend your Thanksgiving gathering with you, ask if they’re willing to respond to your calls and texts during the day. Attend a group meeting or schedule a therapy session before or after Thanksgiving dinner to stay on the right track.

5. Offer to Help

Staying busy is one way to keep your mind off any cravings that might arise. Before dinner, offer to pitch in with tasks like last-minute decorating or food prep. After the meal, lead the cleanup efforts by doing dishes, taking out the trash and tidying the kitchen. The host will appreciate having an extra pair of hands, and you’ll be able to demonstrate your commitment to your recovery by showing everyone how much progress you’ve made.

Cutting-Edge Addiction Treatment

If you’re exploring addiction treatment facilities and are looking for alternatives to traditional 12-step therapy, consider the holistic approach. At Complete Harmony, we provide a range of evidence-based options combined with complementary therapies that will start you on the path to a mindful, well-rounded recovery. Connect with us when you’re ready to learn more.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Popular Alternatives to 12-Step Treatment

Because Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the oldest and best-known solutions for people seeking to break the cycle of addiction, it’s become synonymous with recovery in some people’s minds. However, if you are exploring drug and alcohol rehabs for yourself or a loved one, you should know that 12-step programs like AA and NA aren’t your only choice.

No two people are alike, which means recovery isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. While many people have discovered success in following the 12-step model, you may find a different treatment method resonates more with you. Knowing you have the power to customize your sobriety journey can give you the confidence to find a solution that fully suits your needs.

Reasons to Explore Alternatives to 12-Step Treatment

Why might you want to consider options other than the traditional 12-step path to addiction recovery?
  • You prefer to take a holistic approach to your overall health and well-being.
  • You’re seeking a secular alternative to the faith-based 12-step method.
  • You are returning to treatment after experiencing a relapse.
  • You have a dual diagnosis of addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder.
  • You’re looking for therapies that help you uncover and address the root cause of your self-destructive behavior.
  • You want a more flexible approach that allows you to choose between different treatment modalities.
  • You appreciate the option to participate in complementary therapies like massage, yoga and acupuncture as part of your rehabilitation.
  • You believe addiction treatment should empower and enlighten you.
  • You know your past doesn’t define your future.

You Have Other Options

If you aren’t religious, you might struggle to connect with the 12 steps because they specifically require you to surrender to a higher power. Though the program doesn’t necessarily dictate that your higher power must be a deity, you might still prefer a treatment option rooted in science instead of faith. Alternative addiction treatments like SMART Recovery and psychotherapy teach people with substance use disorders that they have the innate ability to overcome their addictions and live an independent, fulfilling life.

Overcoming an addiction involves not only committing to significant lifestyle changes, but also thinking differently about yourself and your relationships. Negativity is one common characteristic of addiction. Cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy have proven highly effective for addiction treatment because they teach people to change their thoughts and habits.

Hybrid Addiction Treatment in California

At Complete Harmony, we believe the most effective addiction treatment program is one tailored to meet your unique needs. If you prefer a faith-based approach, we will use the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous as the foundation of your recovery. However, if you aren’t religious and believe you’d benefit more from secular, research-based treatment methods, we leave that choice in your hands.

Our hybrid addiction treatment program relies on a synthesis of proven therapeutic modalities that teach you how to manage your illness and heal – mentally, physically and spiritually. Connect with us today to learn more about your alternatives to 12-step treatment.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Tips for Becoming a More Compassionate Person

Most people would probably agree that being more caring is a goal worth striving for. However, unless you consciously take time to do this, you might find it doesn’t always come naturally. Is it possible to purposely adopt a mindset of love and kindness? Yes! Compassion is a skill you can develop over time, even amid your daily stresses and challenges. Like an exercise, the more you do it, the more instinctive it will feel. Start cultivating more compassion in your life with these three tips.

1. Be Kind to Yourself

It’s impossible to love others if you don’t care for yourself first. To do so, you should silence your inner critic when it rears its ugly head with intrusive thoughts like “You’ll never be good enough” or “Nobody likes you; they’re only pretending.”

Instead of being so hard on yourself, give yourself permission to be imperfect. You might not have everything figured out – but who on Earth does? You’re trying your best and taking things one day at a time, just like everyone else.

2. Hone Your Sense of Empathy

If your goal is to become a more compassionate person, you must show more empathy for others – not only people you know, but also total strangers. It’s all too easy to get caught up in day-to-day worries and neglect to think about what other people are going through. However, people around the world are suffering – not only from the COVID-19 pandemic, but also from the effects of climate change, violence and poverty.

Every day, work to put yourself in others’ shoes. For instance, as you read news articles about the wildfires along the West Coast, try to imagine what people fleeing those fires have gone through. Many of them have lost their homes and businesses during this already difficult year. Some people are even mourning the loss of loved ones who died in the fires. If you’re lucky enough to be unaffected by these natural disasters, is there any action you can take to help ease victims’ suffering? Perhaps you can donate to a relief fund, or help share survivors’ stories.

3. Practice Random Acts of Kindness

Small acts of kindness don’t cost you a penny to perform, but they can enhance your mental health by leaps and bounds. When you intentionally spread joy, it increases your brain’s production of serotonin – a neurotransmitter that naturally boosts your mood and provides profound feelings of satisfaction and well-being. Consider these ideas to get you started.
  • Start a Little Free Library book-sharing program in your neighborhood.
  • Write compliments or affirmations on strips of paper and leave your notes on strangers’ cars.
  • Send a “just-because” gift to a family member or friend.
  • Volunteer to help an elderly neighbor with their chores or errands.
  • Let someone get in front of you in the checkout line at the grocery store.
  • Pay for the order of the person behind you at the drive-thru.
  • Clear the clutter in your home and donate anything you no longer use to a charitable organization.

Be Patient With Yourself

Nothing worthwhile in life comes without making an effort. If being more compassionate doesn’t naturally come to you, give yourself time. With practice, you’ll find it easier to show compassion for others – and yourself.

If you’re seeking qualified addiction treatment outside the structure of traditional 12-step programs, reach out to us at Complete Harmony. We offer a full continuum of care with a holistic framework that has helped empower people struggling with substance use disorders and given them the tools to live fulfilling, healthy lives.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

What Is Hybrid Addiction Treatment?

Addiction is a complex disease that requires a multifaceted approach to healing and recovery. While we know there’s no cure for this illness, it is possible for people to break free from the cycle of self-destruction and learn to manage their addiction for the rest of their lives. To succeed in your goals, look for a certified drug and alcohol rehab facility that offers hybrid addiction treatment.

A Closer Look at Hybrid Addiction Treatment

Many inpatient drug rehab centers use “one-size-fits-all” methods for treating addiction. The most prevalent example among these is the 12-step model. Though the 12-step program has helped many people find a path to wellness, facilities that rely solely on the 12 steps may leave people with fewer tools to maintain their long-term sobriety.

Another potential drawback of a more rigid approach is that the treatment philosophy might not align with everyone’s values. For instance, if you’re not a person of faith, you may struggle with the idea of surrendering to a higher power in 12-step addiction recovery. Ultimately, a rehab program that doesn’t click with you could make it even more challenging for you to get – and stay – on the right track.

In contrast, a hybrid addiction program combines several treatment modalities, all of which work together to help ensure the higher probability of long-term success. In hybrid treatment, for example, clients who prefer a more secular approach may thrive in SMART® Recovery, which introduces people to a science-based, self-empowering pathway to lifelong abstinence from harmful substances. Adding holistic therapies such as yoga and acupuncture to the mix provides a well-rounded foundation for recovery.

Advantages of the Hybrid Approach

Hybrid addiction treatment has several notable benefits that set it apart from more traditional methods of achieving sobriety.
  • Helps avoid a relapse: Combining holistic and evidence-based treatments will give you a broader set of tools and skills to choose from when you leave rehab. Having these at your fingertips can be invaluable as you encounter the triggers and stresses associated with the “real world.”
  • Addresses the underlying cause of your addiction: Cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy are ideal for treating addictions because they help you relearn how to respond in different circumstances. You can learn to uncover the root of your addiction and why you crave substances in specific scenarios.
  • Heals all facets of a person: Hybrid addiction treatment can simultaneously address physical, mental, emotional and spiritual issues for comprehensive well-being.

Hybrid Addiction Treatment in California

If you’re looking for a program that combines conventional and alternative strategies for treating addiction, Complete Harmony can help. We provide a full continuum of care for people who need help turning their lives around. Our compassionate advisors are standing by to take your confidential call. Entering treatment could be the best decision you’ve ever made.
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