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Thursday, July 28, 2016

5 Types of Journaling for Addiction Recovery

Got a pen or pencil? How about a piece of paper? With these simple tools you can take big strides in making yourself feel better during recovery. Journaling, or writing down your thoughts and emotions, has been shown to help restore your body and mind after years of addiction. And here’s the best part: You don’t even need to be a wordsmith to reap the many health benefits.

What you do need to do, however, is to
find the type of journaling that works best for you. This will depend on your recovery goals, of course, as well what best fits your personality. And you don’t have to stick with one type – you can mix and match depending on your needs at that time. Here are a few to consider:
  • Stream-of-consciousness journal: This is great for purging yourself of head junk. Sit down for 15 minutes each day and write down whatever comes to mind – don’t try to edit yourself or hold back any thoughts. 
  • Diary journal: Whether you’re looking to establish a schedule in early recovery or identify any triggers to prevent relapse, a daily journal can help. Jot down the day’s events – what you did, who you saw, how you felt, etc. – and use this information to identify any patterns. 
  • Activity/food journal: Tracking your daily exercise and eating habits can help you identify poor choices and keep you on a healthy path. You might also want to note your sleep habits and stress levels to determine how they influence your food choices and activity levels. 
  • Gratitude journal: This type of journal allows you to count your blessings and, in turn, develop a more positive outlook. Bonus: Being grateful has been linked to a slew of health benefits, including improved self-esteem, fewer toxic emotions, stronger willpower, and sounder sleep.
  • Spiritual journal: Many recovering addicts tout spirituality as an aid in recovery. Finding a belief in a power beyond yourself can help you better navigate moral choices; improve anger management; discover meaning and purpose in your new sober life; and more. 
Does a Secular Approach to Healing Appeal to You?
At Complete Harmony, we understand that each client comes to us with a different view of faith and spirituality. Our programs are designed to meet the needs of those who embrace religious beliefs, and those who wish to approach recovery as a retraining of the rational mind. To learn more, call: 866-930-4673.

Friday, July 22, 2016

4 Complementary Addiction Therapies to Try

More and more treatment facilities are turning to alternative addiction therapies for a holistic approach to recovery. While these techniques can’t do the job alone, when used in conjunction with traditional treatment, they have been proven very effective in addressing the physical and psychological impact of addiction. 

Here we take a look at some study-proven methods and why they work to help patients during active recovery and years after to maintain lasting sobriety. 

Yoga: Through physical postures, breath work, and meditation, yoga helps those in recovery align the mind, body, and spirit and find inner piece and comfort. 
  • Reintroduces physical sensation
  • Relieves anxiety, stress and depression
  • Regulates stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline
  • Releases tension and alleviates mental fatigue
  • Redirects thoughts and wards off harmful cravings
Massage therapy: Research into the benefits of massage therapy as an addiction treatment is ongoing, but studies have shown that this therapy is gaining traction for people recovering from substance abuse disorder.
  • Raises “feel good” endorphins
  • Improves circulation and rids body of toxins
  • Relieves the stress and anxiety that’s a natural part of the withdrawal and recovery process
  • Balances natural neurochemistry after extended periods of substance abuse
Acupuncture: Some practitioners use auricular (ear) acupuncture in addition to whole-body acupuncture to treat points on the ear associated with the nerves and organs that become weak and unhealthy with prolonged substance abuse, including the liver, kidney, lung, and nervous systems.
  • Balances and restores function to the body
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Alleviates withdrawal symptoms, pain, and cravings
  • Combats insomnia
Meditation: An integral part of Buddhist tradition, mindfulness meditation has been shown to help substance abusers prevent relapse by teaching them to become aware of their feelings (good or bad) without reacting to them. 
  • Improves decision-making and impulse control
  • Relieves stress and anxiety
  • Heightens awareness of cravings and triggers for better management 
  • Pushes away thoughts of self-criticism and blame
Finding Holistic Treatment for You
At Complete Harmony, we encourage the use of many different cutting-edge techniques to help patients recover, including acupuncture, yoga, mediation, massage therapy, and others. To learn more about our treatment center and our approach to addiction recovery, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, July 15, 2016

7 Ways to Ease Anxiety

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of overlap between addiction and anxiety disorders. About 20 percent of Americans with an anxiety or mood disorder (like depression) have an alcohol or substance use disorder, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). And it works the other way, too: About 20 percent of those with an alcohol or substance use disorder also have an anxiety or mood disorder. 

In an effort to cope with symptoms of anxiety, many individuals try to self-medicate and alleviate symptoms. This attempt, however, backfires as drugs and alcohol actually worsen the symptoms of anxiety. The good news is that there are many things you can do to help yourself cope with anxiety and feel better. 

Try these calming strategies adopted from the ADAA.
  • Write down your anxiety triggers. Is it work, family, school, or something specific you can identify? Keep a record of the times you’re feeling anxious, and then try to identify any patterns.
  • Find your Zen. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or go for a hike. Figure out what helps you clear your head and keep calm.
  • Put stress in perspective. Ask yourself, “Is it really as bad as I think?”
  • Let yourself laugh. A good guffaw has a lot of healing power and even the mere anticipation of a humorous event can help reduce your body’s stress hormones.
  • Focus on your breath. Sit with your eyes closed and turn your attention to your breathing. Inhale slowly and exhale slowly. 
  • Cut back on sugar and caffeine, which have both been shown to trigger anxiety and panic attacks.
  • Don't hold it in. Tell friends and family you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed, or seek professional help.
Do You Need Dual-Diagnosis Treatment?
Co-occurring conditions like anxiety may exist prior to substance abuse, or develop as a side effect of drug and alcohol dependency. Using traditional and holistic therapies, Complete Harmony has a proven history of successfully addressing the secondary health challenges that complicate substance abuse. To learn more, call 866-930-4673.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Smart Snacks for Recovery

Putting a healthful diet on your radar is an important part of your overall recovery and relapse strategy. After all, proper nutrition is an important part of healing your body and mind from the damage of addiction. The goal is to stay full, energized, and alert throughout the day – this will help you better complete recovery tasks, have willpower, and make smart decisions – and to distinguish hunger cues from cravings. 

One way to do this is to incorporate regular snacks into your diet. This doesn’t mean loading up on processed, sugary foods, which could lead to a sugar addiction, or at the very least, an energy roller coaster. Instead, the trick to snacking for a healthy recovery is to choose nutrient-rich foods and filling combos of protein and fiber. 

14 Filling Food Combos 
Add these simple, portable (and, of course, yummy) snack ideas to your recovery diet: 
  • Hard-boiled egg and slice of whole-wheat toast
  • Whole-grain toast or celery sticks with dollop of natural peanut butter (no sugar added)
  • Plain Greek yogurt with blueberries
  • Hummus with carrot sticks or sliced bell peppers 
  • Low-fat string cheese with whole-wheat crackers
  • Turkey roll-ups wrapped in lettuce with apple slices
  • Apple with handful of raisins and dollop of nut butter
  • Half of whole-grain bagel with ricotta, strawberries, and honey
  • Whole-grain waffle with dollop of nut butter and yogurt
  • Oatmeal with handful of crushed almonds or berries
  • Edamame
  • Brown rice cake with ¼ of an avocado
  • 2 cups of watermelon and handful of pistachios
  • Banana slices with ¼ teaspoon of Nutella 
Nutrition Planning at Complete Harmony
Helping clients plan healthful meals to enrich their body and mind is just one of the many features of our hybrid addiction treatment. By integrating conventional and holistic recovery approaches, we help restore balance to the whole person. To learn more, call: 866-930-4673.

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