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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.
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