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Friday, December 28, 2018

Traveling for Addiction Treatment

There are many considerations that happen after you make the decision to get help for your addiction. This includes whether or not you should travel or stay close to home for addiction treatment.

After all, finding the right addiction treatment facility can mean the difference between recovery and relapse. And sometimes you have no choice but to seek care out-of-state, especially if there’s not a nearby high-quality rehab.

Expanding your addiction treatment search to include other cities and states will also give you more options. For example, you’ll be able to choose a facility on factors like size, traditional 12-step vs. alternative and holistic treatment, dual diagnosis treatment, accepted insurance and finance options and local recovery scene. Ideally, your recovery should happen in a place where you feel comfortable and relaxed.

If you’re concerned about privacy or protecting your reputation, attending treatment outside of your community may also be a wise decision. Yet most reputable addiction treatment centers pride themselves on privacy and discretion.

Another reason some individuals opt to travel for treatment is to have fewer distractions and more space to heal and embrace change. Traveling for addiction treatment can give you fresh start and fresh perspective. During recovery, it’s essential to focus on you and the recovery process – and this may mean removing yourself from friends, family and daily stressors. Adding a little physical distance between you and your hometown triggers can also allow you to see your addictive habits and patterns through a more objective lens.

Traveling to Complete Harmony
We pride ourselves on empowering our clients to achieve and maintain sobriety through the use of holistic therapies and non-12-step alternative approaches. We offer the entire continuum of care, including detox, residential addiction treatment and outpatient programs. To learn more about our cutting-edge treatment in Southern California, call us today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Are You Prepared for Holiday Triggers?

holiday triggers
A big part of staying sober this holiday is learning how to recognize and avoid your triggers, or those people, places or things that could jeopardize your recovery.

Triggers are everywhere all of the time and the holidays are no exception. In fact, they may even present themselves more this season because of the extra stress and added pressure to attend social events and spend time with family. Especially if you’re in early recovery, this may also be a time when new triggers arise.

Here are a few common holiday triggers:
  • Returning to a hometown or childhood location 
  • Attending holiday parties or seeing old friends 
  • Stress over seeing family or friends that you haven’t seen in a while or with whom you have a fractured relationship due to your past addiction
  • Talking about your recovery with friends and family
  • Smelling certain food or drinks 
  • Holiday shopping with large crowds 
  • People drinking or smoking or using drugs in front of you 
  • Alcohol and wine bottles on the dinner table, or free flowing throughout events 
  • Loneliness, loss and shame 
  • Stress and anxiety 
  • Financial pressure
Smart, Sober Planning 
Like other times of the year, your number-one priority is to stay focused on your goal of lasting sobriety – and having a plan in place can help. Many addiction experts recommend making a list of triggers along with ways to cope with those triggers. For example, if a certain family member makes you want to use again, try to figure out how to either avoid that person or figure out what to say if an uncomfortable conversation arises. Or, if holiday shopping with large crowds is too triggering, skip the mall and shop for your loved ones online.

If this is your first holiday sober, you may even opt to skip holiday events all together and spend some quiet time with a trusted loved one, friend or recovery peer. Don’t feel bad or guilty; your loved ones who support you and your recovery will understand. Plus, as you progress in your recovery you’ll likely feel more comfortable attending these gatherings.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reminds people in recovery that practicing self-care is a priority no matter the season -- and with additional stress and temptation everywhere, it’s even more important to be mindful about eating and exercise habits. Go for a daily walk. Be sure to drink plenty of water and indulge in sweets and caffeine in moderation.

And make sure to lean on your support system. It’s important to know that you are not alone as you work to stay sober this season. Be open and honest about how you are feeling – many of your supports have likely walked in your shoes and can give you valuable advice for dealing with holidays triggers.

The Holidays at Complete Harmony
We are here to help you have a happy, sober holiday season! Contact us today to begin your recovery journey, heal relationships and begin building a sober social network. Call: 866-930-4673.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Dealing With Urges and Cravings

It’s pretty normal to battle urges and cravings during recovery – but that doesn’t mean that they have to win! The good news is that cravings and urgings do decrease in strength and frequency over time. In the meantime, here are a few proven strategies to help amp up your defenses and prevent relapse. 
  • Delay and distract. When you get an urge or craving, the goal is to delay it, so it eventually passes. One way to do this is to find a healthy distraction. For example, you can go for a brisk walk, cue a funny YouTube video, run up and down the stairs, scroll social media, color in an adult coloring book. Start a running list of some possibilities – and have that list some place accessible when an urge or craving strikes. 
  • Know your triggers. Is it a beer or wine commercial or song on the radio or driving past an old haunt? Make a list so you know your triggers and then do your best to avoid and escape them. Just the simple act of refocusing your mind away from your trigger can help lessen any cravings or urges. 
  • Accept and understand. A big part of recovery is learning to accept discomfort – and this includes the way you feel when you get an urge or craving. Remind yourself that it’s normal and that it will pass and that the discomfort is a small price to pay for lasting sobriety. 
Relapse Prevention at Complete Harmony
Preventing relapse and ensuring lasting sobriety means creating long-term strategies to deal with urges, cravings, negative patterns, emotional duress, poor self-esteem and more. We help our clients change behaviors from the inside out with proven holistic treatment approaches to addiction. To learn more about our alternative relapse prevention program, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, November 23, 2018

How Exercise Can Help Fight Relapse

exercise fight relapse

Unfortunately, relapse is all-too common when it comes to recovery from drugs and/or alcohol. This is partly due to the many triggers – or people, places or things – that are so hard to resist. Yet a new study shines light on another possible tool against relapse for people struggling with a substance use disorder: exercise.

While previous studies have shown a link between physical activity and reduced cravings, a recent mice study found that exercise may just strengthen a person’s resolve by altering the production of peptides in the brain. The findings were published in the journal ACS Omega.

Mice were given injections of cocaine and placed in a cage with unique flooring designed to mirror a drug using environment. The goal was to imprint these features into their memories. After four days, the mice were moved to special cages with running wheels for 30 days.

The mice who jumped on the wheels had lower levels of brain peptides related to myelin, a substance thought to help fix memories in place and, when re-exposed to the cocaine-associated environment, they showed a reduced preference for the cocaine-associated environment compared with sedentary mice. Researchers also found lower levels of actin in the mice that exercised. This is important because actin is involved in learning and memory and drug-seeking behaviors in those with substance use disorders, according to researchers.

The takeaway: “Regular exercise can be helpful with self-care, which can assist someone with an overall goal of wellness,” Costa Provis, a licensed psychotherapist who works with clients in recovery from drug and alcohol, told reporters. However, exercise is not a cure-all, Provis cautioned. A better plan would be to combine exercise with other proven relapse prevention strategies and coping techniques.

Relapse Prevention at Complete Harmony
Relapse prevention is key for long-term recovery – and we're here to help. At Complete Harmony, our holistic treatment and relapse prevention plans provide a firm foundation for lifelong sobriety. To learn more, call: 866-930-4673.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Tips for Recovery-Boosting Sleep

sleep tipsYou can’t be your best in recovery unless you care for your mind, body and spirit – and quality sleep can strengthen those connections. Regular, restorative sleep will allow you to feel present, energetic, focused and emotionally balanced. Sleep will also enable you to adopt a more positive mindset to overcome any challenges or setbacks along the way. 

Unfortunately, it’s pretty common for people in recovery to struggle with sleep. This is mainly because addiction as well as co-occurring mental illnesses can disrupt your body’s circadian rhythms. Plus, a long history of abusing drugs or alcohol often leads to poor sleep hygiene. Luckily, these steps you can help enhance your recovery and improve your shut-eye. 
  • Avoid long, late-day naps. While a short nap (20 minutes or less) can help you feel revitalized and refreshed, a longer nap can cause you to feel groggy and disrupt your sleep cycle. It’s also wise to avoid naps after 3 pm, which will do more harm than good.  
  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule. This means doing your best to wake up and turn in the same time each night – even on weekends. 
  • Create a ritual for bedtime. Whether you do gentle yoga poses, stretch, meditate, read, listen to calming music or soak in a bath, that half hour prior to bedtime should consist of something that relaxes your mind and body. 
  • Watch what you eat or drink. Eating too much or too little before bedtime can interfere with your sleep. If you’re looking for a bedtime snack, choose a healthy food combo that will fill you up and help you feel energized in the morning. Some examples: apple with nut butter, cottage cheese and peaches, whole-grain toast with avocado or a banana and a handful of sunflower seeds. Also, avoid nicotine and caffeine, which disrupt sleep cycles. 
  • Exercise every day. A regular exercise routine has been study-proven to help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly through the night. Just be careful not to work out too close to bedtime, as you may be too amped up to fall asleep. 
  • Eliminate light and sound. This means shutting off smartphones, computers, laptops and other electronics. To block outside light and noise, consider using blackout curtains, eyeshades, earplugs, “white noise” machines, humidifiers, fans and other devices. 
Healing the Mind, Body and Spirit
At Complete Harmony, we use traditional and holistic therapies to help clients rediscover their mind body connection and address  the secondary health challenges that complicate substance abuse. To learn more about our cutting-edge treatments, call 866-930-4673.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Low Self-Esteem and Stress Linked to Opioid Use

opioid use
Is there a link between life stressors – health, money, work, family and romance – low self-esteem and opioid use? This is what researchers from Binghamton University set out to discover when they surveyed 1,000-plus adults.

The results: Researchers found that high life stressors plus poor self-esteem does increase the chances for opioid use. This is partly because opioids increase the effects of dopamine and serotonin in the brain – and people with low self-esteem are attracted to the drugs because they have the ability to change how they feel about themselves, noted Binghamton University graduate student and researcher Damla Aksen, in a statement.

“In other words, opioids may serve as self-medication in response to social stressors and its cascade of negative consequences,” Aksen said.

The researchers hope these findings will urge addiction professionals to be mindful of the risk factors that contribute to opioid abuse and work to educate individuals about the particular life stressors that increase an individual’s risk for opioid abuse.

More About Stress
What might be a stressor for one person may not be a trigger for you. Stress is individual and so is the way in which you best cope with it. In addition to caring for your mental health – getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, making time for yourself, taking breaks – you might need to experiment with a few stress-reducing activities to find out what work best for you. 

Some ideas:

  • Exercising
  • Listening to music
  • Reading a book
  • Writing
  • Meditation
  • Massage
  • Sober socialization or spending time with a friend or relative
  • Talking with a trained mental health professional
Holistic Therapies for Recovery & Stress ManagementIf stress and low self-esteem has contributed to your opioid abuse, Complete Harmony has a recovery path to help your physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Our model for hybrid addiction treatment includes comfortable detox and holistic therapies like massage, meditation and yoga. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, September 28, 2018

What You Need to Know About Guided Imagery

guided imageryCan going to your “happy place” help your recovery? While it’s a lot more complex than that, guided imagery is a type of therapy that involves visualization and guided images to create positive changes in thoughts and behaviors. 

More rehabs are using guided imagery as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. The mind-body intervention works by activating the connections in your brain, nervous system and visual cortex to impact your emotional and physical state. Guided imagery is often used with meditation and mindfulness.

Under the guidance and direction of a trained addiction specialist, an individual can learn to listen to someone else’s voice and consciously generate images in his mind to reduce stress and promote calmness. You can also use audio recordings, create your own recordings or use your inner voice and imagination.

The Academy for Guided Imagery (AGI) classifies guided imagery into three categories:
  • Stress reduction and relaxation.
  • Active visualization or directed imagery (for improving performance, changing behavior, or influencing an outcome).
  • Receptive imagery (in which words and images are brought to consciousness to explore and give information about symptoms, treatments, moods or illnesses).
The Benefits of Guided Imagery
Guided imagery can help you relieve physical tension and psychological stress in minutes and be a healthy distraction from daily stressors. In this way, it can also help you develop a positive mindset and coping mechanisms for maintaining resilience during difficult times. Other study-proven benefits of guided imagery include: 
  • Decreased need for pain medication
  • Reduced fear and anxiety
  • Better stress management skills
  • Headache & migraine relief
  • Improved sleep and reduced insomnia
Holistic Addiction Treatment by the Sea
Guided imagery is part of our alternative treatment schedule for both men and women at Complete Harmony. We also offer other complementary therapies, including yoga, meditation, mindfulness and acupuncture, in order to address every aspect of health: mind, body, spirit and social. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, September 14, 2018

National Recovery Month: Stopping Stigma, Busting Myths

September is an important month for those of us in the recovery community. This is because it’s National Recovery Month, created by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), and it’s a chance to celebrate your recovery and help stop the stigma and harmful myths surrounding addiction and addiction treatment. 

This year’s theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in Health, Home, Purpose, and Community,” emphasizes community involvement and how we can all help educate and spread awareness that prevention is possible and treatment works.

Let’s face it: Having the courage to face your addiction and get help takes courage and hard work – and that’s even without having to address common misconceptions like addiction being a character flaw and there being a magic bullet or one-size-fits-all treatment. This is your month to honor your journey and those who have helped you find your way back to a sober, fulfilling life.  

“Each September, tens of thousands of prevention, treatment, and recovery programs and facilities around the country celebrate Recovery Month,” writes the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA). “They speak about the gains made by those in recovery and share their success stories with their neighbors, friends, and colleagues. In doing so, everyone helps to increase awareness and furthers a greater understanding about the diseases of mental and substance use disorders.”

What will you do this month to join the celebration? You can spread the word via FB, twitter or Instagram. has banners, flyers, and customizable posters to promote Recovery Month on social media. If you feel comfortable, you can even share your personal recovery story in the hopes of empowering someone else to take that brave step toward sobriety. There may even be a Recovery Month event going on in your area. If attending is not possible, there’s live streaming of some of the more notable events throughout the month.

There’s No Shame in Getting Help
September is your month to begin your recovery and take back your life! At Complete Harmony, we celebrate people in recovery and the professionals and loved ones who have helped make recovery possible.
To learn more about dual-diagnosis or about rehabilitation for yourself or someone you love, call us today: 866-930-4673

Friday, August 24, 2018

How to Make Gratitude Part of Your Daily Recovery

 Being grateful may seem like a piece of cake but in fact it takes practice. By working to incorporate gratitude into your daily life, you’ll boost your immune system, mood, recovery and more. Here are a few ideas to get started:
  • Start a gratitude journal. Each day, jot down three things you’re grateful for – and keep a running list that you can refer to when you feel as if you have no blessings to count.
  • Shift your mindset. You have control of your thoughts, so instead of thinking about what you don’t have, think about what you do have. This isn’t to say that you can’t strive for more, but take time to be thankful for the little treasures found in daily life.
  • Make time for loved ones. Even if it’s a quick phone call, check in with your loved ones and let them lift you up. Talking with or spending time with family and friends who support you and your recovery journey is a surefire way to make you feel grateful.
  • Remain teachable. With gratitude comes self-awareness or the ability to recognize how far you’ve come in your recovery and how much learning you still need to do. We never know it all and being humble and teachable will help you to feel grateful for the chance to learn more about yourself during recovery.
  • Recall tough times. When it feels like you have nothing to be grateful for, think about a bad time in your life and how far you’ve come since then. Embrace these moments to make you grateful for the sober life you’re now living.
  • Volunteer or simply help a fellow recovery peer. When you give rather than receive you become more grateful for what you have. In fact, volunteering has been linked to numerous benefits including decreased depression and increased well being.
  • Meditate. Carve out time daily to sit quietly give thanks to all of the small gifts in life; you can even use the running list from your gratitude journal to help. 
Meditation and More
At Complete Harmony, we encourage the use of many different cutting-edge techniques to help clients heal the mind, body and spirit and cultivate a sense of gratitude, including mediation. To learn more about our treatment center and our approach to addiction recovery, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, August 17, 2018

PAWS: What to Expect

You’ve been drug or alcohol free for a month or more and now you’re having trouble sleeping, focusing and remembering things. What’s more, you’re dealing with extreme cravings and feel irritable and anxious. You’re not imagining this. This is pretty common and it’s called PAWS, or post-acute withdrawal syndrome (protracted withdrawal syndrome). 

Like its name implies, PAWS happens after the period of acute withdrawal ceases and your brain attempts to stabilize or re-organize without alcohol and/or drugs. 

Alcohol, benzodiazepines, antidepressants, opioids and stimulants are all known to cause PAWS. The severity and longevity of PAWS depends on how much damage your brain incurred during active addiction as well as your drug of abuse. 

Recognizing the Symptoms
Learning to spot the symptoms of PAWS will help you better prepare and have a plan should these symptoms strike without warning. Here’s a look at some of the most common signs: 
  • Alcohol or drug cravings
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Problems with short-term memory
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Impaired executive control
  • Anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure from anything beyond use of the drug)
  • Dysphoria or depression
  • Irritability
  • Unexplained physical complaints
  • Reduced interest in sex 
How to Cope With PAWS
In addition to working with your addiction specialist, there are several steps you can take to help minimize the symptoms of PAWS. 
  • Stay active: A regular exercise routine can help restore balance to the brain and ease a lot of the emotional turbulence of PAWS. 
  • Recognize and record triggers: Make an effort to notice the people, places, events or situations that seem to worsen your PAWS symptoms – and keep an ongoing list that you can share with your addiction counselor. 
  • Don’t struggle alone: Successful recovery hinges on support. You don’t have to cope with PAWS alone; share what you’re experiencing with your addiction counselors, peers or loved ones. 
  • Be patient with the process: Your mind and body need time to fully recover. Do your best to stay calm and focus on your recovery tasks as well as all of the positive things ahead in your new sober life. 
Comfortable Detox at Complete Harmony
Our team can help you or someone you love detox and restore your whole body using holistic therapies for symptom management and improved well being. To learn more about our alternative rehab program and natural detox methods, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Link Between Self-Esteem & Recovery

Many people in addiction recovery struggle with self-esteem, or confidence in your worth and abilities. And, in fact, low self-esteem may have played a role in your addiction in the first place. 

Learning to rebuild your self-esteem is essential for your long-term sobriety and your overall mental health. This is because full recovery requires that you value yourself enough that you dont risk relapse. It also requires satisfaction with your new sober life, which is difficult to achieve when youre struggling with low self-esteem. 

How You Can Improve Your Self-Esteem
A big part of improving your self-esteem is self-awareness. Learning about yourself and being more mindful about how you treat yourself as well as how others treat you can help set the foundation for healthy self-esteem. 

Self-care and negative self-talk also play a role in self-esteem. Remind yourself that you deserve to be healthy – mind, body and spirit. To do so, youll need to participate fully in your recovery, eat well, stay active, sleep, practice stress management and engage in activities that make you feel alive and fulfilled. 

You also deserve to be treated well – and this includes making a bigger effort to treat yourself with kindness and compassion. Make a big effort to stop negative self-talk. For example, the next time you find yourself beating yourself up over something you did or did not do, stop and think of something more positive. 

Learning to change your mindset and learn from (not dwell) on mistakes is an important process for a successful recovery and healthy self-esteem. 

Building Self-Esteem at Complete Harmony
We offer our clients a variety of holistic and alternative therapies that will help you or someone you love improve your self-esteem and boost your chance at lasting sobriety. For more information about our cutting edge treatments, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, August 3, 2018

How to Get Out of a Recovery Rut

We all have good and bad days and we all get into ruts once in awhile. While this is completely normal, it’s also risky to your recovery if you get stuck in a rut. Here are some tips to help you pick yourself up and push through.
  • Show yourself compassion. Beating yourself up is never the answer. Especially during recovery when you’re fragile, it’s important to show yourself kindness and view any bumps in the road as learning experiences. 
  • Reengage in your recovery. Ask yourself: What have you done today to help your recovery? For example, did you meet with your therapist, write in a journal, meditate or attend a support group? Making sure you complete your recovery task on a daily basis can help keep you out of a rut.
  • Practice self-care. Whether you carve out quiet time to pray or meditate or just go for a brisk walk in nature, taking 10 minutes to mind your wellbeing will help keep you inspired and motivated.
  • Be more mindful. Without judgment, consider any feelings that could be causing your rut. Try writing them down in a journal and then putting it aside. This exercise can help you move past any emotional roadblocks that may be in your way. 
  • Avoid comparisons. No one’s recovery is the same and so don’t get caught up in comparing your progress with someone else’s. This can just foster negative feelings and unrealistic expectations. The result: a rut!
  • Remember, you’re not alone. Again, we all get into ruts now and again. Do your best to stay positive, seek support and push on through.
Staying Inspired at Complete Harmony
At Complete Harmony, we provide the tools you or someone you love needs to endure the ups and downs of recovery. To learn more about our cutting edge treatments, call us today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Tips for Creating a Balanced Life in Recovery

balanced life
Part of learning to live a sober life is learning to live a balanced life. And this means finding time for happiness, goals and overall health amid the mundane and stress of everyday life. Here are some tips to get you started: 
  • Practice good time management. Learning to manage your time is crucial for a healthy life balance. This means being vigilant about staying organized, prioritizing to-do lists, learning to say “no” and asking for help when you need it. 
  • Prioritize your health. Taking the time to strengthen your mind and body will make you more resilient and better able to stay strong and grounded. This means scheduling in sleep, exercise, relaxation and healthful meals.
  • Plan ahead. It’s import to keep your goals top of mind without letting them overwhelm you or make you feel like a failure. Start the week by jotting down one goal and one way you can work toward meeting that goal. It can be a small step. 
  • Don’t forget the pleasures of life. Spend time with loved ones and friends who lift your spirits or make you laugh. Make time for nature and play and hobbies that excite you. 
  • Be a life learner. Now that you’re sober, you have the opportunity to build an exciting and liberating life without the crutches of drugs or alcohol. Each day is a brand-new opportunity to learn something new or experience something amazing for the first time through a sober lens.
  • Remember to breath. Learning to incorporate mindful breathing techniques into your life will ensure that you have a healthy go-to for controlling stress and easing tension. 
Begin SMART Recovery® at Complete Harmony
Living a balanced life is part of the SMART Recovery® 4-point recovery program. At Complete Harmony, our team will help you determine whether this type of addiction recovery program is right for you. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Are You at Risk of a Cross Addiction?

cross addiction
A cross addiction, or when someone moves from one addiction to another, is pretty common for people in recovery from a substance use disorder. In fact, this tendency is partly why addiction is viewed as a chronic, relapsing condition. In the case of a cross addiction, the relapse is with a new drug of choice – whether an addictive substance or behavior. 

Cross addictions come in various forms and people can become dependent on almost anything that causes dopamine activation in the brain. For example, someone can go from marijuana to painkiller addiction; drinking to food addiction; cocaine to gambling addiction; or sex to exercise addiction – or any combination. Falling back into old patterns with a new substance and/or behavior – even if the behavior seems “less dangerous” – is still risky business. This is because the brain is still engaging in addictive behavior and not getting the time it needs to heal. 

Men typically outnumber women in sex and gambling addictions. Eating disorders and exercise addiction are common cross addiction for many women – using exercise, food or starvation to replace the high of drugs and/or alcohol. It’s also common for cross addiction to go unnoticed until it's become a big problem – and it can happen during any point of recovery.  

Staying mindful of any compulsive thoughts and behaviors and seeking support from counselors, recovery peers and trusted loved ones can help. And so can recognizing some of the warning signs, including:  
  • Tolerance: Do you need more and more to get the same “buzz?”
  • Withdrawal: Are you experiencing symptoms like anxiety, irritability, restlessness and sleep trouble if you try to cut back or stop the substance or behavior?
  • Continuance: Are you continuing in spite of negative consequences, including missed responsibilities, interpersonal problems and physical and mental health issues?
  • Lack of control: Have you tried and failed to stop or cut back? 
  • Reduction in other activities: Are you avoiding friends and family or skipping favorite hobbies in favor of the substance and/or behavior? 
  • Time: Are you spending a great deal of time thinking about, planning for and recovering from the substance and/or behavior?
Relapse Prevention at Complete Harmony
Relapse prevention is key for long-term recovery – and we're here to help. At Complete Harmony, our holistic treatment and relapse prevention plans provide a firm foundation for lifelong sobriety. To learn more, call: 866-930-4673. 

Friday, July 6, 2018

Could a Mindfulness App Help Your Recovery?

Mindfulness mediation is more than just a hot trend but a core part of lasting sobriety. As we’ve discussed in the past, this ancient practice can help you experience each moment of life – the good and the bad – without judgment or preconceived notions. The result: less stress, anxiety and depression and more self-esteem and enthusiasm for life.

mindfulness app
With all of the mental health benefits of mindfulness, it’s not too surprising that more and more companies are developing mindfulness apps. Certainly an app can never replace professional counseling, but it could be a helpful tool once you’ve completed your primary or residential addiction treatment. It’s something you can turn to 24-7 to ease anxiety and manage stress.  

With so many apps on the market, how do you know which to choose? Ask yourself why the app would be helpful and how it will help you. For example, if it’s for stress, then which features help reduce stress? It’s also important to make sure any claims are backed by studies. Before downloading an app, talk to your addiction counselor or therapist to make sure the app aligns with your individual recovery goals. 

Here are three science-backed meditation apps touted by numerous health professionals:

Insight Timer: Thousands of guided meditations and talks by top mindfulness experts, neuroscientists, psychologists and meditation teachers 
  • Discussion groups and community features
  • Stats and milestones for tracking your progress
  • The world's most popular meditation Timer
  • Follow your favorite teachers
  • Music tracks from world-renowned artists
Calm: Guided meditation sessions available in lengths of 3, 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 minutes
  • Daily calm: a new 10-minute program to help ease you into the day or unwind with before bed
  • Sleep stories: adult bedtime stories to lull you to sleep
  • 7-day and 21-day programs for both beginner and advanced users
  • Breathing exercises 
  • Unguided timed meditation
  • Open-ended meditation
  • 25+ soothing nature sounds and scenes 
Aura: Daily science-backed and personalized mindfulness meditation exercises
  • Meditations specifically created for your feelings 
  • Track your mood to learn about your mood patterns
  • Daily reminders for mindful breathers and meditations
  • Daily reflections to make gratitude a habit 
  • Various relaxation sounds and music for unguided meditations before sleep 
Finding Peace at Complete Harmony
At Complete Harmony, we encourage the use of many different cutting-edge techniques to help clients heal the mind, body and spirit, including mediation. To learn more about our treatment center and our approach to addiction recovery, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Avoiding the Temptation to Use This Summer

Beach parties, outdoor music festivals, barbecues — tis the season for additional triggers and temptations, but don’t fret. You can enjoy the summer season and safeguard your recovery with the following tips:  
  • Identify your triggers. Understanding which triggers can derail your recovery will help you better stick to your recovery plan this summer. In general, a trigger can be any person, situation or thing that leads to cravings or a slip up. And this can also include difficult emotions like anxiety or depression. 
  • Focus on your health. Just because it’s summer, it doesn’t mean you can take a vacation from your recovery must-dos. This means doing your best to stick to a normal sleep and exercise schedule, eat a healthy, well-rounded diet and manage stress.
  • Connect with sober friends. Take the time to hang out with sober friends during the summer, whether you grab a quick coffee, go for a long walk or meet up at the beach. You’ll be more relaxed and less likely to relapse if you surround yourself with other people who support and understand your sobriety. 
  • Try something new. Have you always wanted to write a blog or try yoga on the beach or experiment with a cute summer craft project you’ve been eyeing on Pinterest? Summertime is the perfect time to tackle a fun, sober project or hobby that keeps you busy and makes you feel good about you and your hard-won sobriety.
Summertime at Complete Harmony
The summer season is the perfect time to begin your journey toward lifelong sobriety. At Complete Harmony, we help you explore your own recovery journey while learning to heal relationships and build a sober social network. For more information about our cutting edge treatments, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Helping Your Loved Ones Help You

You’ve likely heard of addiction referred to as a “family disease,” meaning it impacts not just the person in the throes of substance abuse but also his or her loved ones. This means that while recovery is challenging (to say the least) for you, it’s also daunting for family and friends. They may feel guilty or unsure of what to do or say to help support your sobriety. And you can help by learning to communicate your feelings and needs. It’s really a win-win. Helping them is helping ensure that you have the support system in place that you need to endure the ups and downs of recovery.  

But where do you start? The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers a few suggestions. Take a look and then talk to your counselors or recovery peers for some more ideas. 

What Might Help Me: 
Consider not only what your loved ones can say but also what they can do when, for example, you’re having a down day or struggling with feelings of guilt, hopelessness, anxiety or intense cravings. Ask yourself:
  • Do you want to be held or do you need a little space?
  • Can your loved one exercise with you or cue up a funny movie?
  • Can you sit together and color or listen to music for relaxation?
  • Should your loved ones just listen (without judgment, advice or criticism) or do you want them to reassure you that you’re doing the right thing?
  • Can your loved one cook you a healthy meal or take you for some coffee?

What Might Hurt Me: 
Now more than ever you need a solid support system, so don’t be afraid to speak up if someone is saying or doing something that could possible jeopardize your hard-won sobriety.  
  • Does your loved one lose his or her patience or judge, criticize or scold you? 
  • Does he or she tend to talk “at” you or “down” to you?
  • Is he or she trying to do your recovery work?
  • Is he or she drinking or doing drugs in front of you?

Our Customized Addiction Treatment
At Complete Harmony, we understand that each person’s addiction history, family dynamics and emotional experiences differ. To this end, we customize care to your personal objectives, religious beliefs and health considerations. To learn more about our holistic addiction treatment, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Suicides Rates on the Rise in U.S.

suicide rates
Amid the startling news of the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain came a disturbing new statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since 1999, the suicide rate in the United States has risen 28 percent.

Despite growing efforts toward prevention and awareness, suicide rates increased in almost every state between 1999 and 2016. Since 1999, rates rose more than 30 percent in half the states and, in 2016 alone, nearly 45,000 lives were lost to suicide. 

While nearly half of those who lost their life to suicide had a diagnosed mental illness, other factors also played a role, including relationship problems, financial troubles, health issues and substance abuse. 

This is further proof that using alcohol or drugs to self-medicate or escape life’s stressors is risky business.

Recognizing the Redflags
It’s important to recognize the following warning signs of suicide in yourself or someone you love. 
  • Talking about suicide — for example, making statements such as "I'm going to kill myself," "I wish I were dead" or "I wish I hadn't been born"
  • Withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone
  • Mood swings, such as being emotionally high one day and deeply discouraged the next
  • Being preoccupied with death, dying or violence
  • Feeling trapped or hopeless 
  • Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Risky or self-destructive behavior (driving recklessly, substance abuse, cutting)
  • Giving away belongings or getting affairs in order for no logical explanation 
  • Saying goodbye to people as if they won't be seen again
  • Personality changes or being severely anxious or agitated
Suicide is preventable and any suicidal thought or ideation warrants immediate attention. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 (TALK) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

Getting Help for Depression and Addiction
For men and women struggling with mental illness and addictive tendencies, rehabilitation may seem like an impossible journey. Complete Harmony offers integrated therapeutic, holistic, and medical support for clients dealing with co-existing addiction and mental illness. Our experience with mental illness is broad and deep. For more info, call 866-930-4673.

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