How to Improve Your Life in Long-Term Addiction Recovery

What does long-term addiction recovery look like for you? After being sober for 1, 5, or even 10 years you may find yourself seeking new ways to “grow” in your addiction recovery. These tips will help you to continue to actively pursue a healthy, improved lifestyle.

1. Meditation

Meditation produces important changes in both the structure and function of the brain. One important finding is that meditation increases gray matter in the areas of the brain involved with learning and decision-making, good for overall health and preventing relapse. Meditation also helps with other problems, such as depression and anxiety.

2. Yoga

There is significant evidence to show that yoga, particularly focusing on yogic breathwork, decreases stress and diminishes symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. It will also loosen up the joints and muscles, improving flexibility, balance, and circulation. Those who practice yoga express having an improved quality of life.

3. Exercise

Research is beginning to indicate that regular, moderate exercise can help break compulsive behaviors. Of course, we all know that being fit is good for our health, but if it also helps prevent relapse, there is an added benefit to addicts.

4. Individual Therapy

We can all benefit from delving into the issues that led us to abuse substances in the first place, and those issues change over time. If you weren’t a parent when you were using but are now, for example, regular psychotherapy can help you process your emotions so you don’t fall back into patterns that could lead to relapse.

5. Healthy Eating

t sounds like a no-brainer, right? But most addicts enter recovery with abysmal personal care habits, particularly around food and diet. Learning how to feed yourself healthfully will not only make your body stronger, but will also improve your self-esteem.

6. Volunteer

Getting out of your normal routine to help others in a way that feels good to you will improve your outlook on life. Whether it’s 12-step “service” work, feeding the homeless, shopping for an elderly neighbor, or walking dogs at the animal shelter, doing for those in need will help prevent relapse; you can’t let those people who depend on you down by going down the rabbit hole of substance abuse. Relapse is harder when you’re connected to others.



Dr. Raul J. Rodriguez

Dr. Raul Rodriguez


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