Can Better Habits Help Us Recover from Addiction?

We tend to think of our addictions as these colossal, formidable, debilitating forces that control and overpower us, and while they can feel that way to us, they are also contingent on the behaviors and habits we develop and perpetuate. If when we first felt addictive urges, for example, we made a habit of examining the underlying fears and pain beneath those urges rather than giving into them, we might have developed more understanding that could have helped us to combat the addiction. If we made a habit of applying our energy to healing ourselves, to attending therapy, to unearthing our past traumatic experiences and working to heal from them, chances are we wouldn’t develop the same depressive patterns we struggle with now. Can better habits help us recover from addiction?

Our habits, even our smallest, seemingly insignificant ones, make up our routines, and our routines then constitute our lifestyles. We determine through these habits whether our lifestyle will be one of well-being or self-destructiveness and self-neglect. When we’re working to recover from our firmly rooted addictions, a major step we can take to help ourselves is examining our daily habits and regular routines. Do you incorporate self-care into your routine? Do you make it a habit of taking care of yourself? Do you include spiritual practice as part of your healing? Do you connect with other people who are in recovery, or do you isolate yourself, exacerbating your unwellness? Do you attend support group meetings? Do you work with a therapist? Do you let people support you along your healing journey, or do you resist being helped? Do you meditate? Do you surround yourself with people who bring you a sense of peace or with people who constantly upset and trigger you? Is your environment conducive to sobriety or could it potentially contribute to relapse? Have you established healthy boundaries for yourself in your relationships? Do you have healthy habits to turn to when addictive urges hit? Do you have productive outlets to help you manage stress, overwhelm, anxiety and the temptation of your addictions? Do you have a relapse prevention plan in place?

All the choices we make and the habits we practice repeatedly either contribute to the development of our addictions or help us fight them. We can choose better, healthier habits that serve us in our recovery and that support our goals of sobriety.

Riverside Recovery is committed to helping you uncover the issues fueling your addictions. Our treatment programs include multiple forms of therapy, family workshops and mindfulness-based relapse prevention education. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information.