Replacing Bad Habits with Good Ones in Recovery

Replacing Bad Habits with Good Ones in Recovery

When someone overcomes drug or alcohol addiction and is living a new lifestyle in recovery, she needs a constructive and healthy habit to replace her unhealthy habit of abusing drugs. In fact, she often needs multiple new, healthier habits that promote wellbeing while also rewarding her in a similar way that addictive drugs once did. Most recovery programs suggest and encourage recovering addicts to identify and pursue healthy habits that they can practice to replace past abusive habits. Addiction Treatment Therapy suggests several habits that recovering addicts can adopt that promote continued health and well-being.

Exercise and general physical activity is one of the best habits for recovering addicts to adopt for several reasons. Being physically active releases some of the same neurotransmitters into the brain that many drugs do, and it ignites the same reward system. In other words, exercise can not only become a healthy daily ritual to replace addiction, but it can also revitalize someone’s body, mind and spirit. It can give recovering addicts more natural energy and help him to make better life choices.

Another great good habit that can replace bad ones is being generous toward others and making it a habit to volunteer with local and national organizations in order to give back to others. Giving back through volunteering is one of the most common ways that recovering addicts spend their time. In fact, many recovering addicts go on to find employment and new careers in the volunteer and non-profit organization field.

Developing a daily routine can also become a good habit for addicts in recovery. Planning out days in advance according to a specific routine can help addicts feel more in control and comfortable with the day ahead. Of course, it is also important not to become too attached to a routine, as surprise will inevitably arise. Having a healthy routine that is open to random and uncontrollable spontaneity is a healthy habit to adopt during recovery.

Meditation can come in many different forms, such as simply sitting with eyes your closed and being conscious about the surrounding to writing in a journal on a daily basis. Journaling or meditating in other forms is a healthy habit to adopt in recovery, as it helps people express themselves or deal with invasive feelings such as anxiety or depression. Journaling can also be beneficial, because it allows people to look back and reflect on themselves after their emotions have settled.

Alcohol Rehab suggests that attending or hosting sober parties on a regular basis is a great habit to have, because it that can also increase a recovering addict’s support network and social life. Sober parties are often hosted by 12-step groups, but they can also be hosted by individuals without direct affiliation with sober groups.

How to Replace Bad Habits with Good Ones

Tony Robinson, a success advocate who helps people learn to reach their goals, explains how people can replace bad habits with good ones. The advice he gives rings true for everyone, but maybe even especially for people who are recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. Robinson suggests that the first step to replacing bad habits with good ones is identifying the bad habits. Bad habits are typically easy to identify, as they are anything that limits you from reaching your goals in life. If a loved one’s goal is to be healthier, than a habit of smoking or eating junk food is limiting him from reaching that goal, so it is a bad habit that demands to be changed.

The second step is to identify the cue for that bad habit, such as the time, location, emotion or people who trigger the bad habit. If you identify the cues that trigger bad habits, then it will help you plan ahead so that, when those unavoidable triggers arise, then you can be prepared for them. Once you identify the cue, then the reward that the habit provides needs also to be identified. Habits always produce some type of small or large reward that entices people to continue the habitual practice. Rewards are not always good; in fact, they are often detrimental to personal health. For instance, eating a large amount of delicious food on a regular basis can be rewarding in the sense that it tastes good, but the consequences of the reward are extensive including weight gain and other eventual serious health problems. Such logic works the same way for drug abuse, so learn how your own triggers work to get and stay clean.

Once the habit, cue and reward are identified, then you can institute a healthier habit that utilizes the same cue and produces a similar but healthier reward.

Help Finding Professional Treatment for Drug or Alcohol Addiction

If you or someone you know is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction and needs help, then please call our toll-free helpline now. Our admissions coordinators are standing by 24 hours a day to help you find a treatment program that will work for you. Beat your addiction today and call us now.