Three ways to overcome addiction

 

Since I’ve become an advocate of erasing the stigma of mental illness and suicide prevention I like to host writers who have healing ideas that could help people at risk. Jennifer McGregor has been my guest before – you can read her previous article here. I’m delighted to have her back. Her words make a lot of sense to me. Please join me in welcoming Jennifer to my website, Choices. 

meditation

Image via Pixabay by brenkee

Three Mood-Boosting Activities for Those Overcoming Addictions
by Jennifer McGregor

Many people with mental illness find themselves self-medicating. Acquiring mental health care is very difficult for a number of people thanks to the ongoing stigma against mental illness. Whether a person goes undiagnosed or simply cannot afford care, self-medication is a rampant problem among those with mental illnesses.

Self-medication, unfortunately, often leads to addiction, worsened symptoms of mental illness, and suicide. Preventing suicide is a crucial component to addiction recovery. So, if you are currently working to overcome an addiction despite a mental illness, here are a few mood-boosting activities you can do to make your recovery easier.

Play with a Dog

Dogs are a natural mood booster and stress reducer. Their energy, comedic antics, and affection are ideal for feeling better on a dime. If you don’t have a dog of your own, consider borrowing a friend’s dog for a trip to the dog park. It’s hard to say no to a free dog walker. You can even make a little extra cash walking dogs using Rover.com.

If you have room in your life for a dog, you may want to take a look at your local shelters. Living with a dog can have a number of positive benefits including uplifted mood, higher energy levels, and reduction of daily stress. Waking up to an adoring pet each day that needs you to care for it and take it on walks is one of the easiest ways to push yourself into a healthier routine and avoid the dangers of isolation and depression during recovery.

Meditate or Practice Yoga

Learning to relax your mind is a very important skill. It can help you control some of the symptoms of mental illness, reduce stress, and ease your road to recovery. Meditation is beneficial for its ability to be practiced anywhere as well as its more potent effects on your mental health.

Yoga combines meditative thought with the benefits of exercise. The physical activity creates positive endorphins to improve mood while the meditative thought relaxes the mind, quiets negative thoughts, and lessens any depression or anxiety. Both can be hugely beneficial for both recovery and your illness.

Learn a New Hobby

It’s always a good idea to keep one’s hands busy with an enjoyable activity. There are a number of hobbies that can be used to derail your negative thoughts, relieve stress, and boost your mood. A small, portable hobby can be good for those times you feel depression coming on but aren’t at home.

A few examples might be knitting, sketching, crocheting, whittling, cross stitching, and other such small pastimes. Find a small task that you enjoy and use it for those rainy days everyone gets during recovery.

There are many ways to improve your mood, but these activities may be more effective for some people than for others, depending on your individual personality and interests. Test out a few of these potential activities and see what works best for you.

If you are really struggling to get through each day or feeling particularly fatigued or depressed, you may also want to consider a few lifestyle changes such as altering your diet and taking measures to sleep well. Talk to your counselor and see what might be best for controlling depression and suicidal thoughts.

About the Author:

Jennifer is a pre-med student, who loves providing reliable health and medical resources. She co-created the site PublicHealthLibrary.org to help spread reputable health information.

public-health-library

Thank you again, Jennifer, for being here. I’m sure your wise words will be very helpful to our readers. And please come back again.

 

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  1. […] McGregor has written for Choices two other times, presenting  compelling information about  addiction and suicide . Today she writes about man’s best friend and how service dogs can be a great […]

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