8 Benefits of Sobriety
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Sobriety is a gift. Sure, it may not seem like it when you are going through detox and the treatment process. But rest assured, once you begin enjoying the benefits of sobriety, you will never regret your decision.
When you were considering going in for treatment, you may have pictured life in sobriety as one big boring slog. It was hard to imagine a life without drugs or alcohol dulling the peaks and valleys of daily life. Lo and behold, what a joy it is to learn your vision of a dull sober lifestyle was completely wrong.
8 Awesome Benefits of Sobriety
- Improved health. In sobriety, you will notice a big change in your general health and appearance. You are no longer ingesting toxins (alcohol), which allows your liver and all organs a chance to regenerate. When you integrate exercise and a healthy diet into recovery, you’ll feel stronger and have more energy, too.
- Mental wellness. After sustaining sobriety for a while you’ll notice improved mental health. You will enjoy better memory function, better focus, mental clarity, and more stable moods. Residual feelings of depression or anxiety may persist for a few months but usually resolve before the one-year mark.
- Increased productivity. Substance use disorder probably made you feel less ambitious or motivated. You probably were less productive at work and neglected duties around the house. In recovery, you look forward to being productive again. You may even carve out some new career goals or start tackling home improvement projects.
- Healthy friendships. In early recovery, it is critical to remove people from your life that are not supportive of your recovery efforts. This includes friends you had that are still active in substance use. As you replace them with new friends, you gradually build up a supportive network of quality people in your life.
- Possibilities and purpose. In recovery, you’ll discover a fresh new purpose for your life. Suddenly, the world looks full of possibility and renewed purpose. Sobriety reignites the passion to live a purposeful life.
- Self-confidence. Each day that you progress in recovery strengthens your self-confidence. You feel empowered in sobriety as if you’ve discovered an inner strength you never knew you had. With increased self-confidence comes a bump in self-esteem, and all this positivity keeps you encouraged.
- Better financial health. It is quite common for someone to lose their job while in active addiction. This can have a domino effect on all aspects of your financial life. One of the benefits of sobriety is enjoying improved finances. You save money by not using drugs or alcohol and can focus on paying off debt and saving.
- New hope. In sobriety, you discover a new lease on life, which gives you renewed hope. Suddenly, you can look into your future and start to make some plans and set new goals. Each passing day makes you feel stronger, more confident, and much more hopeful about the future that lies ahead.
Sustain Sobriety With Aftercare Actions
Sobriety is only sustainable if you make the effort needed to strengthen and support it. Add as many of these aftercare actions as possible to improve recovery success:
- Sober living. Sober Living provides substance-free housing that can help you transition from rehab to home safely. Sober living is especially helpful if your home environment is not supportive of your recovery goals.
- Outpatient. An outpatient program is an excellent step down from residential treatment. In outpatient treatment, you will continue with your therapy sessions and classes, which are supportive in early recovery.
- Life skills classes. To start rebuilding your life in early recovery you may need to locate a new job. Take some classes to brush up on interviewing techniques and resume writing, or to learn some new job skills.
- Recovery meetings. Locate a local A.A. or SMART Recovery community for ongoing peer support. Include a few meetings a week into your weekly routine during the first few months of recovery. There you will find social support, fellowship, and accountability, which reinforce sobriety.
- Alumni activities. Alumni support enables you to reconnect with peers in recovery and enjoy social events, speakers, chat forums, and volunteer opportunities.
Remember to Practice Self-Care
- Get regular exercise. The many benefits of exercise are well known. When you add regular exercise to your routine you’ll improve strength, joints, and heart health, and reduce blood pressure. Exercise also offers many mental health benefits. Exercise causes a release of endorphins, which improve your mood.
- Eat healthy. To restore health in recovery, create a diet that is rich in lean proteins, and foods with high omega-3 content. Also include fresh veggies and fruits, nuts and seeds, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and plenty of water. Avoid processed and sugary snacks, and limit caffeinated beverages.
- Get quality sleep. Getting enough sound sleep is essential to a positive mindset and attitude in recovery. Improve sleep quality by sticking to a regular bedtime schedule. You can also enhance sleep by shutting down your smartphone one hour before bed and reading a book instead.
- Manage stress. Stress and worry are major culprits in recovery. Learning how to reduce stress and achieve a calm mood state is crucial. Add some stress reducers into your routine. These might be yoga classes, practicing mindfulness, and using guided meditation apps. For a fast way to de-stress, try some deep breathing techniques.
- Practice gratitude. Cultivate your own attitude of gratitude and enjoy the many benefits of sobriety. Keeping a positive outlook and a heart filled with gratitude will improve your overall sense of wellbeing. Keep a gratitude journal and get into the habit of acknowledging your blessings every day.
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