Today we have a guest post all about improving and maintaining your mental health. Although directed towards addictions, these tips can be applied to those with anxiety or depression, and more. How do you gain back control of your anxiety/depression? Cultivating good habits is one of them. Here are some more helpful tips to digest!
In many ways, people who have come to terms with addiction and are seeking to live clean lives again are starting over. There’s the need to let go of things that made it easier to drink or abuse drugs and replace them with positive influences that promote a higher level of emotional and mental well being.
Choosing to surround yourself with positive influences like these do more than help you keep your addiction under control. They also improve the quality of your life. Here are some examples of influences worth including in your new life.
A Work Out Buddy
Exercise is one of the most powerful tools for improving the condition of the body and the brain. Physical activity encourages the production of neurotransmitters that help maintain emotional balance, improve cognition, and in general help you feel better about yourself and the world around you.
While you could join a fitness club and work out on your own, there’s another way to boost the benefits you get from this activity. Find a friend or two who will out with you.
Working out with someone else comes in handy on those days when you don’t seem to be hitting your goals. Instead of becoming discouraged, your buddy can remind you that there will be days when the workout seems more difficult than others.
Instead of feeling down because today was not as easy as you hoped, you’ll be able to keep your perspective and look forward to the next workout.
It’s no longer you working out alone. The two of you are in it together. That connection is good for your confidence and provides another social outlet capable of keeping you feeling more positive about your life.
Participating in a Support Group
Did you know that people continue to participate in support groups long after they have their addictions under control? One of the reasons for that is the friendships they’ve formed within the group. Everyone there knows what it’s like and understands where you’ve been.
They are also part of the network that helps you look forward and not fall back into negative habits that could lead to relapsing.
Continuing to be a part of a support group also provides the opportunity for you to pass on what others have given to you. Once upon a time, someone sponsored you and made it possible to be part of that group.
That person was there when you felt an overwhelming urge to give in to your addiction and helped you move through the temptation instead.
As part of your continuing participation, you can now be a sponsor and help someone else regain control and have a shot at being happy again.
Work is not just about earning a living, although there’s a lot to be said for having the money to pay the rent. When you have secured a job that you find rewarding in some manner, that influence can help improve your mental and emotional balance. Instead of dreading the idea of going to work, you actually look forward to it.
Keep in mind that you don’t need an impressive title or to hold down a job that stresses you out. If taking a job that earns less while keeping the stress to a minimum and making it possible to interact with people you enjoy is what it takes, do it. Making a ton of money is of no value if you feel trapped in a soul-sucking situation.
Other posts you might like:
20 of the Best Resources for You, Your Well-Being and Mental Health
What to Do if You Feel a Panic Attack Coming On
Laughter Really is Medicine
Laughter is not given the attention it deserves these days. There’s a quote that goes like this: “Laughter is the best medicine.” The truth is that choosing to expose yourself to anything that strikes you as funny and enjoying every minute of it will make a difference in the way you feel. Whatever appeals to your sense of humor is perfect.
If you get a kick out of old television situation comedies, feel free to watch some that air on a local station or find one online. Head out to a comedy club now and then and enjoy the routine of a performer you’ve never seen before. Listen to comedy recordings that you enjoyed in years past and relive some of those positive memories.
Remember that when you share those laughs with someone else, the amount of good feelings and general well being you experience will increase. Find a friend or relative who likes the same type of things you do, settle in for some laughs, and don’t hold back.
Don’t Forget Music
Music has the ability to conjure up all sorts of emotions. There are times when giving yourself over to music that lifts your spirits is just what you need. The right music allows you to set aside whatever is troubling you for a little while and eases stress.
You will likely find that after listening to something you genuinely enjoy, coping with the little pressures of life will be easier.
Go to a concert with a friend. It doesn’t matter what type of music it happens to be. If you like country and western, rap, jug band music, R&B, or any other type, go and enjoy. While listening to music streamed online is fine, there’s something about being close to the performers and watching as the music is created right before your eyes that soothes your mind.
These are only a few examples of what type of positive influences you want to include in your life. While some of them can be done alone, many call for being with someone who knows and accepts you just the way you are.
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Remember that after dealing with an addiction and working through the anxiety, depression, and other phobias that go along with it, you deserve the opportunity to be happy.
Take the time to cultivate positive habits and expose yourself to influences that will reinforce your sense of self, your appreciation of others, and allow you to focus on the future rather than dwelling too much on the past.