Improving your health is more than just taking care of your physical body. Exercising, dieting, and being aware of your body’s capabilities all lend themselves to improved health, of course, but there is a mental aspect as well.
Studies have indicated that having a positive outlook greatly increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life.
Specifically, a September 2013 research paper in the journal of the American Heart Association clearly showed that positive thinking promoted better health.
The study sampled 607 patients in Denmark, whose positive thinking led to a 58% correlation to a likelihood of living at least another five years. The same patients were exercising more, too. Whether the optimistic mental state or the increased physical activity led to the improved mood, the study cannot indicate. However, what is clear that the resulting positive thinking and exercise play an important part of increasing your health.
As a species, humans are actually wired as a defense mechanism to have negative thoughts at the forefront of your mind. Going back in history, we were always on the prowl for potential threats, and this way of thinking has been passed down through the generations. We can change this, however, through neuroplasticity (changing neurons and neural networks’ connections and behavior in response to new stimuli).
First, be aware of your negative thoughts and what triggers result from them. Next, take responsibility for your actions instead of allowing outside forces to control you. Make personal time for you to reflect. Practice your affirmations on how you want to grow as a person. Remove negative talk with positive reinforcement.
According to the National Institute of Health at Georgetown University, positive thinking (and emotions in general) plays a huge role in maintaining health bodies. Make a dedication to yourself to work toward the goal of a healthy body through positive thinking!
Within the last decade, we have heard the words, “sober living program” more often than ever. But what exactly is a sober living program? And how does it affect the recovery process of those with addictions?
The National Institute of Health conducted studies that show that recovery patients who go directly from rehabilitation programs back to their original home environments face a great deal of very difficult challenges and modes of temptation. Often these familiar and sometimes stressful environments decrease the patient’s chances of success.
This is where sober living programs and housing opportunities come in; these programs help to bridge the gap between in-patient recovery and living at home. Sober living programs ease the recovery patient back into the everyday life they have had to leave behind in order to get sober.
In-patient recovery programs can be lengthy, which for many patients becomes an expensive burden. Studies have shown that longer stays in in-patient recovery programs, do not help or increase the chances of a full recovery from addiction, so longer stays in rehab clinics and hospitals is not recommended. A sober living program is much better equipped to help patients learn to cope with the normal stresses of everyday life.
One of the main advantages of sober living programs for recovery patients is their ability to assist with providing the basic skills required to achieve long-term sobriety outside of a hospital or clinic facility.
Patients who have the opportunity to take advantage of sober living programs and housing opportunities increase their chances of being able to cope with the maintenance of their sobriety, while taking on many of the responsibilities they had to leave behind during their healing process.
True rehabilitation transforms the individual and helps them to replace old destructive habits with more positive and healthy activities. Alcoholism is a dangerous disease that can ruin a life and greatly diminish the quality of the lives of those around the person recovering.
There is much compassion for this disease, which is why it is crucial to recovery, that the person recovering be given ways to steer themselves away from alcohol and engage in rewarding activities.
Usually, alcohol abuse is driven by the massive amount of stress that comes with daily living. If we can find ways to help reduce the stress and the temptation to numb ourselves, everyone can lead better and healthier lives.
Here are some activities to try instead of drinking:
Taking a 15 minute walk can offer the same positive effects such as meditation. Walking works two-fold in relieving stress and decreasing temptation, by engaging the muscles in the body with activity and also engaging the mind with the surroundings of the area, nature, and the community.
Visual entertainment is one of the most stimulating ways to steer one away from drinking and into a magical world where stories are told through movies. A matinee or evening twilight time is perfect times to take in your favorite flick.
Coffee shops are everywhere these days; from huge popular chains like Starbucks to your local privately-owned cafes. Having a cup of delicious coffee with a fun and supportive friend who knows what you are going through, is one of the best outings one can have at any time of the day.
Window shopping is a lost art. Simply going to the mall or your nearest shopping center or flea market, is a wonderful activity that allows you to enjoy meeting people, and also making a wish list of all the pretty items you see. If you feel up to it, take a friend along for company and someone to chat with.
You don’t need to be an “artist” to create art. There is an artist in each of us that simply needs to be allowed to come out. Creating can be a natural high in itself. Scrapbooking your favorite pictures, poems, or quotes; or creating a colorful collage out of magazine clippings that will enable you to express your feelings in a more fun, non-destructive, and creative way.
Physical, emotional, spiritual and mental wounds all need to way to heal themselves. The most important thing to remember in the healing process is that you’re not alone.
By working on your relationship with God and his teachings, other forms of healing will soon follow. But how exactly do you begin to heal your faith when you can’t seem to pick yourself up off the ground? Here are some steps to take in order to begin the process.
Shift your Focus. When you’re battling addiction, you will find that you have starting thinking of your vice of choice as a god- but if you’re to heal properly you will want to shift your focus to Jesus. Jesus was kind and gentle to those who were sick or who had sinned. He will not judge you or reject you.
Learn the Attributes of God. There are many distortions out there about God, and understanding God better will help you to love and trust him more. Reading scripture is great place to start and it will give you a better idea of his works through Jesus.
Think of God as a Parent. There are multiple instances throughout the Bible where God is concerned about those who don’t have parents to guide them and teach them. Even if your real parents were to desert you or not understand your struggle, God is a loving father who understands and cares for you.
Keep a Journal. Not only will you be able to record your own progress, but the act of writing down thoughts and questions within itself is very therapeutic. This is also a useful place to decipher thoughts about Bible passages you read: did the story of the Prodigal Son surprise you? This is a good place to begin to seek forgiveness.
Remember there is an Higher Plan. This is one of the hardest parts to come to grasps with. There could be a number of events that led you to be where you are right now. Why did they happen to you? With every low, there is a high. There is a reason for everything and there is always something to learn from troubling times.
Trust Him in Good and Bad Times. There will be times that things are not easy and you think you might not be able to cope. There is no promise of an easy life, but God promises to comfort those in need and strengthen you when you feel weakest. Make a conscious effort to keep him in mind on both the good and the bad days.
Don’t go it alone. At the beginning of your healing process, you might have had a shaky faith or no faith at all. Find someone who you can talk to throughout the process. It might be a friend, a family member, or someone who is trained to assist in these types of journeys. One of the best motivators in strengthening your Faith is to surround yourself with people who help you remember why it’s good to believe in a loving God. Having someone to keep you accountable will greatly help in sticking with your healing practices.
Struggling with trauma, addiction, and all the events that led to them can be very difficult. Many have found solace in turning to God for direction and healing. Having a loving and caring God to support you will make it easier to heal from any wound.
Exodus 23:25 And you shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless your bread, and your water; and I will take sickness away from the middle of you.
Alcoholism is an epidemic. More and more rehabs crop up each year, and the number of people going through detox is staggering. There are some important medical facts to be aware of when you stop drinking, even if you have only been drinking for days or weeks.
Alcohol detox is serious, and you should always seek medical advice. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can start very quickly after your last drink and can include anxiety, shakiness in mild cases, but can be as severe as seizures and delirium tremens (Fever, Confusion, and Rapid Heartbeat). There is a 1%-5% chance of death from the DT’s.
The symptoms of alcohol detox can progress from mild to severe very rapidly, and medical treatment is always necessary. Early attention from a doctor can greatly reduce your chances of developing seizures or the DT’s. If you deal with other medical issues like heart disease, seizures, or lung disease, seek medical help immediately.
It is best not to go through alcohol withdrawal on your own. You never know how severe your symptoms will get. Rehab is always recommended. There you will be monitored consistently, and receive medical intervention as soon as you need it.
If you are not in rehab, make sure you have a friend or family member with you, and consider severe symptoms such as, rapid heartbeat, hallucinations, confusion and seizures medical emergencies. Call 911 immediately or go to the closest emergency room.
Alcohol withdrawal syndrome should be taken very seriously. Be alert to your symptoms, and above all, be honest with yourself about what is happening to you. Seek medical help as soon as possible. You should not go through detox by yourself. The support of friends and family is almost as necessary as medical treatment.
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