It goes without saying that a healthy body is necessary to be strong enough to engage in all the newfound activities during the recovery treatment process. Do regular exercise, whether that’s hiking or walking in the subdivision, through the mall or in the nature conservancy or beach nearby, or going to the gym, or just doing aerobics and lightweights in the garage, apartment, on the patio, or in the spare room for your holistic growth.
The body produces endorphins during strenuous exercise. Always strive for a good workout. Not only will the result be an elevated mood, but the body will reap the rewards as well. Individuals who exercise 15 to 20 minutes a day, three or more days a week, can see significant improvement in overall body tone and mood in just a few weeks. It is unnecessary to work into a state of exhaustion. It’s not even a good idea. Just get out there and get those muscles moving. Breathe deeply, work out a routine and do it.
Addiction treatment and recovery experts advise individuals to nurture their personal sense of spirituality. This is good advice, and it works regardless of whether or not someone believes in God, a higher power, or the power of the spirit that resides within.
One way to go about this is to do deep breathing exercises. Some call this meditation, and it probably is part of the various kinds of spiritual exercises, yoga, or self-reflection. The purpose for mentioning it here is that it helps the individual in several ways:
- Deep breathing calms you down. By focusing on the sound of your breath going in and out, shutting out all outside sounds, you are turning your attention inward. This helps center you, calming and relaxing you. Tensions melt away, along with stress, worries, and anxieties.
- Deep breathing clears your mind. While you are concentrating on your breathing, the rhythmic sounds of your breath, you aren’t thinking about anything else. Your mind gets a break from all the chaos and turmoil of the day. Don’t think the mind doesn’t benefit! Your mind needs time for rest and relaxation, just like the rest of your body.
- Deep breathing delivers oxygen to your body. All the muscles and organs of your body need the benefits of oxygen. By doing deep breathing, regulating the breaths in and out, oxygen travels throughout your body to wherever it’s most needed. This helps aching muscles, tension-stressed lower backs, and necks that throb in your temples to smooth out and heal.
- Deep breathing re-invigorates you. Many people think they do not have time to do deep breathing exercises. The fact is that this only takes about 10 to 20 minutes of your time. You could do it in your bedroom first thing in the morning or in your car during lunchtime, even in the bathroom or rest area at work. Go to a picnic table in the park, sit on a hillside, or try deep breathing while taking a bath. Whatever location or time you do it, just be sure that you’re uninterrupted and you concentrate solely on breathing. When you’ve finished, you will feel refreshed and invigorated.
What does this have to do with spirituality? You’d be amazed at how much clearer things become when you’ve centered yourself. When stress, tension, and worries are gone, answers to problems often seem to occur, as if by magic. It isn’t magic at all. The answers are always there. It’s just that we don’t allow ourselves to see them because we’re too distracted by what’s going on around and within us.
Through meditation, yoga, deep breathing, going to church, seeking out a higher power or the power of the spirit, individuals in recovery have another very powerful method of overcoming temptation. Some say, in fact, that spirituality is the only true path to ongoing recovery.