1.) Gratitude: Gratitude is often the catalyst for cultivating feelings of happiness,
serenity, and peace. Gratitude is scientifically proven to benefit psychological and
physiological wellbeing. Make a gratitude list, make a gratitude jar. Truly experiencing
and feeling gratitude and appreciation for all that we have is incredibly valuable,
especially on difficult days during the recovery process.
2.) Mentorship: Find someone who has what you want, follow them, and ask them how
they got there. The first and most important relationship in recovery from addiction is
that of a sponsor who can help guide you through the recovery process. I have also
found it helpful to find mentors to assist me in my academic, social, occupational and
spiritual pursuits, who could serve as guides in different disciplines throughout my
3.) Do something for others: It is easy to get lost in our problems and challenges, and
succumb to self-pity and woe is me type thinking. Helping others can aide us in getting
outside our own heads. Volunteer at the local food bank or homeless shelter, arrive
early to a meeting make coffee, and help set up, call an old friend and ask how they are
doing, hold the door open for a stranger.
4.) Exercise: Exercise leads to lower rates of depression, anxiety, and stress, and
prolongs life expectancy as well as overall physical health. Keep it interesting to avoid
monotony- Take a kickboxing class, go to a rock climbing gym, visit a yoga studio, or an
aerial dance club. There are countless ways to exercise, try different methods to find
some that spark your interest.
5.) Mindfulness/Meditation: Meditation and mindfulness calm the central nervous
system, and help us to gain better control of our minds. Many people especially those
who have never sat with themselves can be intimidated by or opposed to meditation.
But meditation as all things in life is a process, and it takes time, and effort to cultivate a
disciplined practice. If you are new start small, with daily 5 or 10 minute increments. If
you are unsure how to meditate use an app like headspace or guided meditations on
YouTube until you develop your own practice.
6.) Nutrition and diet: Our bodies are like machines, and the fuel and energy sources
of what we put into our bodies will affect the quality of functioning of both our brains and body.
Courtesy of Next Step Recovery