Everybody makes choices in their life. Choices present themselves in daily activities and they happen knowingly or unknowingly. Choices range from deciding what to eat, what to wear, who to be friends with or what job to take. There is one truth that you must embrace: you always have the power of choice. Making choices is a critical part of your self-development while in recovery from drugs or alcohol.
Recovery is about learning that your addiction is not in the driver’s seat; you are. Therefore, you can act intentionally and pursue a life and options that offer growth, support and opportunity. Let’s take a closer look at the power of choices and how they influence the quality and longevity of your recovery.
Physical and Mental Health-Related to Choices
Much of early recovery is about learning how to stop drinking or using other substances by developing ways to cope with and manage difficult emotions. When you choose to prioritize your mental and physical wellbeing, you give yourself the power and permission to focus on forming healthy habits. However, deciding to improve your health is just the first choice you make. It is all about the little choices you make that will support your overall health and recovery. Such choices that come with improving your physical and mental health include:
- Eating more nutritious foods
- Practicing meditation/mindfulness
- Continuing to seek professional care
Every choice you make surrounding your health, from when to go to bed to what time to eat, all help boost your confidence, motivation and overall mental and physical health. Therefore, once you choose to become healthy, create a list of areas where you can make choices within the context of better health, and of course, reach out to friends, family or professionals for support to help you stick to your plan.
Form Healthier Relationships through Better Choices
Rebuilding the relationship with yourself and others is another foundational element to lasting recovery. Much like choosing to improve health, choosing to improve relationships should also be on your to-do list. Because you are not the same person you were when you used, you could begin by choosing to detach yourself from others that only want to pressure you to use or attain substances for them. Such relationships are detrimental to your recovery.
Next, look at the people in your life and choose what kind of relationships you want to have. Just as you might make certain choices out of habit, you can choose to withhold choices out of habit. When deciding who you want in your life and what your expectations are, set boundaries for what you will and will not accept. These boundaries will further support your choices for who can stay in your life and who can go.
Choose to Be Present
Being physically present and mentally present is not always the same thing. When you choose to become available at the moment, you can then be there mentally and emotionally to appreciate the intricacies of life. Using practices such as mindfulness allows you the opportunity to see all that you have gained. This shows you that you can control your fears and anxieties about the past and future by seeing what is happening in the present.
Some choices you can make to help you stay more grounded in the present are to monitor your social media and online consumption. While these outlets have become a part of most people’s everyday lives, sometimes you can be a little overindulgent. Therefore, limiting the time you spend online can give you more opportunities to take time out in the day and take in what is happening around you. Other areas where you can make choices to improve your wellbeing in the present include:
- The amount of time you spend working
- The amount of time you devote to leisure
- Regulating news intake
- Making sure you have time for you
Recovery not only awards you more free time to pursue newer and healthier ventures, but it also allows you to discover your passions. Since learning that you are much more than your addiction, you now have the power to choose to go after the lifestyle you deserve. You might consider taking on a new career path, taking up a new hobby or giving back to the community through volunteer opportunities.
There is no wrong choice when participating in something that brings your life meaning, depth and appreciation. Making choices to put yourself out there to try something new, whether it is trying a certain kind of food or playing an instrument, allows you the ability to see that you have so much potential and possibilities waiting for you.
Choices are very complex and don’t account for only the “big ones.” You constantly face having to make choices, and the choices you accumulate form into the person you become. Therefore, choices are very powerful for your life and recovery. At Associated Behavioral Healthcare in the greater Seattle area, we work with you to help you develop the habits necessary for making consistently better choices. We accomplish this by utilizing conventional and alternative approaches to care to ensure you are getting the right care for your individual needs. With us, you will learn different coping mechanisms and therapeutic practices that will aid you in making better choices. For any questions about treatment and recovery, reach out to Associated Behavioral Healthcare by calling (844) 335-7384.