Physical activity and substance abuse do not mix well together. In fact, most of the time, they can only exist individually. There are numerous addiction recovery therapies that one can undertake as part of their journey, but the benefits of exercise in recovery are particularly extensive.
In order to grow ourselves out of an addiction, there are many aspects that must be addressed so that our recovery can be holistic and sustainable.
One of these aspects is our relationship with our ‘self’. This relationship encompasses - amongst many things - the way we treat ourselves, the way we talk to ourselves and the way we allow others to treat and talk to us.
As human beings, we often find it easier to break ourselves down than to build ourselves up. This is done through consistent self-doubt and negative self-talk where we make ourselves believe that we are not capable or not good enough.
Apart from our own destructive self-talk, we often hear destructive talk from the people around us whether it be directly or indirectly. After hearing this talk for long enough, we start to believe it and when we believe something, we become it.
After a while we begin to believe that we are weak, we then behave as though we are weak and ultimately, we become weak.
However, all is not lost. With weakness comes strength. You cannot have the latter without the former just as you cannot have the light without the dark and it is in our darkest moments where we find our brightest light. In our weakest moments we discover our true strength.
It is in these moments where we realise that we have been strong all along and only we have control over how we make use of that strength.
Consequently, we also realise that it is ultimately a blessing to struggle. This may sound like a paradox but when we struggle, we learn and when we learn, we grow. With growth comes wisdom and understanding.
Life will always present resistance but without it you cannot gain strength. With more strength, our future struggles become minor speedbumps on the road of life.
When we overcome our struggles, challenges and hardships we not only encourage ourselves to keep pushing forward, but we encourage and inspire the people around us too.
When people see someone, who is determined to win their battles, it shows them that they can persevere and win their own battles too.
Replacing addiction with exercise is, for many reasons, an excellent way to work towards recovery. Exercise and dopamine levels are directly linked to one another. Dopamine is our feel-good hormone, the one that encourages us to behave in ways that reward us.
Dopamine stimulates enjoyable feelings in the brain and it is said to play a major role in achieving what is called the "runners high".
Using our strength to overcome an addiction that is detrimental to our health and finding ways to achieve that desired “high” through ways that are beneficial and fulfilling is an enormous achievement. Achievement is greatly rewarding.
A good start would to find a specific exercise substance abuse treatment that is suitable to your individual needs. This treatment will keep you informed about the benefits of exercise, it will keep you motivated and will result in you achieving a happy, healthy life.
Every mountain has a purpose. May it be to teach you something or so that you may help someone else learn. You have climbed every mountain until now, so there is no reason to ever give up.
Always remember that we are all stronger than we think we are. We all have a purpose on this beautiful planet. We are capable of achieving whatever we choose to put our minds to.
For more information about our recovery programme, please contact us.
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