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8 Natural Highs You Do Not Need to Feel Guilty About in Recovery


natural highsOne of the reasons you may be reluctant to give up alcohol or drugs is the belief that life will just not be fun anymore. This type of thinking is understandable, but it is completely wrong. The reality is that the fun life people think they are having while abusing these substances is actually a pale comparison to what would be possible upon giving up drinking and taking drugs.

The idea of getting high in recovery might sound like a bad idea, but it all depends on the type of high and the reason the person has experienced it. The word ‘high’ tends to mean different things to different people. One way to describe it would be to say that it involves using artificial substances to change the chemicals in the brain so the person feels good; but what about examples like ‘runner’s high’? Another way to describe this word would be to say that it involves feeling particularly good about life, which is not always a bad thing to do.

One of the highs that can be dangerous to those in early recovery is referred to as pink cloud syndrome. This is where the person feels so good about things that it can actually be putting his or her sobriety in jeopardy. The pink cloud is a common part of the process in early recovery, but it is important that individuals are aware of the potential dangers with it. It is not that this feeling of being high on life is particularly bad in itself; it is just that it can make the person feel complacent because it means staying sober feels easy. It can also mean that the person is do disappointed when the pink cloud phase ends that he or she uses it as an excuse to relapse.

Here are just some of the highs that will be okay for you to enjoy in recovery:

1. The High of Helping Others

If you devote some of your time to helping others then the likelihood is that you will benefit more from the effort than the person you are trying to help. Doing service is an excellent way to strengthen your recovery, and it is the path to serenity and happiness.

It is common for people who fall into addiction to become incredibly self-absorbed, and this constant inward-looking attitude can be a source of great misery. Self-absorption can be like a bad relationship where there is no escape. By helping others, it means you are going to be spending less time thinking about your own needs, which is a very good thing. This type of work is also likely to boost your self-esteem and confidence.

2. The High of a Healthy Body

A common reason why individuals become ready to end their addiction problems is they begin to feel sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. Once you stop this behaviour, you can begin to see improvements in your general health, which can feel wonderful after years of abuse. Of course, in order to really enjoy the high of a healthy body, you will need to eat a balanced diet and get a bit of exercise every day.

One of the things you are going to want to avoid is developing an exercise addiction. This may initially appear much better than alcohol or drug abuse but it can actually lead to some serious consequences such as permanent damage to your health and physical burnout. You only need to exercise moderately to enjoy the benefits, and even going for a brisk walk every day might be all you need to stay healthy.

3. The High of a Healthy Mind

The motivation many people have for turning to substance abuse is to escape the turmoil inside of their own heads. This behaviour can provide a temporary escape from troubles, but it actually makes things much worse in the long-term. One of the great things about becoming sober is you can have the opportunity to actually find the peace you were originally looking for when you turned to alcohol or drugs.

One of the ways you can develop a healthy mind is by practicing techniques that are going to improve your ability to deal with stress. Meditation is particularly good for this, but there are also other options such as yoga or tai chi. You do need to practice activities regularly to get the benefit but, by taking steps to improve the health of your mind, you will get to enjoy much more ease in your life.

4. The High of Emotional Sobriety

Emotional sobriety is the biggest prize available to those in recovery, and just because you become physically sober does not mean you are going to enjoy it. To say that people are emotionally sober means that they are no longer at the mercy of their moods and are able to live in the present moment. It means that, no matter what is happening in the person’s life, he or she feels in control and continues to enjoy a sense of inner peace.

The way to enjoy the high of emotional sobriety is to dedicate yourself to living life on life’s terms. This means being willing to deal with the problems that come your way and always learning from your mistakes. Every time you overcome a new challenge in life, it means you have picked up a new coping tool; as soon as you have enough tools, you will enjoy emotional sobriety.

5. The High of Improved Self-Esteem and Confidence

Most people who fall into addiction have low self-esteem; if they do not have this beforehand then they will almost certainly develop it by the time they quit. This feeling of low self-worth can seriously hold you back in life, preventing you from reaching your potential. By getting sober, you can begin to experience some success in life and each new success can lead onto bigger things – much like a snowball effect.

6. The High of Increased Self-Efficacy

Low self-efficacy is related to low self-esteem, but it refers to the belief in your own ability to achieve things. Every time you fail at something, it can decrease your self-efficacy meaning it can be even harder to achieve the task the next time; this is what commonly happens with those who keep on trying to quit addiction but fail. Experiencing success has the opposite effect on your self-efficacy – the more you achieve, the more you are able to achieve.

7. The High of Reaching Your Potential

You are capable of far more than you ever imagined. There is all of this potential inside of you that was held down by the alcohol or drug abuse. Now that you are sober, you are free to allow all of this potential to escape. It will require that you regularly get out of your comfort zone, but humans have a need to grow and develop and it can be the source of real happiness and lasting inner peace.

8. The High of Being on the Right Path in Life

It does not matter how much in denial you were during your years of addiction; a part of you knew you were off track. This inner alarm bell likely saved you in the end. By getting sober, you can begin to make better choices, which is going to lead you to a path in life where you feel happier and more fulfilled.

So there you have just some of the healthy highs you can enjoy in recovery – there are many more. It is usually possible to distinguish a healthy high from an unhealthy one by recognising that the latter involves trying to escape reality.

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