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Winning Strategies to Keep You Sober

If you want to increase your chances of remaining sober long term, you will need to have some strategies in place to make this a reality. Those of us who just stop using alcohol or drugs without making any further effort to improve things are likely to relapse – even if we manage to stay sober, it is hardly likely to be a satisfying life. In this rest of this article, we will be providing some winning strategies that will help keep you sober. This wisdom comes from the countless people before who managed to make long-term sobriety a reality.

Make Sobriety Your Number One Priority in Life

This first strategy might sound extreme, and you may even feel annoyed at the suggestion that staying sober should come before your family, friends, and career. This is good advice, though, because if you fail to stay sober, you could easily lose all of these things. Making sobriety your priority does not mean that this is all you will think about in life, that would be absurd, but it just means that you will never allow anything to get in the way of you and your recovery. In other words, you will not take unnecessary risks that could lead you to relapse. So for example, if there is a family party where alcohol will be flowing liberally, you will want to give this a miss unless you feel strong enough to deal with the temptation.

Do Whatever It Takes To Stay Sober

A common mistake that people make is that they put too many conditions on their recovery. The individual can have a list of things that they are not prepared to do – for example, they may refuse to consider recovery fellowship meetings. Those individuals who are refuse to make use of appropriate resources will not be taking their recovery seriously enough. This does not mean that every individual will need to choose things like recovery fellowships, but it does mean that they will go with this option if it improves their sobriety. In order to be willing to do whatever it takes, the person will have to seriously evaluate the things they are saying “no” to, so that they are not missing out on something important.

Learn From Your Mistakes

It is usually possible for a person to recover from a mistake, so long as they are able to learn from it. The problem is that people can keep making the same mistakes repeatedly, and they never seem to learn from them. Do not waste too much time beating yourself up over the things you do wrong; the important thing is that you acknowledge the mistake and learn from it. That way you will be less likely to make the same mistake in the future. The reality is that these mistakes can actually help you achieve your ultimate goals in life because they keep pushing you back towards the right path. It is often lamented that those who refuse to learn from their mistakes are destined to keep on repeating them – do not allow this to apply to you.

Learn From the Mistakes of Other People

If humans had to learn everything by trial and error, it could mean a truly terrible existence where we are always bumping into obstacles. We are social animals, though, and this means that we are saved a great deal of pain because we can learn from the mistakes of other people. This means that we do not have to keep on putting our own hand into the fire to find out that something is a mistake. One of the most important benefits of belonging to a recovery community is that it means you can benefit from the experience of those who have already achieved long-term sobriety. You can learn from these people so that you can avoid the most common mistakes. This will not only save you a great deal of pain, but it will also mean that you will be less likely to relapse.

Cultivate a Beginner’s Mind

There is a famous story about a clever man who went to visit a renowned Zen monk. The visitor had impressive educational credentials, but he now wanted to learn all that the Zen monk could teach him. He begged the Buddhist master to teach him, and the monk invited him to sit down for a cup of tea. The Zen monk began to pour the tea for the visitor, but when he got to the rim of the cup, he just kept on pouring. The tea was going everywhere, and the clever visitor was obviously alarmed. The Zen monk told the man that he was just like this overflowing cup of tea – he was already so clever that no new knowledge could be added. He told the visitor that if he really wanted to learn about Buddhism, he would need to develop a beginner’s mind.

A beginner’s mind refers to a situation where we are able to put aside our preconceived ideas and beliefs, so that we can learn something new. After all, if we feel that we have all the answers already, how can we learn something new? It is common for people who fall into addiction to develop all manner of strong beliefs and ideas, and these can follow them into recovery. This is problematic because these beliefs are not only often illogical, but they can also get the person into trouble. In recovery, the individual needs to develop a beginner’s mind, so that they can take their life in a positive direction.

Progress Not Perfection

When people become sober, they will not be expected to behave like saints. There will have been character flaws that made it easy for the person to fall into addiction, but they will not be expected to deal with these negative personality traits right away. It is often said that recovery is a process and not an event – this reinforces the idea that the individual needs to be continuously trying to improve their life, and this work never stops. What people will usually find in recovery is that there will be a certain character trait that is proving most bothersome at the moment, and this is the one that they need to focus their attention on. Over the years the individual will keep chipping away at their character flaws, and this will lead them to increasing levels of happiness – but there is always more work to be done.

Stay Grateful For Your Recovery

It is often stated that a grateful person in recovery will never relapse. The problems start when the individual begins to take things for granted, and they stop putting any effort into their sobriety. This trap needs to be avoided because it can lead right back to addiction. The individual who is sober is always going to have things to feel grateful about, but the fact that change often occurs slowly means that people can miss how good their life has become. One way around this is to keep a gratitude journal where the individual writes about all the good things in their life. If this is a task they do regularly, they will always have things to feel grateful for.

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