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A New and Better Day

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Originally posted May 17, 2017

We all know that every day is a new day.  The sun sets, the sun rises – boom, new day.  What is cool about the new day is with it, comes all sorts of new things, and more importantly, an end to the old (and bad) things.  I’m certainly not saying that when you wake up, every horrible thing that has a new and better dayhappened disappears from your existence, but the new day gives us a tremendous gift called clarity.  It gives us perspective and allows us to look at things from a distance, even if that distance is 24 hours.  It gives us the chance to form new thoughts, and summon from deep within us, the strength to deal with whatever life may throw at us.  It also gives us an opportunity to celebrate and enjoy the good things that have happened.  Give each new day the celebration it deserves and enjoy the gifts that it provides to us.

Here’s what I have to add today.

Thank God for new days.  I’ve had quite a few bad days lately.  Stupid stuff mostly, but it’s made life kind of challenging.  But luckily, there is a new day every 24 hours and with that new day comes a chance for new and better things to happen.  Sometimes they do happen, and that’s awesome.  Sometimes they don’t, and that sucks.  When they don’t, you have a choice to make.  Do you get caught up in all the bad and drag it over into the next day or do you look at the new day as an opportunity for new and better thoughts?  I know what I do.  I try to put the bad aside and focus on new thoughts for a new and better day.

Take Steps to Have Better Life After Recovery

Take Steps to Have a Better Life After Recovery

Adam Cook – addictionhub.org

take steps to have a better life after recovery
Image via Pexels

 

 

 

 

Addiction and Treatment

 

Addiction is a disease affecting millions of people all over the world. There’s no one main factor that can predict if a person will struggle with substance abuse. A combination of genetic, environmental and developmental influences generally contribute to a person’s inclination towards addiction. While the best solution is prevention, there is hope for people who find themselves in the throes of this chronic disease characterized by compulsive drug or alcohol use.

 

Substance abuse treatments help addicts cease their drug use, stay drug-free and reintegrate into society as a healthy and productive person. There are various different methods of addiction treatment, but the principles behind them are essentially the same. Effective treatment doesn’t just remove drugs from the equation, it also addresses the various mental and emotional issues behind a person’s proclivity towards self-destructive behaviors. Detoxification is only the first step; patients also need behavioral therapy and counseling to help identify stressors or triggers that contribute to their addiction. Often medication is also administered to help relieve withdrawal symptoms and restore balance to neurochemicals.

Life After Treatment

 

Whether you admit yourself into an inpatient treatment or you simply begin going to a group, life after treatment is markedly different compared to how it was when using drugs or alcohol. As addiction tends to overtake a person’s way of living, addicts have to figure out what their lives mean after becoming sober. Often they have to cut off certain places and people while making major changes including finding employment or a residence. It’s a big adjustment, for sure. But with these helpful tips and habits, life after addiction is manageable.

 

  • Positive thinking is paramount. Unfortunately, the damage drugs and alcohol inflict on the addict’s life make positivity counterintuitive. To reframe a negative mindset, identify the inner monologue that contributes to negative thoughts. Once you’ve identified the monologue, you can figure out what in life triggers these thoughts. Identifying negative thoughts and their triggers gives you the power to tell yourself “stop” once they begin.
  • Find the right place to live after rehab in order to encourage sober living. As Redfin.com explains, “You’ll want to find a place that helps you create a healthy, consistent routine without throwing you into the paths of old triggers. You’ll also want a loving environment to rebuild your relationships and bond with your family, a place where you can heal and focus on your recovery.” Avoid living situations that permit sneaky and destructive behaviors that lead to substance abuse.
  • Exercise is a healthy habit many addicts turn to when in recovery. Not only does physical activity release stress when facing triggers, it also plays a part in balancing neurochemicals and hormones misaligned due to drug abuse. Exercising stimulates the same reward center in the brain that drugs and alcohol stimulate. That activity helps to ease cravings and makes recovery more comfortable for the addict.
  • Meditation has a reputation of being something only New Age hippies do, but, in fact, it is a not-so-secret tool many of the world’s most successful people use to deal with stress and anxiety. Create a space in your home where you can be alone without distractions. Spend 10 to 20 minutes a day sitting in quiet while meditating. Focus on breathing naturally and let thoughts enter and exit your mind as they come while returning your attention to your breath any time it wanders.

 

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Addiction is a serious disease that damages a person’s mind, body and life overall. There are many different paths to recovery, but life after treatment is markedly different than life before. To facilitate sober living, it is important to implement healthy habits that help balance the body and mind. Positive thinking takes a lot of work, but with time and focus you can rewire your brain to stop negative loops of self-doubt and hatred. Picking the right environment for life after recovery prevents falling back into old habits. Furthermore, exercise and meditation are two habits that can help balance the mind and body for comfort and happiness.

 

 

Your Thoughts Have Power

It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about. – Dale Carnegie

Well today was another crazy day with another late blog post.  And just an fyi, I’m going to be traveling for a couple of days so I don’t know if and your thoughts have powerwhen I’ll be able to post.  But that also ties in with the fact that your thoughts have power.  They do, and so do mine.  So I’m going to believe that I will be able to get the blog posts up despite my being away.

I know there are a lot of people who think that thoughts having power is bull, but they really do.  How many times have you thought about someone, only to have them call you on the phone.  Or maybe you’re humming a song and you turn on the radio it it comes on.  Just today, I was driving home from work, and I grabbed my chapstick to put some on.  Now this is something I’ve done thousands of times while driving with no issues at all.  Today, as I opened it, I thought “Oh, I hope I don’t drop the cover.”  Never ever have I dropped the cap to my chapstick while driving, today I thought that I hoped I wouldn’t do it, and of course, I did it.

Your thoughts have power.  They really do. So why spend time thinking about what you don’t have and how unhappy you are.  You’re just making more unhappiness in your life every time you do it.  Instead think about what you do have.  Think about things that you are grateful for, and think about things that make you happy.  Take your powerful thoughts and use them in a good way.

 

One Step at a Time

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. – Confucius

So I’m very late  posting today – and that’s because it’s IEP season, and as a special education teacher, I get to write IEP’s for the students I case one step at a timemanage.  What does that have to do with the quote and my being late posting?  Everything!  I had so much to do today and it is not a quick process.  All I could do was go one step at a time.

Writing IEP’s is a process.  You talk about the student and where they are emotionally, academically and functionally.  Then you figure out where you want them to be – that’s the goal.  Then it’s one step at a time, how you are going to get them there.  Those are the objectives.  There’s a lot more that goes into it, but that explanation will suffice for where I’m going with this.  I don’t care how long it takes my students to make progress, as long as they are making progress.  They’ll get there, one step at a time.

It’s like that in life too.  When you set a goal, it doesn’t matter how quickly you achieve that goal.  Map it out, get your plan in place and go at your own pace.  You’re not competing against anybody else.  Your not trying to cross the finish line first.  You reach your goals on your own time, at your own pace.  What matters is that you reach them. Don’t stop, don’t go back, don’t give up.  Just move forward, one step at a time.

It’s Time to Move On

In order to move on you must understand why you felt how you did and why you no longer need to feel it. – Mitch Albom

It’s time to move on.  It’s easier said than done, and amazingly enough, very appropriate for today.  Most people think that you move on from big things.  Old jobs, relationships that have ended, or any other big thing like that.  But you can move on from little things too.

I had something happen this morning that really through me for a loop.  There were hurt feelings, there were tears (there are always tears, I cry at the drit's time to move onop of a hat) and there were feelings of rage, and hopelessness.  But as I said on Facebook, I am stronger than the crap life is dishing out.  It’s time to move on.

But then, something pretty amazing happened.  I started thinking about what bugged me so much.  I took a good hard honest look at why I was so bothered.  It was because I wasn’t being valued in particular situation.  I wasn’t being valued and I felt as if someone was trying to minimize my role and undermine me.

Those things all suck, but then after thinking about it more, I realized something super important.  Those weren’t my problems.  If someone doesn’t value me, that’s on them, not me.  My self-worth is not determined by what other people think about me.  And as far as minimizing my roll and undermine me.  Go right ahead.  I know the work I’ve done, and I’ve done it to the best of my ability.  I can be proud of that, and it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks.

And just like that, I was able to move on.  I figured out why I was feeling the way I was, and I was able to move on from it.  Now I realize that this was a little issue, but it was still my issue.  But what I did can be applied to any situation.  Look at it as honestly as you can, and figure out why you’re feeling the way you are.  Once you do that, and you realize that you don’t need to feel that way will you be able to realize it’s time to move on.

Paint Your Own Picture

If you paint in your mind a picture of bright and happy expectations, you put yourself into a condition conducive to your goal. – Norman Vincent Peale

It’s no secret that our minds are incredibly powerful tools.  But as with any tool, you need to know how to use it.  Put me in front of a band saw, and I’d have no clue, until somebody showed me how to use it.  Our minds are the most powerful tool we have.  Think about it like an artist’s brush and it’s paint your own pictureyour job to paint your own picture.

The more technical term is visualization, but I like the imagery of paining your own picture.  It’s yours and yours alone.  Add a dream here, and a goal there.  Whatever you want. And of course you’re going to craft happy, positive images for your picture, right?  You can’t expect the happy ending if you are in a cranky mood.  You need to create, in your mind the expectations of what you want to achieve.  That will set you up to start working toward and achieving what you want.

Visualization is using your mind to create what you want to bring into your life. Painting your own picture of your dreams in your mind.  If you want to achieve it, you have to first see it in your mind.  See yourself having it, living it, getting it, or doing it.  Paint your own picture in your mind of what you want.  Create that happy expectation in your mind and in your heart.  Believe that you will achieve it and then set out to get it.

Forgiveness, It starts with you.

If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive. ~ Mother Theresa

I spent a lot of time this past weekend thinking about forgiveness, letting go and moving on.  See you can’t really love, or be loved if you’re holding all forgiveness, it starts with youthese grudges.  Forgiveness really is the key.  And that forgiveness, it starts with you.  Yes, that’s right, you.  You need to forgive yourself and learn to love yourself.

I know it sounds rather strange, to think about forgiving yourself, but just work with me here a second. I’ve talked about this before here.  We treat ourselves so poorly.  We say things to ourselves that we wouldn’t say to our worst enemy.  I’m pretty positive most of you have even said that you hate yourself at one time or another.  I certainly have.

Well the first thing you need to do is forgive yourself.  You’re not perfect, you’re going to make mistakes and that’s okay.  It’s all part and parcel of the whole being a human being thing. You need to forgive yourself for mistakes that you’ve made. Forgiveness, it starts with you. From there you need to start appreciating the wonderful person that you are.

Once you’re good with you, then it’s time to move on to others and forgive them, but truly, focus on yourself first.  Learn to forgive yourself and learn to love yourself.  Then and only then will you be able to truly love others and accept love from others into your life.

 

Being Thankful Really Does Help

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. – John F. Kennedy

I know today’s quote is about change, I want to start out talking about being thankful.  Being thankful really does help.  I talked about it in yesterday’s blog post, but today I experienced it first hand.  And actually it kind of goes hand in hand with today’s quote about change.

being thankful really does helpI woke up today super sad.  I’ve been holding on to something from my past.  I just haven’t been able to let it go. Logically I know doing this is really stupid, but logic doesn’t often play a part when it comes to emotions.

So anyhow, I woke up super sad, and holding on tightly to this memory of the past.  Holding on to it isn’t doing me any good (obviously) and it isn’t going to change anything.  I’ve tried letting go of it in the past, but it never worked.  So this morning, I decided to try something different.

Today, I looked at what I was holding on to, and I forced myself to think about the good and bad things that were associated with that memory.  Then I went one step further and I worked on being thankful for the good, AND for the bad.  It’s easy to be thankful for the good stuff, but being thankful for the bad.  THAT was tough.

Why be thankful for the bad?  Because it happened, and I can learn from it.  I decided to take the unhappy feelings and memories and be thankful for what I learned from them.  Guess what, it worked!  Being thankful really does help.  And now, I’m going to start on the change portion of the program.  I don’t want to remain stagnant.  Where I am regarding this particular memory stinks.  Who in their right mind wants to stay where it stinks?  Not me, so I’m going to work on the change, and it’s starting by being thankful.

Stop Complaining and Give Thanks

Happiness comes when we stop complaining about the troubles we have and offer thanks for all the troubles we don’t have.- Unknown

Stop complaining and give thanks! You’ve got problems.  I get that.  I have a multitude of them myself.  I try really hard not to complain about them.  Giving thanks for what I have is something I need to work on.

stop complaining and give thanksIt’s really hard to be thankful when you’re looking at a big pile of problems, but that’s the time when you need it most.  When you’re thankful about the good things in your life, it doesn’t get rid of the problems, but it makes them more manageable.  That’s that really amazing thing about being thankful and gratitude, when you allow those things into your life, they’re like lights shining in the darkness.

I’m sure some of you are rolling your eyes and thinking I’m about to go into some big religious spiel.  Well you’re wrong.  Religion is a super personal thing, and I will not ever tell you what you should and should not believe.  For me personally some of my gratitude and thanks do come from a religious thought process.  But it doesn’t have to be that way for anybody else.  Just be thankful.  Look at what you do have and give thanks to the universe, your deity, or even yourself.

What? Give thanks to yourself?  Absolutely! You should absolutely be thankful for what you’ve done in your life and what you’ve accomplished.  Pride in yourself isn’t a bad thing.  So be thankful for yourself and what you’ve accomplished.  Don’t ignore the challenges and difficulties in your life, but don’t obsess over them either.  Stop complaining and give thanks for what you have and what you’ve done.  I promise you’ll be able to face everything else with a much lighter heart.

It’s Inside of You

The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment; it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone. ~Orison Swett Marden

When I posted this quote this morning on my Facebook page, my friend Sarah replied with “We make our own luck.”  It’s true.  Opportunities, good it's inside of youfortune and luck come from you. It’s what’s inside of you that makes those things happen.

You shouldn’t go through life expecting people to hand you opportunities.  Sure it may happen, but really, you need to make your own.  When you’re doing that, and people are seeing it, they may be more inclined to as my students say “do you a solid.” But it begins with you.

Thomas Jefferson said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “The more I work, the more good luck I seem to have.”  Good luck doesn’t come because you found a lucky penny, or rabbit’s foot or you were born under a lucky star.  It’s inside of you.  It’s in the effort that you put into things and the attitude that you have.

Think about it, if you walk around all day saying how miserable on unhappy you are, you are just going to make yourself more miserable and unhappy.  If you keep talking about being unlucky, or think that the world owes you, you’ll be getting nowhere pretty fast.  Instead, try thinking of it this way. You owe it to YOU.  Yes, that’s right, you owe yourself, and it’s time to pay up.  You owe yourself a shot at happiness and a shot at success.  And it all starts with you because it’s inside of you.

 

 

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