5 Tips On How to Get Sober and Change Your Life For the Better
5 Tips On How to Get Sober and Change Your Life
Knowing how to get sober is half the battle. If you're ready for a change in your life, click here for tips on how start.
Over 25 million Americans have an addiction. While this includes illicit drugs and prescription medications, alcohol is a continuing problem for many addicts.
In fact, one in eight American adults is now considered an alcoholic.
Alcohol's danger lies in the fact that it is a readily available drug. And, drinking is also openly encouraged by social media campaigns, memes and advertising.
As such, many addicts find it difficult to recognize or accept that they may have a problem with alcohol. This can stop them from seeking help and starting the process of addiction recovery.
But, if you're ready for a change then knowing how to get sober is half the battle. Read on for tips to make this year the start of your journey to sobriety.
1. Seek Help
Although seeking help and support is often the most difficult part of getting sober, it's also the most important step.
The nature of your addiction determines what help you will need to start on your path to sobriety. More severe addictions respond best to a medical detox and rehabilitation with therapy in a treatment facility.
Attempting to detox alone help can be dangerous and even fatal, plus relapse is very likely.
If you need medical support or therapy but don't want to live within a facility, outpatient treatment facilities are an alternative option.
Another crucial part of getting sober is attending meetings or joining a support group. One of the most well-known groups is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
Their free anonymous meetings offer the chance to connect with others who relate to your story and listen without judgment.
And, their 12-step program and AA coins marking sobriety milestones are great tools for helping you get sober. Plus, the AA has many members who are already sober to help support you in maintaining your own sobriety.
2. Fill Your Time
Staying sober might consume your every waking thought. But the problem is that it doesn't occupy much of your time.
This is why keeping busy is a big part of learning how to stay off drugs and alcohol. By filling up your time with new activities, you'll have less time to think about your addiction.
You'll also open yourself up to new pleasures and experiences that will make you appreciate how great being sober can be.
Getting active is always a good idea. Not only will it improve your physical health, but you'll also benefit from a rush of feel-good hormones. These can serve to replace the high you once got from alcohol or drugs, and the bonus is they're actually good for you.
Getting outside can also help improve your health and lift your mood. Fresh air, sunshine and natural beauty are great antidotes for anxiety, stress, and depression.
And, reminding yourself that you're part of something greater than yourself can also help you establish a deeper connection.
Alternatively, you might prefer to tap into your creative side by painting, writing or cooking. Or, if you're keen to give something back, volunteering is a great way to take the focus off yourself and feel good at the same time.
3. Stop to Reflect
Keeping busy is a great way to distract you from your addiction. But throwing yourself into a million new things can take its toll.
As such, you should also set time aside to reflect. Keeping a journal can be a useful tool, while many newly sober people take solace in meditation. As a form of individual contemplation, meditation will help you quieten your mind and center yourself.
This reflection is important, as part of understanding how to be sober is exploring the process of sobriety. That means taking time to recognize and appreciate the changes you're going through.
It also teaches you to be grateful for your own strength and the support of those around you. And, to learn to forgive. Without granting forgiveness, both to yourself and others, moving forward is impossible.
4. Recognize Your Triggers
While you shouldn't live in fear of relapse, recognizing your potential triggers is a vital part of learning how to live sober.
In the beginning, you shouldn't run the risk of testing yourself. Get rid of all the alcohol at home and any other substances you might be inclined to take.
You might also need to avoid bars and alcohol-based festivities at first. But that definitely doesn't mean avoiding family and friends. Cutting yourself off can leave you feeling isolated and depressed at a time when support is what you need.
Instead, look for ways to have fun things to do with your loved ones that don't revolve around alcohol. Your supportive friends will understand.
Of course, external triggers aren't the only triggers you need to be conscious of. The way you feel internally can also cause a relapse, with both positive and negative emotions being potential triggers.
But as a rule, men and women differ in the kinds of emotions that can lead to relapse. Men tend to relapse as a response to positive experiences, or as a way to indulge. In contrast, it is negative feelings and problems which often cause women to relapse.
In addition, hormonal fluctuations can impact a woman's drug and alcohol cravings. One study found that estrogen levels can cause women to have more difficulty overcoming drug addiction. And further research shows that addiction is cycle-dependent.
If you're a female addict, monitor how you feel throughout the month and consider how your cravings change. You should also make a conscious effort to seek help and support when you're experiencing problems or negative feelings.
And men should consider seeking help and support when they're feeling particularly positive or have a reason to celebrate something.
5. Take Sobriety One Day at a Time
At the start of your journey, a lifetime of sobriety can seem overwhelming. As such, it's helpful to start with the goal of not drinking or using for 24 hours, no matter what.
As you progress, one day turns into a week, and weeks turn into months. Or maybe they don't. Maybe you'll relapse and have to start over again. Whatever happens, never become despondent or complacent.
Every day offers a new opportunity to continue your sober journey. Make a concerted effort to take that opportunity every single morning.
How to Get Sober and Change Your Life
There is no one formula for how to get sober, but these tips should at least help you in the right direction towards sobriety.
It's a long and winding road, but as you continue, you'll find more and more reasons to follow the path to a happier, healthier life. And, you'll have plenty of moments to celebrate as a result.
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