By: Cedar Point Recovery 03 May 2016

To maintain recovery, addicts who have achieved sobriety must “practice” their drug-free lifestyle. They need to be cognizant of their psychosocial, emotional and environmental triggers and know that if they experience these triggers, they have the power within themselves to avoid relapse. These five steps may prove helpful in staying “recovered.”

1. Being “sober” and being in “recovery” are not the same

Understand the difference between Sober and Recovery. Although both are important in the process, “getting sober” and “staying sober or being in recovery” are different. Getting Sober is the first step and means that you are simply removing the substances from your body but not necessarily treating the underlying issues.

Living a “sober life” or being in recovery means that although your alcoholism is not cured, you have control of your cravings. Living sober everyday takes courage and commitment and is about personal growth, one day at a time.

2. Importance of A Healthy Lifestyle

Live a Healthy Lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle plays a key role in maintaining recovery. Diet, good nutrition and regular exercise are the best ways to stay healthy and reduce medically motivated relapses.

3. Relationship Re-Building

Work on re-establishing Healthy Relationships. The human connection is important towards recovery. Addicts, with their narrow focus on drugs, neglect their relationships causing them slowly to lose contact with people, particularly sober people.

Relationships that are genuine, positive and supportive are vital n an addict’s recovery process. The recovery process should involve evaluating past relationships, preferably with the assistance of a counselor, and rebuilding those that are healthy. Recovery experts say that maintaining a solid support system is crucial during recovery. Alternatively, unhealthy relationships will hinder progress.

4. Being Charitable

Help Others! Helping others cannot only be therapeutic and rewarding, but can aid in the recovery process. Getting involved with charity can offset self-absorption, isolation, bitterness and relapse. Gratitude can replace feelings of guilt, shame and regret! By making an effort to help others, recovering addicts will reminded that they have the power to make positive contributions to the world, too.

Dr. Maria Pagano at the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University conducted research and found that 40% of recovering alcoholics who helped other alcoholics where able to maintain sobriety up to a year following treatment compared with only 22% of the control group. She also found that addicts who helped fellow addicts had a better self-image and suffered less depression.

5. The Power of Positive Thinking…

Think Positive! Gratitude and positive thinking can elevate a person’s mental and physical wellbeing. The way an individual sees the world is based on his/her personal perception and experiences! A grateful perspective does wonders in recovery. Approaching issues in a positive light, a person is more likely to overcome challenges and look for opportunities rather than setbacks. Conversely, negative thinking can be destructive and move you down a path towards relapse.

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