There are various phases of addiction treatment, including therapy. However, there are other things that a person can do to get his or her mind back on the right track. It is key for an addiction treatment center to offer processes and therapies to help an individual struggling with substance abuse. However, it is also important for a facility to offer other outlets that can help an individual. It has been proven that exercise brings a number of positive effects during treatment.
Throughout treatment, a person may enter slight depression. A person may feel helpless and sad. To avoid relapse, participating in a regular exercise routine can boost the mood. When a person exercises, endorphins release into his or her bloodstream. Endorphins are hormones that create an analgesic effect. This lifts the mood and prevents negative emotions from leading to relapse.
During recovery, sleep problems are common. In fact, many people become addicted to prescription drugs that encourage sleep. When a person exercises each day, it helps to regulate the body’s natural systems, including sleep. Besides being able to fall asleep faster, a person who exercises may enjoy a better quality of slumber as well.
Exercise Lowers Cravings
Cravings to drink or to use drugs are what causes addiction. When a person becomes sober, these urges can be intense, especially during the first portion of addiction recovery. The National Institute for Drug Abuse (1) reported two studies that analyzed the effects of exercise on cravings. Researchers found that exercise decreases the compulsion to take drugs or to drink alcohol. According to scientists, exercise lowers levels of protein in the brain that are linked to drug cravings.
When a person suffers from an addiction, he or she is often lacking healthy self-esteem. Although many treatment centers focus on emotional and physical problems, it is not always easy to raise a person’s self-confidence. A 2009 University of Florida study (2) examined the effects of regular exercise on a person’s self-image. Researchers uncovered that any type of regular exercise, intensive or not, raises a person’s self-esteem. This is important for people who are recovering from addiction.
Recovery can take a toll on a person’s mental and physical stamina. It can make a person feel lethargic and tired. Although it may seem counter-productive, exercising can actually give an individual more energy. When a patient is not feeling tired during treatment, he or she is motivated to stay on track.
How Ocean Hills Recovery Helps Break the Cycle of Addiction
Ocean Hills Recovery offers a peaceful setting in California to work past addiction and to get back on track toward a sober life. It is not always easy to take that first step. If you are struggling with addiction to alcohol or drugs, especially prescription medication, we can help.
Knowing the positive benefits of exercise, our staff equips patients with the essential tools to overcome problems in the long-term. When the cycle is broken, a person can begin to enjoy life again. We provide access to a fitness center so that a regular exercise regime can be established. Also, we offer massage and yoga classes to relax patients’ minds and to alleviate emotional stresses. Outdoor recreation is also available so that it is possible to find ways to exercise in nature as well.
To encourage recovery, let Ocean Hills Recovery show you how well exercise can help you to escape the negative feelings that come during treatment and beyond. For more information, contact us today.
About the author:
Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.
Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.
Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.