The human brain finds it easy to focus on the negative or the downside of a recovery lifestyle vs. the benefits. Taking the time to see how recovery enhances life offers a glimpse at a better future and the motivation to make it happen.
Every recovery lifestyle is unique and is a representation of the person living it. A person may find a new purpose through volunteering or become expert with a new hobby. While the path to recovery takes many forms, the resulting positive changes a person experiences are often universal. The following six reasons offer insight into the benefits of living in recovery.
Better Health and Longer Life
It’s no surprise that high amounts of drugs and alcohol are harmful to a person’s health. Addictive substances can either bring on health problems or make them worse including cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and lung disease. However, there also are other health benefits to getting sober. A sober lifestyle leads to basic improvements, such as the ability to sleep better at night, get to a healthy weight and experience more stable moods.
Greater Financial Stability
Spending money on drugs and alcohol is a serious financial drain. Severe addictions also hamper a person’s ability to work, making it likely to be unemployed or only able to work on a limited basis. The ability to save all the money once spent on drugs could add hundreds or thousands of dollars back to a bank account. It’s also possible to find a better paying job while sober or find more work to fill up a week.
Ability to Pursue Hobbies and Dreams
Many people give up on their dreams because of fear or a lack of motivation, but a person living in recovery has the tools to avoid such pitfalls. The strength it takes to achieve sobriety requires goal-setting and careful planning. People who live in recovery also know how important it is to find peace and successfully manage stressful situations. All of these qualities make the ability to pursue hobbies and dreams much easier. Just set one small goal on the path to a lifelong dream, and as each goal is achieved, make another goal. A recovery lifestyle isn’t just about abstaining from drugs and alcohol; it’s also about living a fulfilling life.
Sense of Accomplishment, Feeling of Self-Respect
Addiction harms a person’s life in many ways. It especially destroys a person’s sense of well-being and self-esteem. Living in recovery is a self-validating lifestyle that opens a person up to feelings of confidence and self-respect. As a person makes an accomplishment, such as going a certain number of days without drugs or alcohol, he should reward himself with a treat. Go to a movie or have dinner with a friend. He should also build a worthwhile life that includes regular healthcare, a pleasant place to live and meaningful relationships and activities.
In the throes of addiction, a person’s most important relationship is the one he has with substances, but when a person is sober, he notices more about the people around him. Relationships neglected because of substance use can be slowly repaired. It won’t be easy or fast to fix these relationships, but it will be possible with determination and motivation. It’s also possible to form new friendships with others who live a sober lifestyle. These relationships give a person a rich and fulfilling life and help him stay sober when life is difficult.
Improved Outlook on Life
Sobriety offers time for personal reflection, and this can be a valuable experience. Use the time to be proud of the decision to be sober and hopeful of a life without the harmful effects of substances. A sober lifestyle means freedom from feeling hung-over or ashamed of personal actions. This freedom brings a spiritual peace and the opportunity to pursue dreams and goals. While a true feeling of peace about recovery takes time to achieve, it is a valuable state to work towards.
Need Help Finding Addiction Treatment?
Research into the disease of addiction reveals more every day. Scientists already understand that feelings of hope are crucial for lasting recovery. Maintaining self-awareness and managing daily stress also are important strategies for staying sober. With so many techniques proven to make a difference, the final element is making the strategies personal.
If you or a loved one needs help finding addiction treatment, call our admissions coordinators today. We answer questions seven days a week, 24 hours a day to give family members, friends and individuals the necessary information to get well. Reach out today, and learn ways to treat addiction and addictive behaviors.
 National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). (2015). Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse. Retrieved Dec. 20 from http://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/medical-consequences-drug-abuse.
 Copeland, Mary Ellen. (2002). Recovery and Wellness Lifestyle—A Self-Help Guide. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved Dec. 20, 2015 from http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content//SMA-3718/SMA-3718.pdf.
 White, William. Avoiding Toxic Relationships in Recovery. Retrieved Nov. 30, 2015 from http://www.williamwhitepapers.com/pr/Avoiding%20Toxic%20Relationships%20in%20Recovery.pdf.
 Hanson, Rick, PhD. (2014). Enjoy Sobriety. Psychology Today. Retrieved Dec. 20, 2015 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-wise-brain/201409/enjoy-sobriety.