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5 Ways Yoga and Exercise Can Help You Overcome Addiction

by Patrick Bailey

If you suffer from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, there are different ways to treat it. Many people with addictions enter rehab center programs. However, even after they leave rehab facilities, people often need ways to keep themselves clean, sober, and in a mindset that promotes recovery. Yoga and exercise can help people treat addictions and stay in recovery.

Reducing Anxiety and Stress. Many recovering addicts suffer from bouts of anxiety and stress. They are dealing with a lifestyle change, which can be difficult for anyone but can be especially difficult for someone who has battled addiction and is trying to stay sober.

If not managed well, anxiety and stress could lead to a relapse. Yoga and exercise have been proven to reduce anxiety and stress. If you want to build a lifestyle promoting recovery and prevent a relapse, reducing your stress and anxiety can greatly improve your chances of becoming and remaining clean and sober.

Improving Thinking and Memory. Unfortunately, there are many drug and alcohol addicts who have problems with their memory and thought processes. After using for so long, alcohol and drugs can negatively alter the brain. They can slow the brain’s reactions, creating slower thinking and delayed responses.

Yoga and exercise can help activate your brain. They help you think more clearly and improve your response times. Addiction also introduces chemicals from drug and alcohol abuse into the brain, which may cause inflammation. By exercising, you can reduce this inflammation, which can improve your memory.

Reducing Cravings.

Cravings are often one of the toughest things many recovering addicts face. They can be psychological or physical cravings. Practicing mindfulness techniques in yoga can help reduce cravings.

How? Mindfulness asks you to pay attention to the present moment, practice gratitude, and recognize the positivity in your life. Practicing yoga and exercising can help you realize that alcohol and drugs do not have places in your life. Reducing your cravings may make it easier to prevent a relapse and focus on improving your life.

Elevating Mood. Recovering addicts may relapse because they are stuck in negative moods. When you are in recovery, there are plenty of things to make you happy and grateful, if you only look for them.

If you are in recovery, you are free from harmful substances, may have a better mindset, and are better able to focus your energy on positive living. Research has shown that yoga and exercise help to improve mood and mindset. If you establish a regular exercise plan and practice yoga, you can improve your mood.

Reducing Judgment.

Judgment may also lead to relapses. If people start judging others, they may bring that negativity into their own lives. They aren’t being kind to others when judging them. Everyone has their own issues and their own lifestyles. Everyone makes changes on their own terms, just like you have done or will do with your own recovery.

Judging others takes mental energy. You need all of your mental energy to focus on recovery, not judgment. Yoga and meditation help you focus on the present instead of worrying about the past or the future. Practicing yoga can help you reduce negative thoughts. If you can reduce your judgments on others, you can focus on your recovery and sobriety instead.

Establishing Sleep Routines.

 Exercise and yoga can help improve sleep. Recovering addicts who incorporate exercise into their lives claim that it has helped them fall asleep faster and stay asleep. They experienced deeper sleep and fewer restless nights.

Many recovering addicts who practice yoga regularly also claim that it helps them sleep better. They said that the practice helped them end negative thinking and stop thoughts from racing through their minds before they fell asleep. If you want to experience better sleep or establish a sleep routine during recovery, yoga and exercise can help.

Yoga and exercise can reduce your stress and anxiety. Yoga and exercise can minimize your cravings and improve your thinking, memory, mood, and sleep. If you want to live your best lifestyle possible in recovery, let yoga and exercise help you achieve it.

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