When you’re recovering from addiction, it’s important to get a few big things right. For example, you definitely want to identify and treat any co-occurring mental health issues. You’ll want to make some healthy lifestyle changes and develop a recovery plan for when you leave treatment. However, it’s also important to enjoy all the little things along the way. Here’s why.
The little things keep you grounded.
While the idea of paying attention to the little things might sound sentimental, there are actually pragmatic reasons for it. One is that paying attention to the little things is a way of grounding yourself. Grounding is a technique that is often useful for people who have issues with anxiety, such as social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or PTSD. The idea is simple: by paying attention to specific things in your environment, you pull your attention away from the thoughts that are causing anxiety. One common grounding technique is the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. You identify five things you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can touch, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste, or alternatively, take one deep breath and notice the sensations.
Paying attention to little things makes you mindful.
Making a point of paying attention to things in your environment is also an excellent way of practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness strengthens your recovery in a number of ways. When you’re mindful of your environment, you’re more present in the moment. That means you’re less preoccupied with ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. You’re less vulnerable to the vicissitudes of emotion than you would be if you were primarily preoccupied with your own thoughts. Mindfulness is a powerful tool for dealing with challenging emotions and for riding out cravings.
Life is mostly little things.
Finally, life is mostly made of little things. If you can only feel good about life’s big moments, you will miss out on a lot of happiness. We may think of the big moments as really happy moments of life–winning the big game, graduating from college, getting a promotion, getting married, and so on, but these moments don’t come along very often. It’s important to develop a habit of noticing and appreciating the good things that happen every day–the fresh cup of coffee, lunch with a friend, unseasonably nice weather, resting after a hard workout, and so on. Ironically, it’s often these seemingly insignificant moments that stay with us five, ten, or twenty years down the road. Taking time to enjoy these small moments improves your mood and makes you feel happier overall.
We use a holistic approach to recovery that involves the body, mind, and spirit. Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California is a premiere men’s addiction treatment facility. We teach our men that every day of their journey is something to celebrate and that recovery isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. To learn more about addiction treatment and what Tree House has to offer, call us today at (855) 202-2138