Early recovery is often wracked by doubt and instability. What was once familiar is now foreign; routines, thought patterns, and even friends are all changed. After leaving an addiction recovery facility, those in recovery have to do the work of recovery on their own for the first time, a scary prospect. One way to ease the transition back home is to cultivate intentional rituals that soothe and comfort, providing a lodestone of regularity in an otherwise changeable time.
For nearly as long as our history as a species, humans have engaged in rituals, whether spiritual or social. The power of this ancient tendency is so strong that even people who favor a more rational viewpoint in life are subject to the effects of rituals. In one study, before participants performed a task, researchers told them, “I’m crossing my fingers for you.” Strikingly, the participants who benefited from the lucky ritual performed better on the task. Even today, professional athletes have pre-game rituals involving certain meals, numbers, or activities. Rituals probably calm us and help us perform better because we feel more relaxed and focused, and can concentrate on the task at hand. Who wouldn’t want that in the realm of recovery?
Unfortunately, the rituals of drug use or drinking themselves can become triggers. The hiss of a lighter, the clink of ice in a glass, the smell of marijuana smoke—each of these familiar stimuli, parts of a much larger ritual, can yank someone out of the present and into their past history of drug use. When leaving drug rehab, be mindful of these cues and develop new rituals that counteract and distract from these negative phenomenon.
There are a number of cheap, easy, and accessible options for developing a comforting ritual. Many addiction treatment centers and those in recovery tout meditation and mindfulness as extremely helpful; ten minutes in the morning, at lunch, or in the evening are all it takes to begin a meditation practice. Another great way to start the day is to go on a regular walk, which will serve both as mild exercise and a means of reflecting on the day. More strenuous exercise, either in the morning or at night, can also be an excellent ritual that also promotes general health. For the spiritually inclined, prayer is a centering and calming experience, and gratitude journals can help anyone to focus on the positive and be thankful.
If you or a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, please email or call our sensitive representatives today to learn about our luxury drug rehab facility, where clients recover and renew in privacy and comfort. Our experienced and caring staff provide monitored, safe detoxification and are trained to treat dual diagnosis. The treatment program revolves around individual and group counseling sessions, where clients develop skills to cope with stress and handle cravings, determine underlying causes of their addiction, and flourish in a supportive, sober network of peers and mentors. Please contact Intervention Drug Rehab Association today to begin laying a foundation of health, hope, and long-term sobriety.