Dr. Cali Estes - The Addiction Coach ®

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How to Establish Healthy Habits as You’re Overcoming Addiction.


 The healthy habits you can add to your life as you overcome addiction.

habits Overcoming addiction is a huge transitionary chapter of life. With addiction being a chronic dysfunction of the brain involving reward, motivation and memory, it can be difficult to begin building your new life without addictive behaviors or substances. When you’ve been used to a substance or behavior that gives you a “reward,” it’s important to find healthy habits that you can add to your life. These habits will help you begin to establish a healthy lifestyle for the long-term. Let’s take a look at some healthy habits you can add to your life today as you recover from addiction.



 Meditating helps to bring your brain from the Beta or Alpha State, a state that can make you feel confused and foggy, to the Theta State. By focusing on your breath, you can calm your body and slow your brain waves. Not only does this help you to de-stress but it brings you into the present, dissolving anxiety about the future and tendencies to look back on the past. As a result, your mind will be focused on the present while helps you see things from a balanced perspective. This is particularly helpful on a tough day.

To get started with meditation, try downloading a meditation app for a guided session or simply set a timer for a few minutes. Take a seat on the floor with your legs crossed or in a comfortable chair and sit up straight. Gently close your eyes and focus on the feeling of your breath flowing in and out of your body. As you breathe, focus on relaxing your shoulders and releasing tension throughout your body. A guided meditation is helpful with this process as it gives your gentle reminders of what to focus on as you meditate.



 As you recover from addiction, you may find your brain is foggy and consumed by so many thoughts and emotions that it’s hard to focus. Try taking pen to paper with some journaling. Physically writing out what’s challenging you and all of the thoughts in your mind activates the part of your brain that’s needed for thinking, language, healing and working memory. This is a crucial part of your brain that needs to be activated as you overcome addiction and heal.

If you’re unsure of where to start with journaling, try taking a few minutes to write two to three inspiring affirmations, ten things you’re grateful for and finish with some free flow writing to unpack everything in your mind. Just like meditation, journaling is one of those little habits that reap their benefits when you can get into a consistent routine. Put some time aside each day to journal and, even if it’s just for a few minutes, give yourself the chance to write down exactly how you’re feeling. In this process you may read back what you’ve written and find a new perspective, or you’ll realise the thought or worry in your mind wasn’t necessary in the first place.



 Some people say yoga is like a massage for the body and for good reason. Yoga connects the breath to movement in the body. Apart from the physical benefits of exercise, yoga helps to calm the mind which makes getting through your day in a healthy mental and physical state a little easier. To get started with yoga, you could try the many yoga videos on YouTube, sign-up for a class at your local studio or download a yoga app on your device. As you practice yoga, the most important and beneficial thing to remember is to let go of all judgement and listen to your body. This is how yoga can become a healing practice that helps you to feel deeply connected to your mind and body.

Different yoga poses have different benefits but one of the best for de-stressing and letting go are balancing poses. Balancing poses like tree pose, warrior 3, crow pose, standing twist balance and half-moon require focus for you to maintain balance. In focusing on one point to balance in the pose while breathing steadily, your mind becomes calmer allowing you to focus on your body and be present.

As you may have noticed, these healthy habits all centre around finding presence and calm each day. These habits are things you can easily do from home and the cost is minimal. If you’re likely to feel overwhelmed with adding all these habits to your lifestyle at once, try adding them to your routine one week at a time. There’s no competition here, it’s all about helping yourself with healthy habits for your healing. Don’t forget, overcoming addiction is one of the most difficult things a person can face so don’t be hard on yourself. Make sure you get the help you need and focus on moving forward with your life in a healthy and sustainable way.


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