Drug addictions are never an easy feat to conquer and take a lot of strength to overcome. Recovery is a life-long process and takes courage, understanding and love for yourself and others in order to survive and succeed. Many people find recovery through drug rehabilitation treatment which is usually followed with the ongoing support of 12-step meetings throughout their life to help keep them sober. Others might find recovery through helping others and living in sober houses in order to stay clean. But now more people are looking to exercise as part of the recovery process.
Exercise enthusiasts often talk about getting a “runner’s high” when working out. This feeling is from the pleasure-inducing neurotransmitter dopamine and endorphins that are released in the brain while a person is exercising. Some people believe that if exercise can cause this good “high” feeling, than those dependent upon substances for that feeling should be able to turn to exercise for recovery. Some believe that exercise can help motivate a substance abuser to stay clean and focus on living a healthy life through working out instead of using drugs.
The reason exercise has not caught on as a way for substance abuse users to find recovery is quite simply because of the motivation involved. When a person is using, they are constantly motivated to go find more of whatever their drug of choice is in order to get that high feeling. On the opposite side, those who exercise usually have to find the motivation to even go to the gym and workout at all. But that way of thinking might change soon. A recent study led by Matthew Ruby at the University of British Columbia and published in Health Psychology explores the reasons for this lack of motivation and suggests that there may be easier ways to conquer it and find recovery through the help of exercise.
In order to feel motivated to work out, a person must predict how they will feel after they work out. If they think they will get something good out of working out, then they are more apt to go exercise. But if a person is not sure if they will feel better after working out, then it makes it a lot harder to get the motivation to go to the gym. Where exercise is involved, there is usually pain before there is a rewarding feeling. But when a person is abusing drugs or alcohol, the fun part comes first and then is followed by a hangover or withdrawal symptoms that are painful.
The study suggests that people tend to focus on the pain of exercise instead of the joy they get out of it later on. Researchers found that this happens with all types of exercises from aerobics to weight training and even yoga. With addiction, it is again the opposite with people focusing more on the good feeling they get right away from using and not thinking about the consequences of their using until later, if at all. From the study, they found that if people just focused more on the genuine joy that comes later in an exercise routine, rather than the pain of starting, then they are more likely to stay motivated and enjoy it.
It really is about taking drug rehabilitation and thinking about it in a new light to rehabilitate life in general. Start viewing exercise as the ideal drug and a person can change their entire mindset. Since pain comes before pleasure, that means the rewards from exercise are that much better. A person also ends up feeling better in the long run and this only adds to leading a more healthy life. No matter which way a person chooses to find recovery and drug rehabilitation, it is so important to remember that substance abuse is never a way of life and there is help out there for everyone.
Whether working out might help in leading a drug-free life, or simply going back to the basics and attending a 12-step group on a regular basis, it is so important to seek out help if you or someone you know is battling an alcohol or drug addiction. A person struggling with substance abuse can find relief through the proper drug rehabilitation program of their choice. The important part is that they want to find help and they want to get better. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, don’t hesitate to contact Vista Taos Renewal Center today. They can provide you with all the information you need to lead the life that you deserve to live- one that is free of drugs and full of optimism for a better future.