Addiction Therapy and Wellness Counseling
What is addiction? Are you suffering from addiction?
There are many different ways to talk about addiction. It's possible that you grew up in an environment that makes you more vulnerable to addiction. Perhaps, your circumstances make addiction more likely. Finally, addiction is not just substance use/abuse. Here are some common definitions of addiction:
- any behavior that becomes compulsive, done with an intensity that leads to negative consequence
- negative consequences can be physical, emotional, spiritual, and/or relational
- some of us are wired for addiction, or grow up in environments that make us more vulnerable
- "disease of isolation", by Tommy Rosen, that feeds on shame and guilt. Robs us of our spirituality; leaves us numb and not able to see reality as it is
- addiction fills a hole inside of our self that leaves little room for other things to come in
- it helps to cope with wounds from early family relationships, trauma and PTSD
- addiction is a way to deal with emotions as well as physical and emotional pain
- addiction can be abusing drugs and alcohol to the point you experience tolerance (need to consume more to have the same high) and withdrawal
- addiction can be losing self in technology (social media, YouTube, Netflix, gaming)
- addiction can be gambling, sex, pornography, shopping, exercising, eating, working, cutting, pain seeking and much more
Wellness Counseling: Making Room For Healthy Habits
Addiction has a way of taking up so much space in your life that there is little room for healthy habits. Dr. Dan Siegel has done research on the mental activities we benefit from including in daily life, as a complement to the food pyramid. These behaviors help your brain work at its best, highest level. Addiction brings us away from these daily habits. The first step in recovery is starting to incorporate these daily habits into your life.
Add the Healthy Mind Platter to Your Day
when we are spontaneous or creative, playfully enjoying novel experiences, we help make new connections in the brain
when we move our bodies, ideally at a higher heart rate, we help to release endorphins (feel good hormones) which can help with anxiety and depression
when we give the brain the rest it needs, we consolidate learning and recover from the experiences of the day; usually recommend 6 to 8 hours depending on your nervous system. Strategies based on CBT for Insomnia (evidenced based treatment for treatment of sleep issues).
focusing on tasks in a goal-oriented way which helps give us a sense of competence and mastery
connecting with other people, ideally in person, taking time to appreciate our connection to the natural world around us. We can then activate and reinforce the brain's relational circuitry
self-reflection, focusing on sensations, images, feelings and thoughts; this can be in the form of journaling, meditation, yoga, prayer
unscheduled, unproductive time; a time to let our mind wander or simply relax which can help the brain recharge.
eating in ways that nourish our bodies. being less focused on diet culture (fears around gaining weight) and listening to our hunger cues and enjoying our relationship to food
Your life after addiction: A journey to wellness
How are you doing with incorporating these daily activities into your life along with healthy nutrition? What are the patterns you notice? Which activities do you tend to neglect and which do you prioritize. Are you all work and no play? Is it hard for you to focus? How is your sleep? Is it hard to relax?
Begin Addiction Therapy and Wellness Counseling in Ewing, NJ
Addiction does not have to be the story of your life. Counseling can help you feel more in control. We can help you find ways to have a more balanced life and work through competing demands whether you prefer individual or group therapy. Our Mercer County counseling clinic has skilled and caring therapists who specialize in wellness and addiction therapy. To start your journey from surviving to thriving, follow these simple steps: