What My Addiction Recovery Taught Me About Living Healthy

“Our body is our temple.”

This is a saying you’ve probably heard before, as had I many a time. But the real meaning of the phrase didn’t hit me like a ton of bricks until I began my recovery from drugs and alcohol. During the dark days of my disease, I didn’t care much about my body; abusing drugs and alcohol, I certainly did considerable damage to it. When I finally got clean, got my act together, and began to think about improving my overall health, I didn’t really know how.

1. Refuel: Eat better

The food you eat fuels you and your entire engine — not just body but mind and soul, too. Aside from the more obvious physical ramifications to our bodies, research has also proven the impact of different foods on mood and overall wellness time and again. Thankfully though, eating well isn’t rocket science and oddly enough, the computer science acronym GIGO [Garbage In Garbage Out] comes to mind as a simple rule of thumb.

2. Refresh: Hydrate better

While factors like the climate we live in, our weight, and how much we exercise dictate how much water we need, most of us don’t drink nearly as much as the 2–3 liters (8–10 glasses) of water per day that is generally recommended.

3. Restore: Sleep better

Studies have shown that we are a sleep-deprived nation, with most of us not getting the recommended 7–8 hours per night that is essential to keeping us energized and mentally alert throughout the day.

4. Reinvigorate: Exercise better

Daily exercise is linked to a better and longer life, improved mental and physical health, reduced stress, lower rates of disease, boosts to any other ongoing addiction recovery treatments, and improved physical appearance.

5. Relax: Stress better

Stress is a natural part of life that everyone experiences from time to time and it can even be a good thing (Eustress)! Everything from work or family obligations to traumatic events such as an accident, the death of a loved one, or even a natural disaster can trigger stress. As a physiological response to harmful or potentially dangerous circumstances, it can actually help us better cope with these in the short term. It can even be considered nature’s way of helping us survive life-threatening situations.

The secret to a healthy happy life is simple

Everyone wants to live a healthy and happy life and my life was anything but healthy and happy before my recovery. For me, the starting point of my new life was getting off drugs and alcohol, which I did by focusing on repairing and rebuilding my whole self through healthy eating, drinking more water, sounder sleeping, getting daily exercise, and reducing the stress in my life. Nobody said it would be easy, but it is simple.

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The Doctor Weighs In

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