We all have one or two of those unhealthy habits. We’re usually told by others or tell ourselves that we can’t get rid of them, but is that really true? Habits take a long time to develop whether they are good habits or bad ones. By the same logic, we can ‘undo’ them given enough time, commitment, a different way of thinking, plus adding new techniques to our actions.
Science tells us that the formation of habits involves the brain’s dopamine system. Dopamine is our feel-good chemical in the brain that sends out signals between neurons in the brain. The first time you partake in a new, ‘rewarding’ behavior, you get an elated feeling from doing it as a result of a dopamine release. This leads to changes in both the connections between neurons and the brain systems responsible for actions. This largely explains why we start to form bad habits to begin with. Most of these rewarding stimuli are very powerful, such as drugs or alcohol.
All types of addictions have treatments, some conventional and some mixed with unconventional, holistic methods. Heavy addictions such as heroin have been thought to be hopeless many times, but now there are resources that people can reach out to, that will help guide them in their recovery and provide details on how to cope with the detox process and what it entails. The help available are all means to aid in rewiring the brain to understand a different rewarding system. It’s been seen that if addiction is written into the brain’s system of motivations, the secret to addiction recovery may be to rewrite or at least rebalance this system.
The following are the most popular ways addictions are being treated.
Being in the outdoors and dealing with nature is quickly becoming a method of treatment that helps to rebuild self-esteem, while also teaches teamwork, and how to set a goal, among several other advantages. In general, being in nature and interacting with wildlife is therapy for patients with different illnesses. Adventure therapy includes a 12-step program, as well as different, adventurous team-building challenges.
Because addictions are so powerful, the addicted person becomes less and less empathetic towards anyone or anything. In equine therapy, patients deal with horses which helps individuals to build self-esteem and confidence, communication, trust, social skills, impulse control, and teaches patients about boundaries. The reason horses are used is because they are similar to humans in social and responsive behavior. You can find out more details on equine therapy that is recognized as a physical and mental health treatment in most major countries around the world.
Coupled with other treatments, yoga and exercise helps to calm the mind and body. Recovering addicts learn to breathe properly to calm their mind and body, and can also learn yoga positions that are simple enough for anyone to do. Yoga gives addicts a set of skills to help them through uncomfortable feelings that can lead to relapse.
Before, addicts mainly only had a 12-step program and fellow addicts to help. Those basics are still very important, but now you can also find help even before you decide to quit because you have a lot of information to guide you. And once you decide to quit, you will never be alone on the journey of recovery and always have side by side help.