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How Can I Make Recovery Last for Good This Time?

How Can I Make Recovery Last for Good This Time?

Habits are the brain’s way of getting us to be productive and move forward. Constantly striving for more efficiency, the brain transformas tasks and behaviors into habits so we can do them without thinking, thus freeing up brainpower. How to overcome this is to form new habits and make them stick. This is how you can rework recovery to heal for good.

How Habits Form

When we first take on a new task, your brains work hard to process new information. As soon as we grasp it, the behavior becomes automatic and mentally we decrease the activity needed to do the behavior and free up our brain and concentration. The process happens automatically but we can learn to subvert the process when we understand how habits form in the first place.

Habit Loops

Habits consist of simple, yet powerful, three-step loop systems. There is:

  • Cues: a trigger to tell the brain to go into automatic mode
  • Routine: a physical or emotional response
  • Reward: helps the brain figure out if the loop is worth remembering

Over time the loop becomes more automatic. The cue and reward become intertwined until a powerful sense of craving emerges. The first rule to changing this loop is playing by the rules and understand how our brains are wired for habit.

Ditching Bad Habits

Addiction and substance use are more than bad habits, but the brain treats them much the same way. If you want to implement a healthier routine, it requires:

  • Understanding the brain’s reward system
  • How substances impact the reward system
  • Getting around the system

If you remove drinking from your life, for example, but don’t replace it, you likely will struggle more than if you found another reward (socializing, relaxing with friends, meditation) to change the behavior. An alternative routine would be better than not doing anything at all. If you want to get rid of a bad habit, find how to implement a healthier routine to yield the same reward. If you want to get rid of a bad habit, you have to find out how to implement a healthier routine to yield the same reward. It is hard to just implement a new routine when your brain and body chemistry are involved. It may take a mixture of therapy, rehab, medication and other forms to help your body do what it needs to do to form a new habit. There are ways to get around substance use once it hijacks the brain’s reward system but it takes focus and perseverance to stay the course for the long haul.

Serenity is here to support your journey to recovery from addiction. We help you form new habits to focus on building a healthy, long lasting recovery. Let us help you recover from addiction and seek the resources you need to keep you clean and sober. Call us 24/7 at our toll-free number: 866-294-9401