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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Do You Need a Complaining Detox?

Did you know that as little as a half hour of complaining every day physically damages a person’s brain? According to Stanford University researchers, it actually peels away neurons in the brain’s hippocampus. This is the part of your brain responsible for problem solving. And this holds true even if you’re listening to someone indulge in these negative emotions.

Constant griping also weakens the immune systems, triggers physical symptoms like increased blood pressure, and makes you more anxious. And, perhaps most scary, it rewires our brains so overtime complaining becomes yet another bad habit to break.

So how do you stop the cycle? It’s pretty unrealistic to completely cut out complaining altogether — and venting from time to time can even be healthy — but you can learn to cut back. Start with these steps. 
  • Focus on the silver lining. In other words, ask yourself how you can reframe your complaints in a more positive way. So instead of wining about cooking dinner, for example, think about how a healthy meal will give your mind and body the strength to stay sober. 
  • Time yourself. Since it's unlikely to think that you’re never going to complain again, try to avoid making it an all-day affair. Give yourself a time limit, say 15 minutes, to acknowledge your frustration or anger and to vent about it — and then try to let it go. 
  • Find a healthy distraction. Force yourself to do something else more positive to help get your mind off of complaining. For instance, take a walk or call a notoriously optimistic friend.  
Your Path to Better Mental Health
The Haven at Pismo can help you achieve inner harmony while building the skills to maintain it over the long term. Our dual diagnosis programs are recommended for those experiencing the doubly damaging effects of addiction and mental illness. To connect with a caring and understanding admissions counselor, call today: 805-202-3440.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Warning Signs of Stress

Finding a job. Managing finances. Making amends. Minding your health. Rebuilding trust. Avoiding triggers. Staying sober. Recovering from addiction means dealing with the garden-variety stressors – and then some.

Stress isn’t always a bad thing; in small doses it can be beneficial, helping you conquer fear or giving you that extra motivation and endurance to finish a project. Unchecked or poorly managed chronic stress, however, can be detrimental to your physical and mental health. It’s been linked to a variety of health hazards, including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and even suicide. And it can also threaten your sobriety. Multiple studies have shown that stress plays a major role in your risk of relapse.

In addition to finding ways to manage stress on a daily basis – think exercise, proper nutrition, sleep, meditation, yoga, etc. – your best defense against stress is to be able to hone in on your body’s warning signs. In other words, to be able to recognize when your body is telling you that it’s time to slow down, take a deep breath, and start regaining control over those inevitable stressors of your new sober life.

Your Body's Stress Cues
According to the American Psychological Association, the most common symptoms of stress include:

  • Headaches, muscle tension, neck or back pain 
  • Upset stomach 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Chest pains, rapid heartbeat
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep 
  • Fatigue 
  • Loss of appetite or overeating “comfort foods” 
  • Increased frequency of colds 
  • Lack of concentration or focus 
  • Memory problems or forgetfulness 
  • Jitters 
  • Irritability 
  • Short temper 
  • Anxiety 
Stress Management at The Haven 
Our team of addiction specialists recognizes the critical relationship between physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional wellness. As you transform your diet, exercise regime, and stress-relieving habits, your body begins to heal itself — and that's what we want for you. To learn more: call now: 805-202-3440.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Breakfast Foods to Fuel Recovery

What you eat for breakfast can set the tone for what you eat and how you feel for the rest of the day. In general, the best morning meals have a healthy mix of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. This power combo helps keep you full and prevents blood sugar dips so you can avoid mood swings and cravings.

While it can take years to reverse some of the damage that substance abuse inflicts on your body, adding certain foods to your diet can help jumpstart the healing process. To get started, stock up on these four breakfast staples:

Yogurt: Addictive substances like alcohol and opiates have been shown to have harsh effects on the stomach. Starting your day with yogurt will help increase your intake of probiotics, or healthy bacteria shown to restore the functioning of your digestive tract. Though preliminary, researchers have also found that probiotics can have a positive affect on your mood and functioning of your brain.

Oatmeal: A steaming bowl of oats is full of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, folate, and potassium – all essential recovery nutrients. Oatmeal is also study-proven to lower levels of LDL (or bad) cholesterol and help keep arteries clear.

Eggs: This super food is a convenient and affordable source of protein. Eggs are rich in vitamin B2 (which helps support cell growth and regulate metabolism) and sulfur (which aids vitamin B absorption and liver function). If you opt for organic eggs, they’ll also be higher in omega-3 fatty acids.

Citrus fruit: Limes, lemons, and oranges are high in vitamin C and help to flush out toxins in the body and cleanse the liver. Adding a slice or two to some ice water in the morning will serve double-duty: It’s a great way to cleanse and stay hydrated.

Healthy Eating at the Haven
In addition to providing a memorable, nutritious dining experience, The Haven staff helps you create dietary patterns that support your sobriety and correct nutritional deficiencies. To learn more, call 805-202-3440.