If you currently have health issues or your family has history, you should take certain steps now to improve your overall health.
It is far better to avoid an addiction to something than to try to conquer it and recover from the consequences of it. Don’t wait until it’s too late and you find yourself entering an outpatient drug treatment programme or rehab. If you know that you are at risk of these or other health issues, consider doing the following things to lower your risk and to improve your general health and wellbeing.
Get Regular Exercise
Exercise has a multitude of benefits. Physically, it improves your heart health, strengthens muscle tone, regulates hormones, and helps you to get better quality sleep. Emotionally and mentally, it can help to regulate your mood, improve your self-esteem, and improve your energy and outlook.
Engaging in regular exercise can help relieve stress and some of the negative emotions that can drive people to drink too much. It can also bring you a greater sense of positivity and improved self-image, which can reduce your risk of engaging in addictive behaviours.
Find Healthy Outlets and Hobbies
Some people overeat because they are bored, stressed, lonely, or sad. Instead of reaching for food to fill emotional voids, why not go for a walk or exercise with a friend. Take some time out and sit down to craft something or read a book.
Adopting healthy outlets and hobbies can give you a better way to spend your time and engage your mind, ultimately helping you to avoid addictive activities or behaviours. These hobbies will also help you to relieve stress and exercise your mind, which will help you stay sharp even as you age. Hobbies can improve your sense of self, which is integral to overall wellness.
For the addict or even the would-be addict, even mild stimulants like caffeine and nicotine can trigger addictive behaviours. You may find yourself craving more and more stimulation. You can even become addicted to these legal substances.
It’s better to avoid such stimulants entirely if you know you are at risk, although this may not be entirely possible as who doesn’t love a cup of coffee! These stimulants won’t trigger an addiction to stronger drugs and alcohol on their own, but they can trigger something in the at-risk addict that can lead to more destructive behaviours, so be mindful. Addicts who have been through recovery know to avoid such stimulants, and would-be addicts should do the same.
Even if you feel “fine,” but you know you are high risk for addiction, you should consider counselling as a routine part of your healthcare. You may not realise what issues you have or what unresolved feelings are there. You don’t need to wait to discover these issues when you have an addiction that is out of your control.
We all have issues that counselling can help us with, so you shouldn’t see it as a sign that you have problems or that you are failing.
Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet can go a long way toward improving not just your physical health, but also your emotional and mental health. Diet affects your hormones, your energy levels, and your mood. All of those things affect how you are feeling emotionally day to day. If you eat a poor diet, you are more likely to feel lethargic and have unstable moods. This could drive you to further unhealthy or addictive behaviours.
If you are not sure what constitutes a healthy diet, talk to your doctor to develop a plan that best suits your individual needs. You don’t have to give up everything you love to eat. It’s all about balance. You can adapt your diet to make healthier choices while still enjoying the foods you love.
Knowing you are at risk for addiction gives you a powerful advantage. By taking these and other steps, you can improve your overall health.