One of the things I don’t talk about as much–but it’s so important–is the physical aspects of treating addiction.
Now this doesn’t necessarily pertain to people who are already “fitness freaks”. There’s a whole group of people that come into treatment and their primary coping tool is the gym and eating well. For those people, they’re not gonna get the same kind of relief from the gym beyond what they’ve already got. They’ve already dealt with the nutritional and physical aspects of their neurophysiology.
But there’s another huge group of people who have never paid attention to their body. And sometimes it shows.
Huge Amounts of Information Are Stored in the Body
And we know that traumas are stored in the body. Memories are stored in the body. We know you can tell a lot about how a person is doing based on their body language, energy, posture, and eye contact.
In order to have a full recovery, you have to take care of the body. Meaning: you have to be mindful and intentional about what you’re bringing into your body, what you’re eating, and what you’re drinking.
And you have to be mindful and intentional of the physical activity you’re engaging in to help the body reach close to a peak performance.
Of Course, Exercise Is Healthy, But Did You Know…
There are meditative exercises that exist. I think particularly swimming, biking, and running. Real rhythmic, physical activities, that open up different emotional spaces. When we’re in a deep depression emotions get locked in.
I’ve told a story about when I picked up bike riding. On my first long bike ride, I just broke out in tears. There was so much emotion that was stored in my body. Until my body was moving in a rhythmic way, I couldn’t get to it.
One of the big ways to relieve that stress and anxiety is to start to take care of your body more. The way to do that well is to find an exercise routine that actually works for you. I do biking, it’s really hard for me to lift weights in the morning, and frankly I don’t enjoy it. And I don’t like gyms. I like to be outside. So, biking is great for me.
I wake up early in the morning and I jump on a bicycle. And it’s an automatic warm up; I kind of ease into that exercise. And, for me, it’s great because I’m kind of like, rusty in the morning. Biking, to me, brings this rhythmic, meditative thinking that just blows the thoughts and anxieties right out of my mind.
Of course, you have to find the exercise that’s right for you.
The physical components of recovery cannot be understated. It’s not my area of expertise. There are people who know much more about it than me, but it’s definitely worth talking about.
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