Addiction is a complex and challenging disease that affects millions of people worldwide. One of the most important aspects of overcoming addiction is developing a focused mindset that can help individuals stay committed to their recovery journey.
Throughout the entire treatment process and into recovery, concentration is key. It helps quell cravings and ensures you stop thinking about drugs and alcohol, and rather focus on what a sober lifestyle and a sober you looks like.
But how can you increase your concentration levels to improve your focus throughout your addiction treatment?
1. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is a technique that involves being fully present in the moment and paying attention to one’s thoughts and feelings without judgment. Practicing mindfulness can help individuals stay focused on their recovery journey by increasing their awareness of their thoughts and emotions. This can help them identify triggers and manage cravings more effectively.
There are many practices that people can go through, and even turn into a hobby that are ideal for improving mindfullness. Both yoga and meditation are the most obvious choices, with millions of people around the world doing them for this very reason. However, even the likes of running, hiking and other exercises can help, alongside activities such as art, playing music and more.
2. Set goals
Setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals can help individuals stay focused on their recovery journey. Goals can provide a sense of purpose and direction and can help individuals stay motivated and committed to their recovery plan.
Those goals can be as easy or as hard as you like, and it can often be worth setting mini goals with one overarching goal. A large goal can feel like a long pathway that is never-ending, which recovery sort of is. After all, you’ll always be an addict, it’s how it’s managed that is the key.
Breaking goals down into bitesize chunks can be a much more efficient way to work through addiction recovery. The first goal could be getting through one day sober, the second a week, third a month and so on.
Other goals could include going to a party for the first time and getting through it without drinking or taking drugs. You may have goals such as you want to be back at work within six months or goals similar to that.
However, with the latter, you should also be flexible with your goals. It may be that you feel you aren’t ready, and there’s no shame in that either. Accelerating plans and achieving goals because they are simply there may have a negative impact if you aren’t quite ready. Think about your goals, and have realistic expectations on what can and should be achieved within a time. You can always ask your therapist (if you have one) or a support group to help with the structure of these.
3. Eliminate distractions
Distractions can make it difficult to stay focused on recovery. To eliminate distractions, it’s important to identify and remove anything that might interfere with the recovery journey. This could include avoiding social situations where drugs or alcohol may be present, limiting screen time, and creating a quiet and comfortable space for meditation or other mindfulness practices.
For many people, restructuring friendship groups and hobbies you had before going through treatment is essential. It may well be that a particular person within your friendship group is a potential root of the problem, and in some cases it’s best to cut ties with that person. That’s the same with jobs, or certain hobbies that you may have.
4. Create a routine
Establishing a daily routine can help individuals stay focused and motivated on their recovery journey. This could include setting aside time for exercise or meditation, attending support group meetings, and practicing healthy self-care habits such as eating well and getting enough sleep.
If you go to rehab, professionals will help you with this routine, and it’s important to stick to it. Many people take up things such as morning runs or yoga sessions to help clear the head from any stresses or anxieties when starting the day, while it can often prove helpful at the end of the day to do the same.
Ultimately, it’s what works for you though, so spend a bit of time thinking how you can best structure your day to stay on track. Often people struggle when away from home or during periods such as Christmas where routines can go out of the window a little. So have contingency routines or make sure during those periods you are still able to stick to them.
5. Develop a support system
A strong support system can help individuals stay focused on their recovery journey. This can include friends, family members, healthcare professionals, and support groups. Having a support system in place can provide a sense of accountability and motivation and can help individuals stay committed to their recovery plan.
Support groups are especially good for this, as you’ll develop relationships with people that are going through the exact same thing as you. It’s great for sharing insight, tips and to be able to talk through the challenges to people that understand the emotions and feelings behind them.
You’ll find they are able to pick you up when you are down, and you can do the same. It allows you to own the situation and know that should you need someone, you have people there that can empathize as well as help you get back on track should you stumble.
Staying focused is such an important part of staying on track with addiction treatment and if you can use the tips above, you’ll give yourself a much better mindset for doing so. All the key cogs will be in place to get the support you need, maintain your focus and be clear-thinking enough to seek help when you do need it.
It isn’t easy, but by putting your recovery in the best place possible you’ll increase the chances of staying in recovery and have a mindset that’s fully equipped to doing so.