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Monthly Archives: May 2017

Creating a Gratitude List

Many things happen during addiction treatment. “Feeling your feelings” might not be so comfortable at times, but being around other people that share the same experiences you have and receiving the support of experienced and compassionate addiction treatment professionals to see you through recovery, makes it all a bit more comfortable and not so difficult. Also, keeping a gratitude list during recovery is highly encouraged by therapists as through this simple activity you can record special and unique things that may support you in moments of weakness by teaching you to shift your attention to them.

Writing your blessings each day can be done by simply using a pen and a notebook or calendar. If you want to get crafty you can add collages, photos and create a scrapbook. No matter what format you choose do keep your gratitude list, it should be something that will be easy and enjoyable for you to do. Once started on it don’t give up. Let it be as long as possible. In time, you will notice that you are happier every day because of seeking and spending time on each day’s blessings. Keep it in a special place to reread it for years to come.

Tips to Create Your Gratitude List:

  • Take time to be grateful in your daily life. It’s been proven that making note of what you’re thankful for just before you go to sleep can produce a restful night’s sleep and happier dreams.

  • Try to write something down that you’re grateful for every day. Perhaps someone called you and asked how you are doing. Write it down. Try to write it in a detailed way like, “My friend called and asked me how I was doing. She told me she loved me, and she is missing me. This really made my day and made me remember the times I had fun with her. She invited me to her birthday. I am happy; I will get to see her soon.”

  • So how do you express your gratitude every now and then? There will be days that there is absolutely nothing to be grateful for. When these days come, go out and observe your surroundings. Look at the sun, listen to nature, or maybe visit with someone you haven’t seen in a while. Make sure you write it all down.

  • Ask someone to be your gratitude buddy. Share the blessings that you have experienced with him/her. Sharing gratitude with each other will give you one more reason to be thankful on your list.

  • You can also use this gratitude list as a tool in your relapse prevention program. When you get overwhelmed, you can read back over all the good things that have been happening in your life. Sad times will soon go unnoticed, as will your thoughts of alcohol and drugs.

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How Does Misusing Prescription Drugs Affect Mental Health?

Opioid pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives all have the potential to lead to addiction.

Prescription drug misuse may cause people to experience symptoms of mental health disorders. These symptoms generally improve after a person stops using the drugs, but may take a month or more to go away completely.

Drugs that slow down or calm people can cause symptoms of depression when misused. If a person goes into withdrawal from these drugs, they are likely to have anxiety.

Drugs that act as stimulants can cause symptoms of psychotic and anxiety disorders when misused. If a person goes into withdrawal, they are likely to have symptoms of major depression.

Opioid pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives may all cause sleep and sexual troubles.

Many people who are addicted to drugs are also diagnosed with other mental disorders, including anxiety and depression. Some people develop mental health problems related to their compulsive drug use, and some people take drugs in an attempt to alleviate symptoms of mental health disorders. Whatever symptoms appear first, it is important to treat both conditions at the same time.

The content above is courtesy of Mental Health America and the National Institute of Drug Abuse

Florida Center for Recovery (FCR) has been providing individualized treatment programs for addiction and related mental health disorders since 2002 helping those who are suffering from these conditions recover with respect and dignity. For detailed information about our treatment programs visit our website or CALL US AT 800-851-3291

 

31 Ways to Work on Your Wellness

  1. Track gratitude and achievement with a journal – include 3 things you were grateful for and 3 things you were able to accomplish each day.
  2. Check up on your mental health. Take a screen at www.screening.org. It’s free, anonymous, and confidential.
  3. Set up a summer getaway. It could be camping with friends or a trip to the tropics. The act of planning a vacation and having something to look forward to can boost your overall happiness for up to 8 weeks!
  4. Work your strengths. Do something you’re good at to build self-confidence, then tackle a tougher task. You’ve got this!
  5. Keep it cool for a good night’s sleep. The optimal temperature for sleep is between 60Ëš and 67ËšF.
  6. “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” -Martin Luther King Jr. Think of something in your life you want to improve and figure out what you can do to take a step in the right direction.
  7. Experiment with a new recipe, write a poem, paint, or try a Pinterest project. Creative expression and overall well-being are linked.
  8. Show some love to someone in your life who you hold dear. Close, quality relationships are key for a happy, healthy life.
  9. Boost brainpower by treating yourself to a couple of pieces of dark chocolate every few days. The flavanoids, caffeine, and theobromine in chocolate are thought to work together to improve alertness and mental skills.
  10. If you are living with a mental illness or in the recovery process, visit www.mentalhealthamerica.net/feelslike. Remember – you’re not alone!
  11. Sometimes, we don’t need to add new activities to get more pleasure. We just need to soak up the joy in the ones we’ve already got. Trying to be optimistic doesn’t mean ignoring the uglier sides of life. It just means focusing on the positive as much as possible.
  12. Feeling anxious? Channel your inner child and do some coloring for about 20 minutes to help you clear your mind. Pick a design that’s geometric and a little complicated for the best effect.
  13. Take time to laugh. Hang out with a funny friend, watch a comedy, or check out goofy videos online. Laughter helps reduce anxiety.
  14. Go off the grid. Leave your smartphone at home for a day and disconnect from constant emails, alerts, and other interruptions. Spend time doing something fun with someone face-to-face.
  15. Dance around while you do your housework. Not only will you get chores done, but dancing reduces levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), and increases endorphins (the body’s “feel-good” chemicals).
  16. Feeling tired? Go ahead and yawn. Studies suggest that yawning helps cool the brain and improves alertness and mental efficiency
  17. Has something been bothering you? Let it all out…on paper. Writing about upsetting experiences can reduce symptoms of depression.
  18. Spend some time with a furry friend. Time with animals lowers the stress hormone – cortisol and boosts oxytocin – which stimulates feelings of happiness. If you don’t have a pet, hang out with a friend who does or volunteer at a shelter.
  19. “What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when you bring what is within out into the world, miracles happen.” – Henry David Thoreau
  20. Be a tourist in your own town. Often times people only explore attractions on trips, but you may be surprised what cool things are in your own backyard.
  21. Try prepping your meals or picking out your clothes for the workweek. You’ll save some time in the mornings and have a sense of control about the week ahead.
  22. Work some omega-3 fatty acids into your diet–they are linked to decreased rates of depression and schizophrenia among their many benefits. Fish oil supplements work, but eating your omega-3s in foods like wild salmon, flaxseeds or walnuts also helps build healthy gut bacteria.
  23. Practice forgiveness – even if it’s just forgiving that person who cut you of during your commute. People who forgive have better mental health and report being more satisfied with their lives.
  24. “What appears to be calamities are often the sources of fortune.” – Disraeli – Try to find the silver lining in something kind of cruddy that happened recently. 
  25. Feeling stressed? Smile. It may not be the easiest thing to do, but smiling can help to lower your heart rate and calm you down.
  26. Send a thank-you note – not for a material item, but to let someone know why you appreciate them. Written expressions of gratitude are linked to increased happiness.
  27. Do something with friends and family – have a cookout, go to a park, or play a game. People are 12 times more likely to feel happy on days that they spend 6-7 hours with friends or family.
  28. Take 30 minutes to go for a walk in nature – it could be a stroll through a park or a hike in the woods. Research shows that being in nature can increase energy levels, reduce depression, and boost well-being.
  29. Make sure to enjoy 15 minutes of sunshine, and apply sunscreen. Sunlight synthesizes Vitamin D, which experts believe is a mood elevator.
  30. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” -Albert Einstein – Try something outside of your comfort zone to make room for adventure and excitement in your life.

The content above is courtesy of Mental Health America

Mental Health Awareness Month – Keynotes

  • People experience symptoms of mental illnesses differently—and some engage in potentially dangerous or risky behaviors to avoid or cover up symptoms of a potential mental health problem.
  • Sometimes people—especially young people—struggling with mental health concerns develop habits and behaviors that increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illnesses, or that could be signs of mental health problems themselves.
  • Activities like compulsive sex, recreational drug use, obsessive internet use, excessive spending, or disordered exercise patterns can all be behaviors that can disrupt someone’s mental health and potentially lead them down a path towards crisis.
  • It is important to understand early symptoms of mental illness and know when certain behaviors are potentially signs of something more.
  • We need to speak up early and educate people about risky behavior and its connection to mental illness—and do so in a compassionate, judgment-free way.
  • When we engage in prevention and early identification, we can help reduce the burden of mental illness by identifying symptoms and warning signs early—and provide effective treatment Before Stage 4.

Learn about accepted guidelines for when a behavior becomes indicative of a mental health or substance use disorder by taking the “What’s Too Far” quiz.

The content above is courtesy of Mental Health America

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use disorder and associated mental health issues and need treatment information options, CALL US AT 800-851-3291. Florida Center for Recovery offers an individualized approach to treat addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions. Our multidisciplinary team has decades of experience in seeing patients through to recovery.

 

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