How to Break Your Old Habits and Stay Sober

Breaking old habits is easier said than done. Here are 3 things that will help you get better and stay sober.

The road to sobriety is fraught with challenges. In the early stages of recovery, it often seems like things are moving at a fast pace. Everything you’ve known up to that point has been upturned, and there’s finally light at the end of the tunnel. But you shouldn’t fall prey to the thinking that your recovery is about to achieve completion. In fact, you haven’t even started yet.

If you think getting sober is difficult, try staying that way indefinitely. Many people have likened it to running an endless marathon. Sure, you have the support of your friends and family, and that can be really helpful. But recovery is a solitary road, and you will experience isolation, loneliness, and exhaustion. That’s why you have to be constantly on guard to keep your impulses in check. Otherwise, you might relapse.

Relapsing isn’t as big a failure as people say it is. It’s a perfectly normal part of the recovery process, and many people in drug recovery have experienced it at least once. Hours turn to days, days turn to months, and eventually, you’ll get to a place where you feel like you can be yourself again. Even then, you should be mindful of your triggers.

Getting and staying sober is a full-time job. Here are a few tips and tricks that will help lessen some of your struggles.

  1.  You need a change of scenery

You will undergo so many changes and transformations in a short period. To break the vicious cycle of addiction, what you may need is a hard reset. You’ll have to get out of what you know and embrace the new and unfamiliar. In the social, mental, and physical sense, a change of scenery can allow you to break free of your habits and give you a chance at a new start.

Of course, it can be difficult to manage your impulses, especially in the beginning. But you need to surround yourself with healing energy to improve your chances of recovery. The support of your friends and family, and the healing powers of nature, can go a long way in changing your state of mind. Even a quick stroll in the park can give you the serenity you need.

  1.  Find new passions

A need for stimulation drives people. While some turn to physical or mental pursuits to fill their time, others waste their lives on vices. Many people in recovery fall off the wagon because they haven’t found a new way to spend their time. If you’re serious about getting better, it helps find a new passion or outlet that will help you express yourself in a healthier and more meaningful way.

Take your time to explore your interests. Who knows? Maybe you can unlock some hidden passion or talent. Whether it’s through art, science, or sports, learning how to better yourself is always a good thing. Finding a passion isn’t just about making your mind or body stronger. It’s also about finding joy in life.

  1.  Put yourself first

Recovery is one of the most difficult things you’ll have to face, and there’s no point in being too hard on yourself. You need to accept that there will be good days and bad days, and the key thing to remember is to put yourself first whenever possible. Try to remove all your sources of negativity and stress, whether it’s the people in your life, your job, or your environment.

For instance, if your current job is one of your triggers, it might be smart to start looking for new work. If you live near your old haunts, consider moving to a new area. Stay away from people who can’t respect your sobriety. Eventually, you’ll get to a place where you can manage yourself better. But in the meantime, try to limit your stressors and focus on getting better.

A final word

It’s not easy to overcome our issues, and we will exhaust all our focus and energy to get better. These pointers will help you stay on the road to recovery and that you may find solace in the fact that you are not alone. Even when you feel isolated, always remember that people are rooting for you to succeed.

How to Help a Loved One Living With Painkiller Addiction

Pain killer addiction

Living with painkiller addiction can lead to a variety of physical, mental and emotional problems, compounding the pain. Help your loved one recover.

Painkillers are essential to keeping a variety of aches at bay, from headaches to pain from surgical wounds. It comes in a variety of types, too, depending on the intensity of the pain.

Paracetamol is often given for headaches and other non-nerve pain. There are also non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like Ibuprofen and Aspirin, that’s used to ease back pain and toothaches. They’re also used to treat inflammation from arthritis, strains, sprains and more.

The most potent painkillers are opioids, like codeine, fentanyl and morphine. Opioids bind to specific receptors in the brain, spine and other body parts to reduce the pain signals sent to the brain. They’re often given to end-of-life patients, the treatment of scoliosis and surgery patients to help manage the pain they feel from their symptoms.

Complications from Painkiller Misuse

Although painkillers are important kinds of medication, they can also be dangerous, especially NSAIDs and opioids. Excessive consumption of NSAIDs, like Ibuprofen can lead to dangerous complications. These complications may include stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, and liver and kidney issues. And although they aren’t addictive, people may develop a dependency, taking them every time they feel even the slightest pain, which can lead to overuse.

Opioids, however, can lead to addiction if misused. According to the Mayo Clinic, addiction happens when a person experiences something pleasurable and feels like it’s something they can no longer live without. Opioids create a feeling of pleasure by triggering the release of endorphins – neurotransmitters that make the brain feel good. They greatly increase feelings of pleasure and dampen feelings of pain, creating a temporary but powerful high. When that high subsides, a person may want to feel it again as soon as possible.

Opioids also cause the body to slow down its endorphin production, making it tolerant against the same doses of the same drug. This may drive a person to increase their dosage in order to feel the same or even a stronger high. This puts a person down the shaky road of addiction, and it’s difficult to help them out of it.

The troubling thing is that anyone who uses opioids can develop an addiction. According to the Priory Group, over 115,000 opioid prescriptions are made in a day in the UK. About five of those prescriptions result in death. Opioid deaths have also increased by 41 percent to over 2,000 annually.

Help a loved one living with painkiller dependency or addiction or at risk of developing one with the following steps:

Know the Symptoms

Living with a painkiller addiction has a variety of symptoms. The most obvious one is the continued use of the drugs even after their pain has subsided. They may also lie or exaggerate about their pain to get a prescription from a doctor. Physical and mental symptoms include excessive sweating, problems with focusing, dizziness and disorientation and more. When they’re deep into their condition, they may have problems prioritizing their work, loved ones, and other important responsibilities.

If they suddenly stop taking painkillers, they may get withdrawal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and more. Knowing these symptoms help you identify if your loved one may be living with a painkiller addiction.

Educate Them About It

Do research about painkiller addiction and its effects on a person. Talk with a psychiatrist about it to know as much as you can. Once you’re sure that your loved one is living with an addiction, you can then reach out to them. Confront them about the effect of addiction in their life. Educate them about the complications of addiction and how it damages their physical and mental health and disrupts their work and relationships.

Encourage Them to Seek Help

The best thing you can do in reaching out to your loved one is to encourage them to get professional help. Have them work with a psychiatrist to find out which treatment method is best for their disorder. There are two categories of treatment: medication and behavioral treatment. Behavioral treatments help patients stop their use of drugs by changing their unhealthy behaviors and thinking patterns. Experts will help them avoid situations that may lead to relapse and manage their cravings for pain medication.

It’s important to just encourage them and not force them to get help. You don’t want them to resent you or avoid getting treatment because of a bad experience they had with you. Getting treatment should fully be their choice.

Painkiller addiction is probable if someone you love is taking opiates for their current condition. Use these suggestions to know as much as you can about it and how you can help them recover while managing their pain.

How Music Can Reduce Stress & Regulate Moods

In the modern world, we often find ourselves in situations where stress can take control of our mind and body, affecting our mood, wellness, and interactions with others. Whether you live a relatively laid back, stress-free lifestyle or you find that stress negatively impacts your day to day life, we will all arrive in a moment during our lifetime where we need to learn how to understand and deal with stress.

There have been numerous studies on the effect that listening to music can have on both stress levels and mood. This research has commonly supported the incredibly positive change that can be achieved when incorporating music listening into various day to day activities as well as some more challenging unusual tasks.

Which genre should I listen to?

Of course, not all genres of music will have the same emotional effect on individual listeners. Factors such as musical genre preference and the listener’s current mood will affect how music is received. However, it has been suggested that stress levels can still be reduced even if you don’t particularly like the music you are listening to. For example, you may not be the biggest fan of heavy metal but listening in a stressful situation could still help to reduce your overall stress levels.

Jazz and Classical music are said to be the most effective across the board in reducing stress levels, improving mood, and even increasing brain function. Cortisol is a stress hormone released in the body to help in dealing with a stressful situation. For example, in history, stresses were more likely to come from escaping a predator. This stress hormone tells the body to send more energy to your muscles helping you to run away faster. Now, it’s not too often in modern times that we find ourselves running from predators but the same theory still applies. Research has shown that Classical music can effectively lower levels of stress hormones such as cortisone and cortisol. You may also be happy to know that it is not just classical music that can have a positive effect on your sleep. “Weightless” by Marconi Union is said to be one of the most relaxing songs ever created.

How does it work?

There are many possible reasons why listening to music can help to reduce stress levels and improve mood. Perhaps the most obvious is its ability to drown out surrounding irritating noises, distractions, or negativity. Simply putting on some headphones and pressing play can help your focus and prevent you from becoming distracted by conversations going on around you for example.

Have you ever felt that need to drive fast whilst listening to high tempo music in the car? This is a prime example of how music can provoke certain emotions and reactions in the human body. Observed with an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, fast music of 120-130 beats per minute can increase anxiety. Now let’s think about the opposite scenario…low tempo music of about 50-60 beats per minute can alone reduce the heart rate and blood pressure. Low tempo music that incorporates softly rounded melodies along with elements of nature such as rain, birds, or waves can have even more of an impact, helping to slow your breathing and reduce the release of those dreaded stress hormones.

How does music help during meditation?

Shutting out the distractions around you and focusing on your breathing can be challenging if you are perhaps in a noisy, or heavy traffic environment. During meditation, listening to music can give you a helping hand in shutting out those irritating distractions. When listening to music during meditation, many find that the endless chatter usually going on inside the brain will begin to fade and thoughtlessness can be achieved, in turn bringing you closer to that meditative state you want to reach. Although music can be an incredible aid to all levels, it can be particularly helpful to those who are new to meditation and need that extra bit of help when trying to focus.

As we said before, you should find your own preference when it comes to meditation music. However, there are of course some commonly utilized types of music for meditation such as instrumental tracks, chanting, and ambient noise including rain and waterfall sounds. If you are new to meditation you may find that you find yourself thinking about the music too much. You should try to focus on the feelings in your body that the music evokes rather than the music itself.

According to google trends there has been a significant increase in people seeking out meditation music since the early 2000’s and rightly so. With a combination of increased educational resources regarding the benefit of meditation along with pretty much any music you could ever want available online, sites such as youtube have become great platforms for sourcing a perfect meditation playlist.

How else can music benefit me?

Although stress reduction is the focus of many studies and much research in recent years, there are other benefits that music can have on both your body and mind.

Improves Exercise – It has been proven that listening to music whilst exercising can promote incredible improvements in not only mental stimulation but physical as well. This in turn increases overall performance. Music has also been proven to be a huge motivator when it comes to aerobic exercise.

Eases Pain & Promotes Healing – Similarly to meditation, music listening can be a great tool when it comes to injury or surgery recovery. Plenty of studies have shown that patients who incorporated music into their care program felt less pain and had a more positive recovery process.

Improves Memory – Music listening has shown to be not only an incredibly effective way to prevent memory loss but also a tool to retrieve lost memories. The melody and rhythm within music can help our brains to create patterns that in turn improve recollection and retainment of memories.

Improved Intimacy & Relationships – When used in conjunction with meditation, music listening can promote improvements in not only your relationships with friends, families, colleagues, and partners but can also help to improve intimacy. Music & meditation together can help you understand, recognize, and deal with emotions that you have been struggling with.

Improves eating habits – It may be surprising to know that listening to music and meditation can actually have a positive impact on eating habits. It is common knowledge that emotions such as sadness and conditions such as depression can encourage overeating or comfort eating. Meditation and music can help you to manage these emotions without the help of food. Music can also help you to relax whilst eating, lowering your heart rate and in turn the speed at which you are eating. This is likely to make you fuller faster and therefore eat less.

Improves sleep – The parasympathetic nervous system affects how you relax and prepare for sleep. Studies have shown that this system is positively affected, promoting a more restful and consistent sleep in those who listen to about 40-45 minutes of relaxing music before bed. The effectiveness of this theory really does depend on the type of music you listen to.

In conclusion, whatever the activity or goal, there is no denying that music can have an incredibly positive impact on our lives when utilized correctly. For more information check out 15 Incredible Ways Music Affects Our Lives & Our Brains

The Importance Of Breathing In Yoga

Breathing in yoga often gets neglected by most as poses dominate the practice. Here’s the importance of breathing in yoga and techniques you should try.

Many people often get entangled with their busy lives, leaving them too stiff, tired, and stressed, resulting in a lower quality of life. If you’re one of these people and are looking for a natural chronic fatigue treatment for better health and well-being, yoga is a great alternative.

To most individuals, yoga may seem like an activity that only involves unnatural poses (asana). However, in reality, the poses are just a tiny aspect of spiritual practice. Breathing is a critical component of yoga, and combining asana with breath awareness (pranayama) is the key to getting all the benefits of yoga.;

Here’s how pranayama and asana work hand in hand to promote better health, well-being, and inner peace.

Although deep breathing promotes a sense of calm and can improve your overall health, doing it alone won’t have any positive effect on your body. That’s why asana or poses is essential in yoga, as it allows you to become more flexible, regulating the flow of energy throughout your body. Although you can do as many yoga poses you’d like, if you don’t practice proper breathing, the practice won’t benefit your body.

Asana regulates the energy flow, while breathing causes the movement of energy, helping your body to relax, open yourself to feel more, and be in tune with what’s happening to your body. Besides promoting relaxation, pranayama also enables you to experience your true essence. It achieves this by stimulating a transformation in your body and mind, purifying your overall well-being, allowing your spirit to shine forth.

Although pranayama gets often overlooked in yoga, you’ll realize how much it can actually help you now that you know its importance. To help you achieve true nirvana with yoga, here are three transformative breathing techniques you should try.

Ujjayi Pranayama

This breathing technique is also known as victorious breath or ocean breath, and this traditional pranayama practice produces soft and soothing sounds similar to ocean waves. The sounds it emits promotes better relaxation response of slow breathing due to the vibrations in the larynx stimulating sensory receptors and signaling the vagus nerve to produce a calming effect.

During doing any yoga pose, focus on your breathing and inhale through your nose, then exhale slowly through your mouth while making a ‘HA’ sound. Do this a couple of times until you feel more rejuvenated.

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama

This practice is also known as alternate-nostril breathing, which, as the name implies, requires you to breathe between your left and right nostrils. According to yogic belief, doing this unblocks and purifies your energy channels, balancing your mind and body. You can practice this breathing technique after an asana session via meditation.

Kumbhaka Pranayama

This technique is also known as breath retention, where you’re required to inhale fully and hold in your breath for 10 seconds, promoting better energy flow throughout your body. It can do this because when you inhale more and hold your breath, it can increase pressure inside your lungs, giving them more time to expand and increase their capacity. It promotes better blood flow, making you feel more energized. You can do this after an asana session in preparation for mediation.

Although doing yoga poses can provide great physical benefits, remember that yoga is more than a workout. So if you’re looking to achieve all the benefits of the practice, and rejuvenate your mind and body, practice proper breathing, promoting better health and overall well-being.

7 Ways to Cope with Stress from Working at Home

Working from home has become the order of the day following the covid-19 pandemic. For so many people getting to work from home was advantageous because they get to have flexible work hours and spend more time with their families. However, with time, working from home has proved to be more challenging than not. A lot of people have complained that working from home has caused a lot of stress. Below are a few tips on how to cope with the stress of working from home;

1. Setting a schedule

One of the main stressors of working from home is the lack of a schedule. It means that there is no clear boundary between the times when you start and stop working. Most of the time, you end up going to sleep late and waking up late or feeling tired when you are supposed to be working. Most people think that flexible working hours are an advantage. However, they can give you the illusion that you can work at any time. Therefore, most people feel the freedom to take on distractions because they can add extra hours before bed. This ends up tampering with your sleeping hours hence your productivity. Eventually, all these turn into a lot of stress.

For this reason, setting up a schedule and following it religiously would be very helpful. Make sure your schedule incorporates all your daily activities. That is, the time you need to be working, taking breaks, taking care of your kids, eating, and going to bed.

2. Setting boundaries

Setting clear boundaries between work time and leisure time with your family and friends could go a long way in reducing the stress of working from home. Make sure that your family and friends understand the line between time to be productive and socializing. You can do so by discussing with the people who come to your house often. If you do not live alone, that is, if you have kids or roommates, you can create boundaries by creating a working space. Make sure all your housemates are aware of the fact that your workspace is out of limits during working hours. Doing this will help you avoid constant distractions and eventual stress.

3. Replicate your regular workday

One thing that most people do not know is that the body and brain thrive on routine. Human beings are programmed to adapt and do well with schedules like sleeping, eating, and working patterns. For this reason, when the routines or habits are disrupted, the brain experiences a neurological shift. A neurological change is where the body experiences some neurochemical imbalances. These neurological imbalances can result in poor cognitive performances, depression, anxiety, and stress. For this reason, if you have been following a regular workday routine, changing it suddenly may result in the issues mentioned above. Therefore, you may want to replicate the same routine when working from home.

4. Maintaining face to face interactions

Social isolation is one of the main reasons most people are experiencing a lot of stress from working from home. Sometimes solitude can be very advantageous. It allows you to focus on work. It’s a breath of fresh air, mainly if you are used to interacting with dozens of people daily, and it is also refreshing to do something new. However, human beings thrive on interaction. This means that the first few days of isolation may be easy and fun. However, after a few days or a week, you start feeling lonely. Loneliness can result in issues like depression, anxiety, lack of productivity, and stress.

Therefore, the immediate solution would be to maintain face to face interaction as much as possible. Technology has made way for people to maintain face to face interaction without any physical contact. Through facetime, zoom, and other video call technologies, you can interact with your workmates and family.


5. Change your surrounding

Another significant stressing factor that causes stress when working from home is staying in the same environment day in day out. Working away from home allows you to experience a change of environment every day. From the workplace to your home and all the places you experience during the commute, there is a constant change in the environment. The same cannot be said about working from home. Having to stay in the same environment every day and night can result in boredom, monotony, and eventual stress.

You may not be able to get out of your house, but you can always switch up your surroundings. Somedays you can set up your office inside, other days in your yard or a different room in the house. It may not seem like a significant change, but it will come in handy. You can also wear your mask and go out for a stroll. Just make sure to maintain social distancing and all the regulations provided by WHO.

6. Set time aside for self-care

Self-care is critical when it comes to coping with stress. Therefore, it would help if you set aside some time daily or weekly to take care of yourself. During this time, you can watch a movie, exercise, embark on some yoga, take a bath, drink some wine, or hang out with friends on zoom. You can also exercise your hobbies.

7. Drinking tea

Drinking tea is also an incredible way of coping with stress when working from home. Different types of tea, including loose leaf tea and herbal tea, are beneficial for reducing stress. For instance, chamomile tea is known as a calming tea. Below are some other types of tea for relieving stress;

  • Peppermint tea- this tea contains peppermint oil, which soothes stress and anxiety.
  • Kava tea- this tea targets GABA receptors responsible for the feelings of anxiety in the brain.
  • Valerian root tea- this tea aids with insomnia, which is one of the causes of stress when working from home.
  • Lemon balm tea- this tea boosts GABA in the brain hence relieving issues like depression, stress, and anxiety.
  • Green tea- this tea contains L-thiamine, an amino acid that helps reduce anxiety and stress.

Other teas that relieve stress include fennel tea, rose, ginseng, hops, and holy basil tea.

Final Word

Each tea mentioned in the section above can be acquired in loose leaf tea or tea bags from an online tea and coffee shop. However, when buying tea bags online, make sure you deal with a legit and reliable online tea and coffee shop.

5 Ways Online Shopping Can Help You Relax

Even online shooping can relax you. Read why

Did you know that online shopping can help you relax? If not, you have probably heard of the phrase, “when the going becomes difficult, the tough opt for retail therapy.” Regardless of your take on retail therapy, this is a phrase that does impact some wisdom!

TNS Global conducted a survey on behalf of Ebates.com, which showed that close to fifty percent of all Americans have, at some point, engaged in retail therapy. Many of the respondents said they did so in a bid to help boost their moods.
The results of this survey helped to echo those of a past study that got circulated in the Journal of Psychology and Marketing. It established that about sixty-two percent of online shoppers had bought something with the intent of cheering themselves up.

An additional twenty-eight percent purchased items as a way of celebrating a milestone or an achievement. While buying stuff will not help to make you happy in the long-term, research shows that online shopping can help you relax, provided you don’t overdo it.

Ways in Which Internet Shopping Can Enable You to Relax

1. It Helps You to Boost Your Confidence

You will feel good when you look good. Ultimately, feeling good not only helps to boost your self-confidence, but it also helps you to relax. A relaxed person performs better in every aspect of their lives, thanks to the confidence boost that comes with buying something new.

If this isn’t a good reason to use voucher codes when shopping online, something is amiss! It’s a factor that’s also closely tied to how dressing for success can make a person feel amazing.

Purchasing a new outfit for a first day at a new job or a date can assist in boosting your confidence. It can also help to make you as successful as you would like. So, why not get yourself a new travel outfit while you are at it?

2. Online Shopping Can Help Ease a Boring Layover

Moving onto a new thing is the best way for you to get over something. For instance, if you break up with a long-term girlfriend/boyfriend, you may want to consider buying new bedding. Alternatively, if you have just gotten fired, why not use online coupons to buy new office outfits?

Internet shopping helps you to relax when you get a chance to forget about what’s troubling you and to start moving onto something new. You will feel good and also get to relax when buying a new item, which helps you to forget about the boring and highly annoying layover.

3. It Helps to Inspire Creativity

A painter tends to feel proud whenever they come up with a true masterpiece. Similarly, an online shopper can also feel proud of all the purchase decisions they have made recently.

It could be that you got to buy something great at a significant discount. Or you could have found the ideal pair of heels to go with your favorite evening dress. Regardless of what you buy, feeling a sense of pride in your latest acquisition can enhance your mood.

Often, having a sincere appreciation of your recent purchases can go a long way towards revitalizing your senses when you need it the most.

4. It Eases Stress Allowing You a Chance to Relax

When you have access to other individuals who are willing to help you out when shopping makes the entire experience memorable, it’s one of the many reasons why retail therapy is recommended for individuals who are overly stressed.
If you have watched Clueless, do you think Cher Horowitz ever felt stressed after a day out shopping? Never. And keep in mind that she’s has made a name for herself as a shopping queen.

For many people, the world of internet shopping provides them with a much-needed form of entertainment, rejuvenation, and, most importantly, escape from daily life struggles. You can approach the shopping experience as a mini-vacation for the mind.

It’s a time for the mind to leave behind whatever is stressing you and focus on other things. Remember, no one comes back from a vacation feeling stressed or bored.

5. It’s a Chance to Connect with Others

It doesn’t matter whether you like traditional or internet shopping. When you’re shopping, you get a chance to connect with the other shoppers, more so when you start looking for reviews and recommendations on where to shop.

You need to note that social connections are an essential human need. Years ago, people used to visit the marketplace to meet other people and make long-lasting human connections. Today, you have the option to visit a glossy mall or check out various online marketplaces.
At the end of it all, this is all the same. You get to feel better just by talking to a customer care representative or an online sales assistant. What makes it even better is that you don’t have to worry about draining your life savings for you to relax from internet shopping.

Therefore, whether you are clicking away on your favorite internet shopping sites or scrolling through social media for recommendations, the truth is that internet shopping is relaxing.

Consider using Voucher Codes UAE to help you make the most out of your internet shopping experience. It’s also the fastest way to land huge discounts and deals on items you have always wanted to buy.