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.

Tim Ferriss’ view on Meditation: If done daily, it can have the greatest impact on your lives

[dropcap]R[/dropcap]ecently, Tim Ferriss the author, blogger and motivational speaker known for his books [easyazon_link identifier=”0307465357″ locale=”US” tag=”meditationise-20″]The 4-Hour Workweek[/easyazon_link] and [easyazon_link identifier=”030746363X” locale=”US” tag=”meditationise-20″]The 4-Hour Body[/easyazon_link] did a live Q&A session on Quora. One of the questions that was asked from Tim was this:-

What program, habit or change do you think most people don’t do, (but can) that would have the greatest impact on their lives?

I was pleasantly surprised by reading the answer given by him. Tim, the blue eyed boy of today’s aspiring startups entrepreneurs, told the audience that a regular practice of Short but regular Morning Meditation is the habit that can have the greatest impact on lives of people. The reinforcement of doing meditation on daily basis from Tim Ferriss- who is known for recommending path breaking techniques of improving productivity and living a life away from the rat race – will go a long way in awakening interest in meditation in many target groups which are yet to be reached.

Tim Ferriss Photo
Tim Ferriss

Here is the answer given by Tim Ferriss when asked about a program, habit or change that most people don’t do (but can) and which would have the greatest impact on their lives

What program, habit or change do you think most people don’t do, (but can) that would have the greatest impact on their lives?

Short but regular morning meditation. I found that more than 80% of the world-class performers I interviewed for [easyazon_link identifier=”1328683788″ locale=”US” tag=”meditationise-20″]Tools of Titans[/easyazon_link] have some form of daily meditation or mindfulness practice. Both can be thought of as “cultivating a present-state awareness that helps you to be nonreactive.”

This applies to everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Justin Boreta of The Glitch Mob, and from elite athletes like Amelia Boone to writers like Maria Popova. It’s the most consistent pattern of them all.

It is a “meta-skill” that improves everything else. You’re starting your day by practicing focus when it doesn’t matter (sitting on a couch for 10 minutes) so that you can focus better later when it does matter (negotiation, conversation with a loved one, max deadlift, mind-melding with a Vulcan, etc.).

If you want better results with less stress, fewer “I should have said X” mental loops, etc., meditation acts as a warm bath for the mind. Perhaps you’re a world-conquering machine with elite focus, but you might need to CTFO (chill the fuck out) a few minutes a day before you BTFO (burn the fuck out).

Meditation allows me to step back and gain a “witness perspective” (as with psychedelics), so that I’m observing my thoughts instead of being tumbled by them. I can step out of the washing machine and calmly look inside it.

Most of our waking hours, we feel as though we’re in a trench on the front lines with bullets whizzing past our heads. Through 20 minutes of consistent meditation, I can become the commander, looking out at the battlefield from a hilltop. I’m able to look at a map of the territory and make high-level decisions. “These guys shouldn’t even be fighting over here. What the hell is Regiment B doing over there? Call them out. We need more troops around the ridge. For objectives, we should be going after A, B, and C in that order. Ignore all the other so-called emergencies until those are handled. Great. Now, deep breath, and . . . execute.”

Make Meditation a daily habit
Make Meditation a daily habit

A few options to get you started:

1. Use an app like Headspace or Calm. Headspace’s free “Take10” will guide you for 10 minutes a day for 10 days. A number of my guests also use Headspace to help them get to sleep.

2.Listen to a guided meditation from Sam Harris or Tara Brach. Maria Popova of Brain Pickings listens to the same recording every morning — Tara Brach’s Smile Guided Meditation recording from the summer of 2010.

3. Take a TM course (Learn about the Transcendental Meditation technique.). It will probably cost $1,000 or more, but this option offers a coach and accountability. For me, this is what kicked off more than 2 years of consistent meditation.

4. If you want to try mantra-based meditation without a course, you can sit and silently repeat one two-syllable word (I’ve used “na-ture” before) for 10 to 20 minutes first thing in the morning. TM purists would call this heresy, but you can still see results. Aim for physical comfort. No crossed legs or yoga-like contortion required. The default is sitting reasonably straight on a chair with your feet on the floor, hands on your thighs or in your lap, and back supported.