Getting sober is a challenging journey, and everyone experiences the process differently. But one thing we may have in common is the tendency to fall off the wagon without a plan or guide in place to keep us moving toward progress.
That’s where healthy habits come into play. To combat cravings, obsessive thinking, and destructive behaviors built up over years and months, we need to develop and reinvigorate positive habits, reinforced by rewards to replace reckless ones.
Why building healthy habits works
There’s a lot of science that delves into how our brains form routines and how we can rewire them to create new habits through a process called neuroplasticity. The bottom line is this: building consistent healthy habits that are sustainable and lead to tangible results is a large part of what makes recovery possible. It’s the little actions, done consistently, that lead to motivating results.
Where should you start on your sobriety journey?
Let’s start with the basics by identifying your negative behaviors, what triggers you, how much these behaviors cost you, and what healthy behaviors you want to add to your life. Avoiding the people, places, and things that trigger you are a good start too especially early on in your journey, it’s important to surround yourself with people who support you, as well as keeping track of your progress to identify areas for you are improving versus those that need some attention, or to simply share your progress with friends, family or accountability partners.
The best way to use habits to stay sober is by building your day around a reliable routine — one that takes you from morning to evening with few opportunities to deviate from your plan. For some people this might look like starting the day with meditation, gratitude lists or journaling, getting physical exercise, making time to eat healthy meals, pursuing a new hobby, and/or attending support groups or meetings. Whatever you choose, these habits are ones that you enjoy and can stick to, as consistent habits yield results.
There’s nothing wrong with a little reward
Another proven way to stick to your habits is by rewarding yourself for that consistency. Doing the same thing every day can feel like a chore, but not when there’s a reward involved to make the routine feel worthwhile. Oberit was developed with this exact approach in mind by converting your daily habits into a digital currency to spend on healthy products and services in a marketplace designed to encourage a substance-free lifestyle.
Recovery is a journey filled with ups and downs, but it doesn’t have to be a struggle you go through alone, nor does it have to be stripped of all fun. The idea of recovery is to get back a version of your life where you feel happy, stable, and healthy, and there are many ways to achieve that. Forming healthy new habits tops the list as one of the most effective ways to move forward.
Whatever those habits look like, remember to start small and pace yourself. It can be incredibly rewarding to make strides toward recovery, but it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Give yourself the time you need to get to the finish line. At the end of the day, the destination is the same, so use this time to build lasting good habits that will carry you through any challenges you may face along the way.
Earn rewards for being your best self.