Emotional health is directly connected to our physical health. Choosing healthy ways (exercise, meditation, centering, and deep breathing) to deal with stress go far toward our overall health. The mind-body connection is the way your body responds to how you think, feel and act.
Some of the physical signs that your body and mind may be out of connection are chest pain, headaches, back pain, extreme tiredness, high blood pressure, upset stomach, weight loss or gain, insomnia, etc. Many of these ailments may be as well treated by learning how to improve your emotions. Learn how to sort out the following emotions: anxiety, stress and sadness.
Too many of us have learned as children to stuff our feelings. The only emotional growth comes after we accept our feelings. Feelings aren’t good or bad or wrong or right. They are simply how we feel. Some people are helped by writing in a journal a short description of how they feel. After you accept your feelings, you can study healthy ways to deal with them.
Unfortunately, many people now believe that they have to continually “vent” all their feelings. In my opinion, vending feelings about the same situation does little good. If, once your feelings are known about a situation to all involved in the situation and everything stays the same, then learn new coping skills such as reframing to change the way you feel.
Remember, you can only change yourself—not others. If you still feel unable or unwilling to change—find out what your unhappiness is giving you. Holding on to old hurts only hurts us.
Our Definition of Addiction Recovery-
Although many definitions exist, the Changemaker definition of recovery includes the following characteristics:
1. All mind-altering addictions are given up. Often, an addict will simply trade addictions and call this recovery. If someone is addicted to one mind-altering drug, she/he will be addicted to all mind-altering drugs, legal or illegal.
2. The addict no longer uses the past as an excuse for today. Anything that happened in the past can be the springboard for growth by the beautiful experience of forgiveness.
3. The addict has balance in his/her life to include physical health, mental health, emotional health and spiritual growth.
4. In learning to get healthier, the addict will learn “one day at a time” but with continued growth, he/she will learn to take a longer view of the future and get in touch with his/her hopes and dreams.
5. The twelve steps are essential for turning a negative direction into a spiritual direction. However, the balance comes from not allowing the group to be another addiction used to avoid family and friends.
“The closest thing to a cure for most forms of serious psychological suffering is a permanent change in the way one conducts one’s life–and the changes in feeling and self-concept that occur as part of that process.” Tom Rusk
Healing the Soul-
Most of the sites listed under alcohol and/or drug addiction are from treatment centers. I believe that treatment centers as well as twelve step groups can help addicts.
My problem with treatment centers is the cost and the medical model they use which means someone has to be “sick”. I believe in the self-discovery model which is the reason I wrote the Changemaker Test. Anyone with compassion can take the Changemaker Test and get a group together and begin learning about themselves.
Of course, I also believe that the AA method of tearing someone down in order to rebuild them loses too many new addicts. It works for the military because the recruits have to stay or go to jail for desertion. Having been sober for 28 years and having been a substance abuse counselor who worked in profit and non-profit centers gives me a unique viewpoint. Someone with an experience is never at the mercy of someone with an argument.
How do you know that someone–regardless of age–is spiritual? Certainly not because they say they are. The best evaluation is to see the fruits of the Spirit manifested by them. The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, kindness, self-control, patience, faithfulness, goodness, longsuffering and gentleness as listed in Galatians 5:22-23.
When You Find the Buddha in the Middle of the Road–Kill Him is the wise title of a good book by Sidney Kopp. No one knows what is better for anyone but that person. We each have our own answers. Even those trained in counseling techniques can only see what is revealed. Tendencies may be seen and certainly personality indicators will be there. But the work of change is a person’s individual choice.
The opposite of love isn’t hate. The opposite is indifference. When you no longer have feelings for someone, you have no reaction to them. When you feel hate, there is still emotion for that person there. This is the reason abusers can hold on to the abused. Anger may be covering hurt or feelings of entitlement.