The commitment to being sober is a long-term one that requires daily positive behaviors that will keep you focused on yourself and your health. Whether you have just completed a rehabilitation program or wish to renew your focus and commitment to your sobriety, these behavioral traits can help you.
Trait 1: Honesty and Openness
Denial and dishonesty with yourself and others can cause you to stray from your commitment to sobriety. Remember that being sober doesn’t mean you won’t ever think of using again, but it’s important to be honest with yourself and not beat yourself up if this occurs. Denying these thoughts to yourself and others can affect your overall sobriety.
Trait 2: Learning How to Relax
Turning to drugs and/or alcohol is an unhealthy way to cope with stress and pressure in your life. Those who stay sober long-term develop ways to deal with stress that don’t involve relapse. Examples of ways you could relax include exercising, reading a book or meditating. When you feel stressed or pressured, these practices will help you relieve stress in a more positive way.
Trait 3: Forward Thinking
Individuals who achieve long-term sobriety start to look ahead in life and set goals for themselves. They no longer focus on the quick fix, but instead start working toward items that will make them truly happy. Examples of these goals could be starting a new career, building stronger friendships or getting healthier through an exercise regimen.
Trait 4: Giving Nature
According to the University of California at Berkeley, helping others offers physical and psychological benefits to those in recovery that can help them stay sober. During the time when you were addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, you were focused on your addiction and your desires. While you may have been aware of how your behavior impacted others, you may have caused damaged to others. Giving back through volunteer experiences can be a sober behavior that helps you in the long-term.
Volunteering doesn’t have to represent a significant time commitment on your part. From a few hours every month to acting as a mentor for others in recovery, there are many ways you can get involved. If you aren’t sure where to start, contact your local Chamber of Commerce to get an idea of organizations that may be looking for volunteers.
Trait 5: Planning and Organization
Planning is very important to your success in sobriety. This includes identifying triggers that could lead you to return to drinking and/or abusing drugs. Avoiding places and people that remind you of when you of using can be an important part of the plan. Another step to take is practicing saying “no” to drugs and alcohol in social situations. Others who may not know you’re in recovery may offer you a substance you’re no longer using. Practicing saying no can help you mentally prepare for the inevitable time when temptation will occur.
You can live a life free from drugs and/or alcohol, and practicing these and other sober behaviors can help.