How Does Sleep Impact Recovery and Treatment?

How Does Sleep Impact Recovery and Treatment?

Quality sleep is essential during treatment for substance use disorder (SUD). Feeling restful and re-energized after a good night’s sleep will help you maintain focus and improve your general well-being. In addition, sleep plays a vital role in relapse prevention. According to National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “[P]oor quality sleep may make it harder to learn new coping and self-regulation skills necessary for recovery.” Newport Beach Recovery Center offers evidence-based treatments to help clients establish healthy routines.

What Are Sleep Disturbances?

Everyone experiences nights when they have trouble falling or staying asleep. Stress is the most common cause of these sleep issues. However, lifestyle choices, mental health symptoms, substance misuse, neurological changes, and other factors can contribute to unhealthy sleep patterns. Establishing a healthy sleep schedule is one of the first steps toward emotional and physical recovery during rehabilitation.

Common examples of sleep disturbances include:

  • Insomnia
  • Chronic oversleeping
  • Waking multiple times throughout the night
  • Night terrors
  • Nightmares
  • Sleepwalking
  • Waking too early and being unable to fall back asleep

The symptoms of sleep disturbances vary significantly from person to person. Monitor your mood, behavior, energy level, and emotional stability for unusual changes. Often these are the first signs of unhealthy sleep patterns.

Signs of Unhealthy Sleep Patterns

The recommended amount of sleep is between seven and eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. How much sleep you need changes as you age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 34.8% of adults reported experiencing sleep disturbances in 2020. Some commonly reported signs of unhealthy sleep patterns include:

  • Feeling tired throughout the day
  • Waking up feeling unrested
  • Difficulty concentrating or “brain fog”
  • Lack of energy or severely fluctuating energy levels
  • Unusual irritation or anger
  • Experiencing work or school burnout
  • Feeling emotionally unstable
  • Frequently napping

Not everyone notices if their sleep behaviors change. However, if you begin to feel tired in the morning or emotionally drained, you might have a sleep problem. In addition, some individuals have co-occurring physical health issues that interfere with their ability to fall or stay asleep. If you wake up often throughout the night and have headaches or feel overly tired, you might want to get a sleep assessment. A sleep study may reveal sleep apnea or other health issues that can interfere with your recovery. Most physical sleep disorders are highly treatable if diagnosed early.

How Do Sleep Disturbances Affect Recovery?

Your quality of sleep can impact the way you feel, think, and act. Control your sleep patterns by eating nutritional meals, staying hydrated, regularly exercising, practicing self-care, and creating healthy daily routines. Sleep disturbances can affect recovery in the following ways:

  • Make it more challenging to overcome ambivalence and stay motivated
  • Increase the risk of relapse and co-occurring mental health issues
  • Lower the effectiveness of therapy and coping skills

What Are Some Ways You Can Improve Your Sleep Patterns?

Even minor changes to your daily routine can improve your sleep cycle. Below are four ways you can increase the quality of your sleep.

#1 Prescription Medications to Manage Symptoms

The symptoms of SUD and mental health issues can interfere with sleep. Also, substance misuse often causes physiological changes in the brain that affect sleep. In some cases, prescription medication is necessary to ensure you get enough sleep to remain healthy and cope with daily stressors.

Several common sleep medications include:

  • Ambien® (zolpidem)
  • Lunesta® (eszopiclone)
  • Rozerem® (ramelteon)
  • Silenor® (doxepin)
  • Sonata® (zaleplon)

#2 Practice Relaxation and Mindfulness-Based Techniques

Relaxation and mindfulness-based techniques like meditation and deep breathing can help your body physically relax. If you consciously relax your muscles and even out your breathing before going to bed, it can help you fall and stay asleep. Relaxation techniques can also help you fall back asleep if you have interrupted sleep during the night.

#3 Set a Sleep Schedule

Residential treatment programs have a structured schedule to help people in early recovery relearn how to develop healthy sleeping patterns. Maintaining a sleep schedule throughout treatment can make recovering from emotional and physical stress easier.

Healthy sleep schedules usually involve the following:

  • Following a set routine every night
  • Preparing to sleep by removing distractions, including tablets, phones, or gaming devices
  • Going to bed at the same time each night
  • Ensuring you have enough time to get the recommended amount of sleep
  • Sleeping in a quiet place that does not have distracting sounds or lights

#4 Talk to Your Support System

If you often lie awake at night thinking about things that worry you, it might help to talk with someone in your support system. Sometimes verbalizing the thoughts inside your head can help you get a good night’s sleep. Use your resources to decrease the amount of stress you feel before starting your bedtime routine.

Sleep affects mental and physical health, mood, and behavior. Lack of sleep or too much sleep can interfere with your ability to focus and function throughout the day. Frequent sleep disturbances also cause emotional distress and lower your stress threshold. You can take steps to ensure that you get the recommended amount of sleep each night. Creating a sleep schedule, practicing self-care, and other tools will help you get enough rest to remain focused and motivated. Ongoing recovery depends on you getting enough quality sleep each night to stay energized. Newport Beach Recovery Center uses strict scheduling and evidence-based treatments to help clients achieve and maintain healthy routines during recovery. To learn more, call us at (888) 850-0363

Why Do So Many People in Recovery Experience Depression?

Why Do So Many People in Recovery Experience Depression?

Many people diagnosed with substance use disorder (SUD) experience depressive symptoms. The prevalence of depression is not unusual. Clinical depression is one of the most common mental health disorders diagnosed worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4.7% of adults regularly feel depressed. 

Substance abuse can cause changes in the brain that lead to the development of depression. In some cases, substance abuse is used as a form of self-medication to cope with the symptoms of pre-existing depression. Newport Beach Recovery Center provides evidence-based treatment to help clients manage depressive symptoms related to SUD and co-occurring conditions during rehabilitation. 

How Common Is Depression? 

Many people experience depressive symptoms at some point in their lives. However, nearly twice as many individuals with SUD have depressive episodes compared to the general public. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in 2019, 7.8% of adults with SUD experienced depressive episodes. The number of individuals with SUD who have major depressive symptoms has continued to increase in the last decade. COVID-19, increased economic stress, and other factors have contributed to the increase of people struggling with depression. Some risk factors for developing depressive symptoms include: 

  • Substance abuse 
  • Financial issues
  • Relationship problems
  • Childhood abuse or neglect
  • Trauma
  • History of mental health disorders
  • Lack of emotional support 
  • Unsafe living environment
  • Emotional or physical isolation 
  • Genetics 
  • Age 

According to the CDC, individuals between the ages of 18 and 29 have the highest risk of becoming clinically depressed. In addition, this age range is more likely to abuse alcohol and other mind-altering substances. As such, we need to check on our younger loved ones and help them get the medical care that they need.

Substance Abuse and Changes the Brain 

Alcohol and drugs produce physiological changes that affect mood and cognition. The side effects stop certain areas of the brain from working as effectively. As a result, some people develop anxiety, depression, and other mental health symptoms. Teens and young adults who abuse substances can affect their developing brains and potentially cause long-term damage. In many cases, the effects of substance abuse on the brain reverse themselves in time. However, certain mood changes might take longer to dissipate, and they could require prescription medications like antidepressants to manage the symptoms.

Additionally, prolonged use of substances can start to deteriorate certain areas of the brain. This leads to a less functional and cognitively-impaired brain. The change in functionality can cause enough mental distress to trigger a depressive episode.

Depression and Co-Occurring Disorders

Many co-occurring mental health disorders feature depressive symptoms. According to Science and Practice Perspectives, “Mood disorders, including depression . . . are the most common psychiatric comorbidities among patients with [SUD].” Comorbid depression exists along a spectrum. Some individuals may barely notice it, while others might have difficulty functioning in their day-to-day lives due to depressive episodes and other side effects. 

During treatment for SUD, it is essential for anyone struggling with co-occurring conditions to participate in simultaneous treatment addressing all active and underlying mental health issues. The most common forms of treatment for depression include: 

  • Psychotherapy 
  • Prescription medication 
  • Biofeedback
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
  • Alternative holistic therapies 

During treatment at Newport Beach Recovery Center, you will collaborate with your care team to determine the best approach to treatment and therapy. This may include inpatient residential treatment or a partial hospitalization plan to start with. Afterward, you may switch to a less intensive treatment plan like intensive outpatient or outpatient aftercare.

How Does Depression Impact Recovery? 

Depression exists along a spectrum, and severe symptoms can significantly impact recovery. Some individuals with depression have difficulty completing basic tasks of daily living, including: 

  • Getting out of bed 
  • Dressing appropriately 
  • Maintaining personal hygiene
  • Preparing, eating, and cleaning up after meals 
  • Staying motivated 
  • Housekeeping 
  • Maintaining essential relationships
  • Attending mandatory treatment sessions

Depression can cause you to withdraw and isolate yourself from others as a way to protect yourself from emotional distress. However, it is crucial to actively communicate your needs and nurture your close relationships. Family support can provide significant motivation for individuals with depression. 

Depression and Your Loved Ones

Close family members and friends may have difficulty understanding the realities of depression and how it impacts your everyday life. In many cases, depression affects relationships. You must actively work to communicate your needs and concerns. If you do not discuss your depressive episodes with them, they may react based on assumptions instead of facts. It is vital to remain open and objective when discussing mental health issues to protect your loved ones and yourself from misunderstandings. Let them know your needs during depressive episodes. 

Some people have a genetic predisposition to developing depression. The disorder or symptoms may run in the family. However, every person reacts differently to depression. In addition, substance abuse can significantly increase the severity of depressive episodes. If you’ve been diagnosed with depression and your symptoms look much different than those of a family member, educating them on the realities of addiction and dual diagnosis can help them understand your situation better. 

Treatment Options for Individuals in Recovery 

The most successful and common treatments for depression include prescription medication and talk therapy. We can accommodate dual diagnosis with primary substance abuse. Alternative treatment options offered by Newport Beach Recovery Center include: 

  • Biofeedback
  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)
  • Creative healing 
  • Hypnotherapy 

Clients at the Newport Beach Recovery Center participate in group and individual trauma therapy. In many cases, addressing underlying issues like trauma can reduce symptoms related to anxiety or depression. Processing trauma allows you to find healthier ways to cope with the symptoms of SUD. You can collaborate with your therapist to determine the best therapeutic method to address your depression and other co-occurring disorders. 

Many people recovering from substance abuse experience depressive symptoms related to their condition or co-occurring disorders. In some cases, depression is caused by substance abuse and physical changes to the brain. Other individuals have underlying issues or completely separate issues that contribute to the development of depression. You can successfully recover from depression and SUD by participating in dual-diagnosis treatment. Newport Beach Recovery Center uses evidence-based methods, including psychotherapy and alternative therapies, to treat substance abuse and dual diagnoses. In groups, you’ll also engage in behavioral activation to counteract depression and SUD. To find out more about our treatment programs and services, call us at (888) 850-0363. Start your healing journey from co-occurring depression and SUD today.

Does Newport Beach Recovery Center Encourage Spiritual Healing?

Does Newport Beach Recovery Center Encourage Spiritual Healing?

Substance use disorder (SUD) affects how you feel about yourself and others. Recovery from SUD involves personalized treatments that address your spiritual, physical, and emotional well-being. If you have religious, cultural, or personal beliefs that impact your mental health, you may benefit from therapies that incorporate aspects of spiritual healing. According to the Journal of Religion and Health, “73% of addiction treatment programs in the USA include a spirituality-based element.” Newport Beach Recovery Center offers various evidence-based and alternative treatments, including 12-Step meetings and other resources that support spiritual healing.

What Is Spiritual Healing?

Spirituality can involve believing in some higher power (e.g., god, universal consciousness, etc.). Everyone has different spiritual needs based on their cultural, religious, and personal beliefs. Spiritual healing focuses on empowering and uplifting your spirit in whatever way works best for you. According to the previously mentioned research published by the Journal of Religion and Health, some people feel that spirituality is an “exceptionally powerful, integral, and indispensable [resource] in substance abuse prevention and recovery.” Faith and spirituality play a vital role in recovery for many individuals with SUD.

Do You Need to Be Religious to Benefit From Spiritual Healing?

Almost everyone believes in something bigger than themselves. Spirituality does not necessarily involve religion or traditional belief systems. Additionally, you do not have to be religious to benefit from therapies and activities that focus on spiritual healing. The most common motivations for spiritual beliefs include a desire to connect with others or find a sense of purpose. Connecting with others who share similar ideas can help you feel supported and less isolated.

Treatment plans can easily incorporate most religious or spiritual beliefs by using personalized services, including:

  • Group and individual therapy
  • 12-Step meetings
  • Family support services
  • Case management
  • Aftercare planning

Religious people often find solace and healing in their beliefs. If you participate in a particular religion or identify with spiritual practices, you might gain strength from interacting with religious leaders and peers.

Cultural Beliefs and Spiritual Healing

Some cultures have deeply held spiritual beliefs that impact how they interact with others during treatment and aftercare. For example, indigenous individuals often benefit from incorporating aspects of their culture and spirituality in treatment. According to Substance Use and Misuse, Western “treatment [emphasizes] the role of the individual,” and the “Native perspective emphasizes connections with others.” Facilities like Newport Beach Recovery Center tailor treatment plans to meet each client’s spiritual, cultural, and personal needs. Incorporating cultural beliefs into your spiritual healing and recovery empowers you to embrace positive lifestyle changes. Your culture is integral to your identity, and we respect each person’s right to celebrate their cultural traditions during treatment.

What Does Spiritual Healing Look Like During Treatment and Aftercare?

Every recovery journey is unique, and what you find comforting or empowering might not impact someone else. Your spiritual journey could involve connecting more deeply with God, nature, your internal self, or other people. No matter what a higher power looks like to you, spiritual healing often involves the following:

  • Fellowshipping with like-minded individuals
  • Meditating on personal beliefs
  • Finding encouragement and motivation in your beliefs

Spiritual healing can help you accept the need for positive changes and encourage you to continue moving forward and growing as a person.

Your Spiritual Health at Newport Beach Recovery Center

Everyone has their own beliefs that guide them through life. You may focus your spiritual energy on God, an unspecified higher power, or the importance of human connectedness. We have a treatment option that will work for you no matter what you believe. Our care team accommodates many spiritual and religious beliefs to ensure everyone feels comfortable and safe while attending our programs.

Newport Beach Recovery Center uses evidence-based and alternative methods to help clients recover from the effects of substance misuse. We understand the importance of using a holistic approach to address all underlying or co-occurring issues that might complicate recovery. Individuals who identify as religious or spiritual often incorporate spirituality as an essential component of their long-term recovery. Spiritual healing improves the effectiveness of treatment and reduces the risk of relapse. If you require specific spiritual accommodations, speak to your care team or contact our office for more information about our services.

Spirituality and Ongoing Recovery

Individuals who follow a mainstream religion or faith-based movement often have a built-in support system of fellow believers to encourage them during ongoing recovery. Many churches or places of worship provide informal faith-based counseling and support for individuals recovering from SUD. You can engage with your fellow believers and receive emotional support during treatment and aftercare.

No matter what you believe, maintaining your spiritual well-being during aftercare can help you maintain emotional stability and reduce the risk of relapse. Many people with no specific beliefs attend spiritual support groups like 12-Step meetings. Our team can help you find resources that support spiritual healing during recovery.

No matter what you believe or how you feel about religion, your recovery will benefit from incorporating spiritual healing into your treatment plan. Newport Beach Recovery Center celebrates diversity and encourages clients to use alternative or holistic therapies. Spiritual healing looks different for everyone and can involve meditation, religion, spiritual self-care, or specific cultural beliefs. For some people, attending 12-Step or church meetings help them feel more centered and comfortable with their sobriety. Other people have no faith in a higher power but deeply connect to other people. We believe that everyone benefits from participating in some form of spiritual healing. To learn more about our services, call us today at (888) 850-0363.

Coping With Compulsive Thoughts and Behaviors Unrelated to Substance Misuse

Coping With Compulsive Thoughts and Behaviors Unrelated to Substance Misuse

Individuals in treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) experience compulsive thoughts. In most cases, these thoughts focus on substance misuse, cravings, or past trauma. However, in some cases, compulsions are entirely unrelated to substance misuse. For example, process addictions like gambling — heavily connected to compulsions — can interfere with a person’s mental health during and after treatment. Newport Beach Recovery Center uses evidence-based therapies to help clients cope with compulsions and intrusive thoughts during rehabilitation.

What Are Compulsive Thoughts and Behaviors?

Compulsive thoughts can cause mild to severe emotional distress. In most cases, they involve repeated intrusive thoughts or an obsession with a specific activity. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that a person . . . feels the urge to do in response to an obsessive thought.” In many cases, the behaviors are irrational or unnecessary. However, they bring emotional relief to people who do them. For example, someone with a germ phobia may compulsively use hand sanitizer anytime they touch a public surface.

Some examples of common compulsions include:

  • Repeatedly checking locks before going to bed or leaving the house
  • Excessive hand washing
  • Counting, often in specific increments
  • Repeated tapping or other fidgety movements
  • Thinking or speaking a repeated word or phrase

Compulsive thoughts and behaviors can involve almost any idea, thought, or behavior, and they do not always cause severe distress. However, individuals with SUD and co-occurring mental health issues have a higher risk of developing maladaptive behaviors related to compulsions. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and process addictions are common dual diagnoses. Side effects of severe compulsions can interfere with recovery and increase the risk of relapse.

The Dangers of Non-Chemically Addictive Compulsions

Non-addictive compulsions can affect a person’s ability to function. Additionally, non-addictive compulsions sometimes lead to physical dependency and mental addiction if left untreated. The seemingly innocent nature of non-addictive compulsions makes them dangerous for individuals in recovery. Some people may find themselves replacing substances misused with “safer” alternatives that end up causing the same disruptive behavioral issues.

The dangers of non-addictive compulsions include:

  • Increased risk of dependency
  • Relationship issues caused by obsessive preoccupation with the compulsion
  • Decreased focus on recovery

Non-chemically addictive compulsions can become addictive behaviors if you do not monitor them and learn to recognize warning signs. According to Frontiers in Psychiatry,[C]ompulsive behavior can be understood in terms of persistent patterns of failed decision-making.” You can protect yourself from harmful side effects by learning to problem-solve and make healthier decisions. Treatment programs like the ones offered at Newport Beach Recovery Center provide essential skill development and trauma therapy. Our methods can help you overcome compulsions and avoid adverse side effects.

Warning Signs of Dangerous Compulsive Thoughts and Behaviors

You might require additional mental health treatment if compulsions interfere with your ability to function or threaten your sobriety. Below are some warning signs that might indicate you need help coping with compulsions:

  • Frequent bad judgment calls
  • Difficulty making good choices
  • Obsessive thoughts, behaviors, or routines
  • Thinking, saying, or doing something to avoid anxiety or compulsions
  • Frequently make changes to your routine to accommodate the compulsion
  • Relationship issues caused by obsessions and compulsions

If you notice one or more of the signs listed above, you should talk to someone on our mental health team. In some cases, compulsions can worsen symptoms of SUD.

Internet, Phone, and Computer Addictions

Process addictions and compulsions involving technology have become more commonplace within the last few decades. Almost everyone owns multiple smart devices that control many aspects of their life. Unfortunately, it can be easy to fall into harmful routines involving smart devices. Compulsive behaviors that feature technology can include:

  • Online gambling
  • Gaming
  • Doomscrolling
  • Social media
  • Pornography
  • Excessively tracking the news

Almost any behavior can turn into a compulsion. If you find yourself spending an excessive amount of time doing any one thing on your smart devices, you might want to reach out for mental health assistance. Phones, computers, and gaming devices can be locked during specific time periods, giving you an easy way to avoid the issue. In addition, during treatment at facilities like Newport Beach Recovery Center, you will have less access to these devices, which can help you establish healthy boundaries with technology and the internet.

Treating Co-occurring Mental Health Disorders During Recovery

Individuals with SUD have a higher risk of developing co-occurring mental health issues like OCD. Compulsions, intrusive thoughts, and addictive behaviors can complicate your treatment and ongoing recovery. At Newport Beach Recovery Center, we offer evidence-based treatments for individuals with dual diagnoses. Our team will ensure you learn vital coping skills to help you avoid developing process addictions or disruptive compulsions. Simultaneous and integrated treatment can provide relief from mental health symptoms during rehabilitation. If you are in aftercare or early recovery, we can provide you with programs and services to help you stay on track if you begin to experience compulsions.

Compulsive thoughts and behaviors can indicate co-occurring mental health issues like obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, compulsions are also a symptom of substance misuse, and many people recovering from SUD struggle with these thoughts and behaviors. It’s important to seek help that will examine your mental health comprehensively. Treatment programs at Newport Beach Recovery Center care about treating all your co-occurring mental health problems. We can provide you with the tools and essential skills to manage compulsions. You can maintain positive mental health and sobriety by practicing mindfulness and other coping techniques. To learn more about our services and programs, call us today at (888) 850-0363. We can help you heal and find healthier ways to cope with compulsive thoughts and behaviors. 

What Are the Benefits of Attending a Co-ed Treatment Facility?

What Are the Benefits of Attending a Co-ed Treatment Facility?

Men and women approach treatment and recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) differently. Societal expectations and personal experiences all influence how SUD affects you. Each gender has a very different experience before, during, and after rehabilitation. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Women often use drugs differently, respond to drugs differently, and can have unique obstacles to effective treatment.” Newport Beach Recovery Center uses co-ed and gender-specific treatments to help men and women heal from the damage caused by substance misuse.

What Is a Co-ed Treatment Facility?

Co-ed treatment facilities cater to men, women, and individuals who identify as nonbinary. All clients share the same facility and attend group therapy and activities together. In some cases, there may be multiple levels of care, with some treatment programs only focusing on one gender. For example, at Newport Beach Recovery Center, our sober living community is tailored to individuals who identify as male. However, we offer co-ed outpatient treatment and other programs that provide services to men and women seeking treatment for SUD.

Contact the office or visit our outpatient page to learn more about our programs.

How Does a Co-ed Treatment Facility Approach Gender-Specific Issues?

Gender-specific care ensures that every client receives the treatment they need to heal and develop essential recovery skills. Rehabilitation programs that treat men and women often have certain activities where men and women split into different groups to address gender-specific topics. Individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+ can join whichever group they feel most comfortable participating in during treatment.

Trauma and individual therapy are also essential for gender-specific issues that some people might not want to discuss in a co-ed group. If you feel uncertain about what topics are appropriate for co-ed group therapy, you can talk with your therapist or the facility staff. We generally avoid the following common issues during co-ed group sessions, including:

  • Domestic abuse
  • Sexual abuse and harassment
  • Anger management issues related to partner violence

Sensitive topics like these can make some people feel uncomfortable when discussed with the opposite gender. We generally reserve them for trauma, gender-focused, or individual therapy sessions.

How Can Peers Benefit From Treatment in a Co-ed Facility?

The rehabilitation process relies on peer support to encourage the development of healthier routines, behaviors, and thought patterns. Sober peers help you stay focused, motivated, and accountable for your own recovery. In addition, co-ed peer groups show you the recovery process from multiple points of view and allow you to practice setting social boundaries. Everyone within the sober community benefits when men and women are encouraged to explore and share their experiences. Also, for many people in recovery, the connections they make with peers can last a lifetime and provide essential emotional support.

Do Men and Women Have Different Reactions to Treatment?

Men and women may have different reactions to treatment based on their socioeconomic status and how it affects their relationships. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “In general, women with SUDs have less education and employment experience than men with SUDs.” Some women rely on men to finance their treatment, causing additional stress. Women have limited options compared to men, meaning they often attend facilities with more male than female clients.

Newport Beach Recovery Center offers gender-focused therapy sessions to ensure women get the support they need when attending co-ed programs. Our personalized treatment takes into account cultural, religious, and gender preferences. We believe everyone should have access to high-quality, effective treatment programs that address their individual needs. Recovery may look different for men and women. However, in many cases, they have more shared experiences. Group sessions and co-ed activities provide an excellent opportunity for peers to form a close-knit community.

What Are the Treatment Options for Individuals Who Identify as LGBTQIA+?

Individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+ face unique challenges during treatment and ongoing recovery from SUD. Co-ed treatment programs offer greater freedom for LBGTQIA+ clients to engage with whichever gender they identify with the strongest. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “[W]hen compared with the general population, gay and bisexual men, lesbian, and transgender individuals are more likely to:

  • Use alcohol and drugs,
  • Have higher rates of substance abuse,
  • Not withhold from alcohol and drug use, and
  • Continue heavy drinking into later life.”

Newport Beach Recovery Center welcomes diversity and takes steps to accommodate anyone who identifies as LGBTQIA+. As previously mentioned, individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+ can choose to attend whichever groups make them feel most comfortable. We treat every client with respect and compassion. If you identify as LGBTQIA+, our care team can help you determine the best treatment program to meet your needs and preferences.

Men and women have unique experiences during the treatment and recovery process. Research has shown that both genders misuse substances differently and sometimes for unrelated reasons. In addition, men and women generally do not prefer the same substances. Statistics also show that risk factors and side effects can differ between genders. Newport Beach Recovery Center offers gender-focused and co-ed group therapy. Men and women can benefit from hearing how the other gender experiences and copes with recovery. Co-ed groups can learn from each other and have a better outcome. We encourage clients to support one another and create an inclusive sober community. To learn more about how we accommodate gender-focused care, call our office today at (888) 850-0363.

How Meditating in Nature Can Improve the Mind-Body Connection

How Meditating in Nature Can Improve the Mind-Body Connection

Long periods of substance abuse can cause physiological changes that interfere with your ability to process specific experiences and emotions. In addition, symptoms of substance use disorder (SUD) may cause you to feel off balance. SUD can make it challenging to connect thoughts and emotions with your body’s reactions. Spending time in nature can help you relax and stabilize your mental health, allowing you to make more progress in treatment. Newport Beach Recovery Center offers several mindfulness-based therapies to strengthen your mind-body connection. Practicing these therapies outdoors or in a natural setting can increase the benefits.

The Therapeutic Benefits of Nature

Many people incorporate nature into various aspects of their recovery. In recent years, outdoor therapeutic modalities like adventure or recreational therapy have become more common. Research has shown that even virtual simulations of nature, including videos, sounds, and images, can positively impact your mental health. 

According to a 2020 study in the Journal of Addiction, “[V]iewing nature has similar benefits to [mindfulness-based techniques] in the treatment of stress and negative mood.” The care team at Newport Beach Recovery Center collaborates with clients to find therapies that work for their unique needs. Our team encourages people to spend time outdoors as a way to enhance the effectiveness of talk therapy.

Reducing Your Risk of Relapse Through the Mind-Body Connection

Taking care of your physical and emotional wellness will help you heal faster. Mindfulness meditation can reduce your risk of relapse during early and ongoing recovery. Being out in nature lets you focus your thoughts on the present moment and increases self-awareness. Self-awareness can help you recognize when something feels off and reduce your risk of relapse by doing the following:

  • Encouraging regular self-care
  • Helping you connect specific thoughts with physical reactions 
  • Improving overall fitness and physical wellness 
  • Increasing mindfulness

Many activities — including outdoor yoga, deep breathing, and relaxation exercises — improve general health and self-awareness. Activities like outdoor meditation are an excellent way to reduce the risk of relapse and learn essential coping skills. 

The Mind-Body Connection and Mindfulness 

Mindfulness means looking at each moment as it comes and accepting it without judgment. Acknowledging sensations and thoughts without focusing on them can help you become more aware of your mind and body. In addition, being mindful of body movements, breathing, muscle tension, and thoughts will strengthen your mind-body connection. The mind-body connection increases mindfulness by doing the following: 

  • Improving focus 
  • Reducing stress 
  • Increasing self-awareness 

Mindfulness is essential in recovery because it keeps you from focusing on intrusive thoughts, cravings, or compulsions. It also allows you to remain fully present in your surroundings.

The Effect of Nature on Your Health

Spending time in nature improves physical and mental health. According to research by the National Park Service (NPS), “Physical activity in a green space can improve cognitive control, short and long-term memory, and overall brain function.” Spending time out in nature does the following: 

  • Boosts the immune system
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves mood and reduces symptoms of mental health disorders 
  • Increases energy
  • Improves sleep
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease

Even viewing images or videos of nature can positively affect a person’s health. Apps incorporating nature sounds or videos have many of the same emotional benefits as spending time in nature. Regularly spending time in nature can have a calming effect on your mind and body. You can also reduce the symptoms of mood disorders by being outside in environments like forests, beaches, or oceans. 

Enhancing the Mind-Body Connection in Nature

Combining meditation and low-stress exercises in a natural setting can help you heal from the damaging physical side effects of substance abuse. Some everyday outdoor activities that will help you heal include: 

  • Mindful walking, meditation, or yoga
  • Light exercise including walking, biking, hiking, jogging, or swimming 
  • Group activities like rock climbing, horseback riding, or boating 
  • Camping and spending the night outdoors

Newport Beach Recovery Center is located only 140 yards away from the beach. We have a wide range of beautiful locations nearby, including state parks and hiking trails, where you can enjoy nature. Our team also hosts regular group outings to provide a new setting for clients to practice essential skill development. Rather than keeping you entirely isolated, we teach you to handle your mental health in real-world settings.

Aftercare and Maintaining Positive Mental Health

You can incorporate outdoor activities like meditation or mindful walking into your everyday routine during aftercare. Maintaining positive mental health is easier when you take advantage of resources like local nature spots. You can even use time outdoors to connect with family or friends by making it a group activity that benefits everyone. Activities like camping, hiking, and even walking your dog can improve your mind-body connection if you practice mindfulness techniques. Being able to center yourself and remain self-aware will help you cope during challenging moments in aftercare. 

Nature-based therapies and activities can improve your mental health and overall well-being. Science has shown that even minimal exposure to natural environments can benefit your health if you struggle with depression or anxiety. Spending time in nature makes it easier to become more aware of your body and how your thoughts affect your behavior. Improving your mind-body connection can help you recognize problem behaviors before they develop into maladaptive habits. Newport Beach Recovery Center encourages clients to take advantage of alternative, holistic therapies like adventure therapy or yoga. We can help you heal from the effects of substance abuse. To learn more about our services and programs, call our office today at (888) 850-0363.