Friday, March 31, 2017

How to Invest in Your Friendships

Friendship is a powerful tool for preventing relapse. In fact, studies show that people with close, personal relationships are less prone to anxiety and depression and have a greater overall life satisfaction. 

Unfortunately, for many of us, it’s pretty easy to take friendships for granted – and that’s not the best way to preserve or enrich them. Cultivating lasting, loving friendships takes time and effort – and it’s a two-way street. When one side is giving significantly more than the other, it’s never a good thing. 

Taking the time to improve your communication skills so you can continue to grow closer, on the other hand, will help ensure lasting, meaningful relationships. Start nurturing your connections today with these exercises.

Reflect and record. What three things do you value most about your friend? What three things could you do to be a better friend? Write down these answers and then have an open, honest dialogue. You may even ask your friend to perform the exercise, too, so the conversation isn’t one-sided. 

Be a good listener. Are you really concentrating when your friend talks or are you just waiting for your turn to speak? Next time you’re having a conversation, give your full attention and pause before responding right away. Think carefully about what your friend needs to hear from you right now.

Be fully present. Good communication is key to a lasting friendship, so make sure you ask questions about the other person’s life and interests and then really listen to the responses. Make eye contact and put down that phone! 

Forming Friendships at HAUS
A fundamental part of the HAUS program is showing you how to enjoy people and have fun. Several 12-step groups meet nearby, and clients are invited to visit and enjoy the support and fellowship of others living in sobriety. To learn more about our sober living services and activities, call today: 888-551-4715.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Will Journaling Work for You?

A few simple tools – namely a pen and a piece of paper – can help keep your mind strong and stress-free as you embrace your new life of sobriety. Journaling is a great outlet for processing emotions and increasing self-awareness and it has a host of other benefits, too. These include:
  • Increased mindfulness
  • Enhanced emotional intelligence, or the ability to perceive and manage your emotions
  • Boosted memory and concentration
  • Strengthened self-discipline
  • Lower anxiety
  • Better sleep
  • More self confidence
While you don’t need to be a wordsmith to reap the many benefits, you do need to be patient and possibly test out a few different types of journaling. This way, you can find which one(s) works best for you and your goals -- whether you're looking to establish a schedule, identify relapse triggers, release emotions or gain a few healthy habits. And perhaps the best part: There's really no right or wrong way to keep a journal.

Here are a few journal types to consider: 
  • Stream-of-consciousness journal: The goal is to jot down any and all words, images, and ideas that come to mind. Don’t edit yourself (spelling and grammar don’t count) or worry if you’re making sense. Try it. Set a timer for 10 minutes and write continuously until time is up. 
  • Diary journal: This type of journal can help you record daily events, including what you did, whom you saw or spoke with, and how you felt. Once you’ve written for the full week, you can go back and identify any healthy or unhealthy patterns. 
  • Gratitude journal: This is a great way to improve self-esteem and gain a more positive outlook on life. And all you have to do is jot down three things you’re grateful for each day. 
  • Activity/food journal: By now you already know that proper nutrition and exercise are smart habits to help you stay sober, and tracking what you eat and how much you move can help you identify poor choices and keep you on a healthy path. Consider jotting down your sleep habits and stress triggers to see if they influence your food choices. 
Our Philosophy
At Haus Recovery, you’ll learn to recognize emotions in yourself and others; interact with the people and things around you; and develop a capacity for empathy, appreciation, and enthusiasm. To learn more, call: 888-551-4715.

Friday, March 10, 2017

How Dogs Help Your Health

Caring for a dog is a big commitment but it could have big perks as you’re working to pull your life and health back together. 

In fact, these furry friends (along with cats, horses and other creatures) have been long-known to comfort people through rehab and beyond. Many addiction centers and sober living communities are incorporating pets into the treatment environment in a variety of ways.

There’s nothing like a man's best friend to provide companionship and unconditional love. And pets can offer even more: Studies point to numerous mental, emotional, physical, and social benefits of owning a pet. Here are a few:

  1. You’ll make more friends. When you’re out walking your dog, your bound to meet people, especially other dog owners. Face it: Without a pet, you’d likely have no reason to engage with one another. 
  2. You’ll feel more confident. Studies have found that pet owners have more self-esteem and social reliance. What’s more, having a pet can help you rebound quicker from negativity.
  3. You’ll be calmer and happier. Owning a pet has been linked with less tension and better mood, helping you to avoid some of the biggest predictors of relapse: stress and depression.
  4. You’ll boost our overall health. Owning a pet has been linked to lower blood pressure, reduced heart rate and less pain. 
  5. You’ll fit in fitness. Studies have found that dog owners who regularly walked their dogs were more physically active than those who didn’t own or walk a dog. And not only are dog walkers getting more exercise, they're getting better quality exercise (walking faster and longer), than those who exercise on their own, according to one study. 
    Staying Active in Santa Monica
    At Haus Recovery, we encourage our clients to get moving to feel better, ward off stress and feed the soul. From a sunset hike to horseback riding, we organize group activities and outings to help residence stay active. To learn more, call today: 888-551-4715.

    Friday, March 3, 2017

    Why You May Want to Become a Morning Person

    What do former first lady Michelle Obama and Apple CEO Tim Cook have in common? They’re both reportedly morning people. Obama told Oprah that she works out at 4:30 a.m. while Cook gets up every morning at 3:45 a.m. to get a head start on email, according to a Time profile.

    Indeed, studies show that the early bird really does get the worm. Morning people are study-proven to be healthier, smarter and thinner. Whether you choose to go for a run, meditate, or just peruse the news, getting up early to squeeze in a little "me time" is a smart habit for your new sober lifestyle. 

    Here are a few more benefits of becoming a morning person:

    Increased happiness. People who get up around 7 a.m. or earlier were shown to have a 25 percent increase in feelings of happiness, cheerfulness and alertness, according to a University of Toronto survey of more than 700 adults. Early exposure to morning light has also been shown to increase energy and decrease the risk for depression.

    Better job/school performance. Workers who start the day earlier were perceived to be more conscientious, according to a study in the Journal of Applied Psychology. Early risers also have higher GPA’s – a full pointer higher, according to another study.

    Healthier weight. Increased light exposure in the morning hours has been linked with a lower body mass index (BMI), according to researchers at Northwestern University. In addition, a.m. exercisers have been found to have a more consistent workout schedule; they’re less likely to skip a sweat session when an unexpected event or delay arises.

    Rise and Shine in Southern California
    At Haus Recovery, we’ll give you the tools and support needed to start each day with renewed energy. To learn more about the joys of sober living, call us today: 888-551-4715.