Moderation is an extremely important aspect to focus on through your addiction recovery process. Developing skills to moderate each aspect of your life can help you create balance and avoid dependence. 

Skills to Implement Moderation

Understanding the importance of moderation may be easy; however, implementing the skills of moderation into your recovery and everyday life can be difficult. There are a variety of practices that will not only help moderate your need for your problematic substance but also help you establish and retain moderation within other aspects of your life.

Create Habitual Goals

As you have a list of goals you are working to accomplish within recovery, create some goals that are minor things you can do every day. Using a habit tracker and creating a list of things you wish to complete each day can help you retain focus on these actions. It may seem overwhelming to complete your desired habits at first, but eventually, they will become second nature. Establishing healthy practices in your everyday routine can help you create a base level of moderation and balance to work from.

Establish a Healthy Diet

While a majority of you are working to recover from substance abuse, foods such as sugar, caffeine, and other unhealthy substances may also negatively impact your health. It is possible to become addicted to sugar or caffeine, which can produce similar effects to those of substance abuse disorder. Managing a healthy and moderated diet can help you improve your overall well-being through the recovery process.

Ensuring you are eating a balanced diet and maintaining moderation in your eating habits can help your body function properly, easing the process of recovery overall. If you struggle to determine how much you should be eating, consider using a calorie tracker app to ensure you are consuming a healthy amount. My Plate is a helpful resource in determining quantities that you should be eating for recommended portion sizes.

One issue many individuals have is excessive snacking. Oftentimes, out of boredom, or to reduce cravings, people fall into a habit of turning to snacks. It is important to be aware that snacking and eating delicious sweets is not something you need to avoid altogether. One helpful tip in managing nutritional moderation is to look at the serving sizes of the snack you are consuming. Instead of pulling out an entire bag of chips, put one or two servings’ worth of chips in a bowl to snack on. This strategy can improve mindfulness regarding what you are consuming and help you refrain from overconsumption without realization.

Determine Alternatives

When you reach a level of intense cravings, abstaining from your problematic substance may feel nearly impossible. As you are working to avoid the use altogether, try to find an alternative activity to engage in. Exercising, writing, meditating, reading, crafting, or doing anything enjoyable should be a goal at this time. Activities like these can take your mind off the cravings and produce other positive effects in your life.

However, it is important to avoid engaging in this alternative behavior excessively. To do this, try setting aside a specific timeframe for this activity. For example, if you choose to watch your favorite TV show to get your mind refocused, you do not want to end up sitting in front of the TV all day. Not only will setting a timeframe for the activity prevent you from spending too much time engaged in it, but having this activity be a short period of enjoyment will also allow you to still look forward to it and continue its use for reducing your cravings.

Regulate Your Emotions

Moderation can play a role in nearly all aspects of life, especially your ability to regulate your emotions. Through the process of addiction recovery, you will likely feel many drastic up and down emotions. Being mindful of the emotions you are experiencing and refraining from staying stuck in a point of stress, sadness, anger, or any emotion is extremely important.

Implement your coping skills to ground your emotions when you notice you have been stuck in a negative state for a long period. It is important to feel these emotions, but avoid dwelling on them to ensure they do not overstay their welcome.

Reward Yourself

When you notice that you are over-engaging in specific behaviors and take action to correct them, reward yourself. Have a timeframe or set of goals that if accomplished, you will buy yourself the new pair of shoes you’ve been wanting or something specifically enticing to you. These motivating factors can reinforce the positivity that moderation is bringing into your recovery and encourage you to continue the process. 

Moderation is an important quality to maintain overall balance in our daily lives. Moderation can act upon nearly any behavior; however, there are certain aspects of moderation that are common struggles for those in recovery. Understanding the importance of moderation and developing skills to implement moderation into recovery can make a large difference in your recovery success and overall well-being. Creating habitual goals, establishing a healthy diet, engaging in alternative actions when cravings are present, regulating your emotions, and rewarding yourself for success can all help you establish a base level of moderation. Implementing moderation into the problematic aspects of your life can help you ground yourself and find an overall sense of balance. Establishing this in other aspects can help you control the urge to rely on substances as well. To learn more about the benefits of moderation and how to implement it into your recovery, reach out to Dream Recovery at (949) 732-1960.

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