10 Days of Holiday Sobriety Tips – Day 3

Holiday Sober Living

Arrowhead Lodge Recovery - Holiday Sobriety: Do Not Romance the Drink or DrugSober Living Tip 3


Relapse – and recovery – and closely tied to emotions.

Recent cognitive neuroscience research has confirmed that memory has an active emotional element.

And the stronger the emotion, the more clear the activated memory is experienced.

Avoid people, places and things that remind you of drinking or drug of choice; especially in early recovery.

Memory Activation Can Include All Five Senses

Norman Rockwell ChristmasEmotional activation of memory can be strong and include all five senses. For most, the emotions (and emotional expectations) of major holidays create a particularly strong emotional ‘charge’: good and bad.

How does memory activation via emotion work?

For example, those involved in a close emotional relationship breakup often report that certain scents (perfume, etc) instantly activate detailed memories of the relationship. The memories can include touch, taste, scents, visual memory – and the remembered sound of the loved one’s voice.

Or, the feel of certain fabrics can instantly create detailed memories of the ex-partner. Even something as generic as a certain weather pattern (snow, rain, etc) – if experienced with a strong emotional ‘charge’ during the relationship – can activate multi-sensory memories of the ex-partner.

Mindfulness Exercise for Breaking up with Alcohol and Drugs: Gratitude

Arrowhead Lodge Recovery - Gratitude and Thanksgiving

Gratitude is a very emotionally positive basis that supports emotional stability and health. Feeling of gratitude are major keys to inner peace and a happier life.

In addiction recovery, emotional stability is critical. If a positive emotional foundation can be created and maintained, then with personal work and strong intent addiction recovery is successful and continues to be successful, ongoing.

For those not in addiction recovery or struggling with addiction – feelings of gratitude help to create inner peace and happiness.

Start at the Beginning

If nothing else is possible regarding feeling gratitude, start at a basic point.

De-personalize gratitude.

“I am grateful for blue skies.”

Now, look around you. Take your time – no need to rush. Truly observe as objectively as possible.

“I am grateful for the breeze on my face; for the trees that look so beautiful this time of year.”

Now, take a deep, slow breath – and breathe out, slowly and softly.

“I am grateful I can see and experience these things.”

Repeat this exercise for several minutes: until feelings of agitation, depression or the desire to drink or use drugs – have passed.

‘Breaking Up’ with Alcohol and Drugs

Arrowhead Lodge Recovery - Breaking Up with Alcohol and DrugsAlcohol and drug use (at least in the beginning) create positive emotional associations by releasing dopamine in the reward pathway of the brain.

The euphoric effects experienced are very similar (or identical) to feelings of ‘being in love’ experienced at the beginning of an emotional relationship.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate the brain’s reward and pleasure centers, as well as emotional responses (Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction). Brain chemistry helps explain this mechanism. Recent research focusing on brain arousal, reward, and stress systems is expanding our knowledge of the components of alcohol dependence and addiction.

Overstimulating reward pathways of the brain with drugs or alcohol reinforces the behavior of drug use.

Re-structuring the Emotions and Romance Created by Addiction

Arrowhead Lodge Recovery, Rehab for Men MeditationAlcoholics and addicts can begin their ‘bad breakup’ with addictive substances through cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness training. Residential rehab can provide a safe and affirming space for the breakup with the romance of addiction.

The brain chemicals and brain functions involved with stopping an addictive substance are experienced by most as a ‘divorce’.

During recovery, alcoholics and addicts report many of the same emotions as experienced during a divorce. This includes feeling lost, wondering if happiness will ever be experienced again, wondering if you are ‘good enough’ – and learning to live without the significant other.

The Good News

Individuals survive divorce and bad breakups. Along the way, the individuals involved become stronger as a result.

If you are having problems with out of control drinking or drugging – you need to breakup the bad romance with your substance of choice. Immediately.

Sobriety is Possible

No one will claim that getting sober is easy.

However, positive change can be achieved. With a strong resolve, intent and support – sobriety is possible!

Check back tomorrow in here our blog for Tip 4, which will be featured in our post 10 Days of Holiday Sobriety Tips – Day 4.

We Wish You Sober and Happy Holidays!

Need Help with Addiction Recovery and Sobriety?

Arrowhead Lodge Recovery, Boomer Men's Rehab, Prescott AZArrowhead Lodge Recovery is a gender specific residential-only rehab for men, ages 30 and older; located in the beautiful, pristine mountains above Prescott, Arizona. We are accredited by The Joint Commission.

Mature Men’s Rehab for Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, Opioid Addiction and Pain, Co-Occurring Disorders

Arrowhead Lodge Recovery provides treatment for chronic alcoholism, opioid addiction with pain management and drug addiction; as well as treating co-occurring disorders. Each of our patients is given a comprehensive evaluation and assessment and has a unique personalized recovery plan.

Our average client is age 45-65+.

Arrowhead-Lodge-Recovery-Exterior-ViewsWe use an integrated multi-disciplinary addiction treatment approach implemented by licensed professionals. The Arrowhead Lodge Recovery Staff includes a Physician-Addictionologist, Addiction Psychiatrist, Physician Board Certified in Pain Medicine, Doctor of Clinical Psychology, Registered Nurse, several Licensed Therapists, and an addiction Nutritionist.

Mindfulness training, healthy exercise, nutritional counseling and educationcognitive behavioral therapy and psychoeducation are a part of our treatment program. We have chosen to keep our facility small and staff to client ratio large. Each client receives individual therapy and counseling; as well as group therapy and counseling.

We accept many insurance plans. Please go to our verify insurance page for more info. As a consumer, please check out our article on How Insurance Works: Addiction Rehab Allowable Charges, Non-Covered Expenses.

We are available for questions 24/7, please call 888-654-2800.

Chronic Alcoholism Treatment Program

Arrowhead-Lodge-Recovery,Men's Rehab Group Therapy, Prescott AZOur experienced, licensed and accredited Arrowhead Lodge Recovery staff allows us to help men with chronic alcoholism for whom previous treatment attempts may have failed.

We assist our clients in finding their personal connection to the spiritual. Through years of experience, we believe in the power of spirituality in the addiction healing process. We assist our clients in discovering their unique path to living a more authentic and joyful life.

Our addiction recovery programs treat the whole person and include Mindfulness for recovery and relapse prevention.

Impaired Professionals Well-Being Program and EAP Programs

We have an Impaired Professionals well-being program. If you are monitored by a board that oversees your professional license and requires an assessment, addiction treatment, or both – our Impaired Professionals Well-Being Program provides solutions.

We also have EAP Employee Assistance Programs.

Alcoholism Recovery Journey to Wholeness and Healing

Arrowhead Lodge Recovery, Mens Rehab, Thumb Butte Trail

At our mountain retreat facility above Prescott, Arizona in Prescott National Forest – men find and strengthen inner peace, and experience tranquility.

We equip our clients with the depth and stability to handle all the curves and disappointments – as well as joys – in their regular daily lives once they leave Arrowhead Lodge Recovery.

Start your journey to alcohol recovery by contacting Arrowhead Lodge Recovery.

Your confidentiality is assured when you contact us.

Speak personally and privately with Executive Director Dr. Kenneth Chance at (888) 654-2800.

Related Info:

10 Days of Holiday Sobriety Tips – Day 2
10 Days of Holiday Sobriety Tips – Day 1
High Functioning Alcoholics – Red Flags
How Insurance Works: Addiction Rehab Allowable Charges, Non-Covered Expenses
How to Spot Quality Addiction Treatment
Middle Aged and Senior Adult Opioid Addiction in America
Arrowhead Lodge Recovery Aftercare: SoberLink Clinical Monitoring
Arrowhead Lodge Recovery 5 Year Continuum of Care
How to Identify Fake Reviews
Functional Alcoholics – Family Impact, Hidden Trauma
Well Being Recovery Program for Professionals
Impaired Professionals Addiction Recovery
Impaired Professionals Comprehensive Evaluation and Assessment
Arrowhead Lodge Recovery – 5 Year Continuum of Care Model
Mindfulness in Addiction Treatment
How Addiction Hijacks the Brain – Mindfulness Restores Sobriety
Mindfulness Meditation Reduces Pain
Harvard MRI Study Evidence of Meditation’s Cognitive Benefits
Mindfulness Meditation – The 10th Step
Functional Alcoholics – Family Impact, Hidden Trauma

How Addiction Hijacks the Brain – Mindfulness Restores Sobriety
Impaired Professionals in Medicine
Airline Pilot Rehab – Impaired Professionals Recovery
Impaired Professionals: Legal Profession



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