Tag Archives: health

What Makes Ending An Addiction So Challenging?

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What Makes Ending An Addiction So Challenging?

Recognizing that you have a problem with addiction is the first hurdle that you have to overcome. Once you’ve admitted that you’ve got a problem, it’s time for you to think about quitting. You probably didn’t expect to become addicted when you first experienced an addictive substance or behavior for the first time. However, what started out as fun can quickly become something more serious. There are several different ways in which you can try quitting, but don’t be surprised if your first attempt is a difficult feat. If you’re left wondering why you found it so hard, here are some of the reasons why:

Conflict and Ambivalence

Alcohol, drug addiction, or some other type of addictive behavior that becomes excessive will create conflict in your life. It can be within yourself because you want to change, but also have stronger urges to repeat the addictive behavior. Conflict also occurs with other people because they either want you to quit or join them in the addictive behavior. These conflicts don’t go away, and your expectations only get higher. Ambivalence is the feeling of wanting to continue and wanting to quit at the same time.

Tolerance – a Key Symptom of Addiction:

Tolerance, together with withdrawal, are the two processes that resulted in your addiction in the first place. The two are interconnected and, without them, it would be easier to quit. Tolerance is a physical and psychological process. The first time you experience an addictive substance or behavior your tolerance is low and the effect you feel is very strong. The more you repeat the behavior or take a substance, the higher your tolerance is and the more you need to take or do the behavior to get the same effect.

Withdrawal is experienced when you aren’t able to do the addictive behavior. The symptoms can be both physical and psychological. Symptoms might include shaking, feeling unwell, upset stomach, and feeling anxious or depressed. This, in itself, can be a barrier from quitting.

Guilt and Justification:

Guilt about your behavior is a strong motivator to make changes, but it also works against you. You find yourself justifying your behavior, not just to yourself but to other people too. Examples are telling yourself it’s not a problem, saying you’ve already cut down, or using other people or situations to divert attention.

What Can You Do If You Really Want to Quit?

There are a variety of different types of treatment to help you if you really want to quit. Therapy, for example, helps you sort out and change the thoughts that are keeping you addicted. It’s not going to be an easy or straightforward journey, but the support of a good treatment program will help you move forward and eventually quit. Treatment will make the quitting process much easier, but there are strategies that you can follow if you want to try to quit your addiction on your own.

Overcoming an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or some kind of behavior doesn’t have to feel like the end of the world. Admitting that there is a problem is the first step, followed by withdrawal and detox. The recovery journey doesn’t always end there, and you may need professional support for many years to come.

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Meditation Recommendations

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Meditation Recommendations

Hi everyone! Something that I really enjoy doing is going to a meditation class offered by my local library. The woman who runs it, Joann Xi, is the founder of the Center for Health, Happiness, and Chan. This organization promotes a mindful and contemplative lifestyle and teaches the art of meditation to those in the greater Akron area. During class this week, Joann gave us a paper listing some helpful books, apps, podcasts, and websites that she recommends and I thought that I would share it with all of you. And, if you are interested in seeing Joann in action, check out my blog post which features her YouTube videos. She’s amazing!

From Eastern Traditions:

Books:

  1. The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation as Taught by S.N. Goenka by William Hart
  2. Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh
  3. True Love by Thich Nhat Hanh
  4. Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chogyam Trungpa
  5. Bringing Home the Dharma by Jack Kornfield
  6. The Wisdom of No Escape by Pema Chodron

Podcasts:

  1. Insight Hour Podcast with Joseph Goldstein
  2. Ram Dass Hear and Now
  3. Heart Wisdom Podcast with Jack Kornfield

Websites:

  1. https://www.secularbuddhism.org/
  2. https://www.lionsroar.com/

From Western Traditions:

Books:

  1. Invitation to Love by Thomas Keating
  2. Intimacy with God by Thomas Keating
  3. Contemplative Prayer by Thomas Merton
  4. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  5. Fully Present by Susan L Smalley and Diana Winston
  6. Mindful Work by David Gelles

Audio Books:

  1. Going on Being by Mark Epstein
  2. Going to Pieces without Falling Apart by Mark Epstein

Podcasts:

  1. 10% Happier with Dan Harris

Apps:

  1. Headspace (Westernized version of eastern meditation practices)

YouTube:

  1. Zen Den
  2. Cosmic Kids

Websites:

  1. https://www.cac.org/
  2. https://www.couragerenewal.org

Integration of East/West:

Books:

  1. Living Zen Loving God by Ruben L.F. Habito
  2. The Mystic Heart by Wayne Teasdale
  3. The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts

I hope that some of these wonderful options to help introduce you to meditation or further your practices prove to be beneficial to those who need it. Once a skeptic, I truly believe in the power of meditation and the amazing work that Joann is doing, so please enjoy!

Who else participates in meditation? What are some ways that help you to relax? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Weekend Update: Sick AF Edition

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Weekend Update: Sick AF Edition

Hiii everyone and happy weekend! You might have noticed that I haven’t been very active on my page this past week, even though I had posts publishing, cause pre-writing. And, that is because I came down with a really nasty bout of the flu. It. Was. Awful. What started out as an earache on Tuesday morning led to full blown incapacity by the early afternoon and I was completely down for the count.

We’re talking a fever that reached to 103 at its peak, a sore throat, an earache, chills, sweats, soreness all over, and not a snowball chance in hell of being able to eat anything. I would sweat so badly at night, that I’d wake up and see red all over my sheets because it made my hair color bleed! I am writing this post on Friday afternoon and am just now feeling semi-normal, even though the morning was really rough.

Because of my mom’s ongoing health struggles, I had to be quarantined to my bedroom for three days. This sucked on ice, because my room doesn’t have a TV! But, I was honestly so out of it that it didn’t even matter. Everything that I tried to do from taking a sip of water to swallowing much needed medicine caused me so much pain that there were points when I just started crying. It was totally and completely miserable.

But, after what felt like an eternity, I am finally back on the blogosphere and all I gotta say is thank gawd for pre-writing! I was so pleased when I discovered that all of my days away were covered because I had totally forgot! And, of course, I am so glad to be feeling better and back with all of you here on lifewithlilred. ❤

Pacer Update (Finally!)

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Pacer Update (Finally!)

Hello everyone! It’s been a while since I updated you guys on my Pacer pedometer app progress and, honestly, that’s because there wasn’t much. This past month and a half has been a total doozy. I was so mentally and physically drained, and the last thing that I wanted to do was commit to walking 10,000 steps per day when I could have been laying on my sorry behind watching TV!!

But, that wasn’t really getting me anywhere and, as soon as the events that were taking place in my life that caused me a lot of anguish turned around, I was excited to pick up the Pacer again. This past week, I have been really dedicated to getting my 10K steps in at least four days of the week and I have blown that goal out of the water. It feels good to get myself moving again and although a lot of progress hasn’t been made, I’m back on the horse and I’m proud of that. Take a look at my stats:

  • Steps Taken: 1,364,282
  • Calories Burned: 33,311
  • Miles Walked: 445
  • Hours Active: 211
  • Days As A Pacer User: 177

I was also really pleased to see that I’ve been more active than sixty percent of the users on Pacer because, the last time I did an update, I was at a measly thirty percent. I doubled that! Things are looking up, and my exercise regimen is back in full swing, which makes things seem like they’re looking up even more! I feel really happy, and I can’t wait to get my 10,000 steps in today! 😀

Who else uses a pedometer app? How do you get back on the horse after a hiatus from working out? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Providing Your Family With The Best Medical Awareness

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Providing Your Family With The Best Medical Awareness

Keeping Everybody Healthy:

The best way to fully flourish in terms of health is proper diet and exercise. You need to keep the right foods available in your household, and strive to facilitate regular opportunities for working out. Walks. Bike rides. Sports. General calisthenics and anaerobic workouts, all of these can be good strategies. But they’re not going to be fully comprehensive.

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You need to additionally have medical solutions available should you need them, in a variety of different disciplines. You’ll need some dentistry solution, you’ll want general checkups, and you’ll want medical assistance to help account for the worst-case scenario. For example, a broken leg or arm may require physical therapy after the fact. This is actually quite likely. You’ll want to have options available that can render the best possible physical therapy in your vicinity.

A good option for physical therapy in Jersey City, NJ is Riverside Medical Group, who offers the best physical therapy sessions in Jersey City, NJ, at affordable fees. PT rehab centers are well equipped to help you in your therapy sessions with well trained and highly experienced staff.

Cosmetic Considerations:

Your family might also be in situations where a disease, injury, or mental illness condition predicates some level of cosmetic surgery. Certainly cosmetic augmentation has become an increasingly popular form of medical procedure in the modern age. It’s even gotten to the point where certain augmentations are sought specifically to make people look different, just consider those who try to look like a literal doll or an animal.

Sometimes these things are for reasons of health, sometimes they are merely for aesthetic appeal. Either way, surgeries like those are required when installing breast implants. You can find out more at LVCosmeticSurgery.com, a purveyor of breast augmentation in Las Vegas. Breast implants aren’t always just one dimensional. Breast augmentation is a plastic surgery procedure that gives you a fuller, more balanced breast size.

In the wake of breast cancer, such cosmetic solutions can be integral to maintaining personal mental health. Other times, this augmentation is necessary in a reductive capacity after high quantities of weight are lost. Burns or other accidents could also make certain cosmetic procedures a necessary reality for your family.

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Implications:

The bottom line, is that if you want to keep yourself and your family healthy, it will require the understanding of multiple areas of medical provision in addition to ensuring the best kinds of diet and exercise are central to your family’s lifestyle. If this sounds like a bit of a tall order, it is.

Not only are there many areas to research, but there is bound to be expense involved. You need to be strategic in determining means of covering these costs, unless money is no object for your family; which is unlikely. Thankfully, there are a variety of programs out there that you can use to help reduce medical costs, or even cover them entirely.

On the internet, you can look up various situations for which funds exist. It’s sometimes just a matter of approaching the issue from the right angle. Additionally, in the wake of the insurance difficulties resulting from the ACA, there are increasing insurance solutions at decreasing expense available. This trend is expected to continue as ACA is entirely dissolved in the fullness of time.

Look at benefits packages where you work and, additionally, seek employment where there are more comprehensive solutions. The attitude you need to have is that there is a way to fix whatever problems you have. A solution is out there, it may just not be what you expected.

Meditation Station

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Meditation Station

Hi there! Something that I’ve been enjoying a lot lately is meditation. One of the libraries in my area has been hosting the two founders of a local nonprofit organization Health, Happiness, & Chan to teach meditation classes to the public. I have been going since the spring time, and found it to be really difficult. Dare I say, I even found it to be completely ineffective.

Then, we had a hiatus for a few months until the summer session began. Upon returning to classes, I had a total turn around during our hour together. I was able to complete the entire forty minute process when, before, I couldn’t even finish five minutes. It felt awesome and I left class feeling so uplifted and accomplished.

Unfortunately, but fortunately, one of our two amazing teachers (Both of whom are professors at Akron U.) has accepted a position at Harvard and is no longer with us. But, our other guru, Joanne is simply the best. I have such a strong connection with her and it was such a delight to be welcomed back to class by her with a huge hug.

Joanne has quite possibly the most beautiful voice known to mankind and, after all of us insisting on it for months, she has finally made a YouTube channel! The quality of her first few videos is not the best, but there will certainly be more to come so I wanted to share them with all of you, anyways. Joanne has such a gentle, kind, and nurturing spirit and you can literally feel it just by hearing her speak. So, subscribe and enjoy as she walks you through all different types of meditation!

Who else practices meditation? What are some of your meditation tips? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Body Issues: Learning To Overcome Insecurities And Love Yourself

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Body Issues: Learning To Overcome Insecurities And Love Yourself

A study found that 63% of female participants identified their weight as the key factor in how they felt about themselves. Despite the rise of positive body awareness, such as Ashley Graham’s #BeautyBeyondSize, thousands of women feel the anxiety to keep up with celebrities and social media. The good news, is that there is never a ‘better time’ to start loving and taking care of yourself than right now. Here’s how you can learn to overcome insecurities and love yourself:

Make Healthy Changes:

What better way to boost self-confidence than to achieve long-term goals. Rather than setting impossible goals such as ‘losing 20 pounds in a week” or “achieving a tiny waist in three months”, aim to start a new fitness routine and incorporate organic foods into your diet. When you eat right and exercise on a regular basis, your hormones will slowly fall into balance and help you to feel your best.

Consider A Makeover:

While a proper diet and fitness routine can help you lose the unwanted weight, thousands of women still struggle with extra baggage. Despite the “taboo” of plastic surgery, 17.5 million procedures were performed in 2017 alone, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. If you’re tempted to get liposuction or a tummy tuck to reduce loose skin, you’re not the only one. In fact, nearly 2 million individuals opted for immense services like boob jobs, liposuction, and rhinoplasty. So, whether it is a total “Mommy Makeover” or a simple lip injection, your plastic surgeon will guide you and address the most common body issues.

Dealing with the Root of the Problem:

We all have our moments of highs and lows, but what’s important is that we see beauty in many shapes and sizes. So, to help you focus on dealing with what makes you feel insecure, you must first look at what triggers those emotions. Here are some ways to discover more about your interests, insecurities, desires, and most of all, yourself:

  • Writing a blog or your own personal journal about what you love about your body.
  • Stand in front of the mirror and look at yourself in a positive way. Like really look at yourself and voice out your favorite attributes.
  • Seek support from counselors, family, and friends to help you battle the insecurities and solve the underlying issue.

The reality is that no amount of diet, weight loss, or even plastic surgery can fix poor body image and low self-esteem. Those who struggle with negative body image must discover the underlying issues and learn how it is influencing the way that they feel about themselves.

Changing the way you look may seem like a tangible way to alter what you disliked about your body. But, the only way to heal from low self-confidence is to address the issues and face them head-on. Only then can you truly learn how to overcome your insecurities and love yourself.

Featured Image By: Unsplash