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4 Easy Ways of Helping Others in Addiction Recovery

4 Easy Ways of Helping Others in Addiction Recovery

Author: Justin Mckibben

Studying Compassionate Goals

A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology actually states that compassionate goals we set are about

“- striving to help others and avoiding selfish behavior” for example, “making a positive difference in someone else’s life.”

Researchers here measured how participating in self-image goals and compassionate goals had an impact on symptoms of depression and anxiety, along with their conflict with others.

This study concluded that its results suggest there is a very real relevance of self-image and compassionate goals for the interpersonal maintenance of issues like depression and anxiety.

Principally, the results held some pros and cons for people with anxiety. The downfall is that trying to boost self-image by avoiding vulnerability backfires, leaving people more depressed and anxious. This can create a difficult cycle to escape from emotionally.

The good news is that by focusing on helping others, we make everyone involved, including ourselves, feel better. This is because showing compassion through action doesn’t just relieve our anxiety or depression in the moment, but it helps us build our relationships, which can reduce anxiety and depression as they grow stronger and healthier. It is a win-win. In recovery from drugs or alcohol, we should take all the wins we can get.

4 Ways to Help Others that Help Us

If you want to utilize acts of kindness to help you grow in your recovery, there are plenty of ways to do it. Here are just 4 examples of things you can do to help others that will help you.

  1. Making constructive comments to others

”Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity.”

-Yehuda Berg

That statement is no exaggeration. If the pen is mightier than the sword, the spoken word is truly the undisputed champion.

In recovery use your words to help others. Make constructive comments that serve to build others up, while pointing out their strengths and celebrating their successes. This helps us develop a habit of focusing on the good in one another and ultimately in our communities and our lives. It can also build up our relationships to give us strong support.

  1. Having compassion for others’ mistakes

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes”

-Oscar Wilde

For a lot of people, it is already hard enough to accept their mistakes. Most of us are our worst critics. No one likes people pointing out their shortcomings. We all make mistakes. Try to be compassionate about it when others slip up.

Why is it important to show companion when someone else makes a mistake? Because not only does giving someone an empathetic response make them feel better, it also reinforces our relationship with them. It shows those around you that you are understanding and humble enough to support someone through their mistake without shaming them or holding it over their head.

In recovery, this means a lot because it is important to remember that we are also a work in progress. We have our own faults, and if we want to build a new life we have to move on from the old. Compassion can even help others show you the same support when it’s your turn to mess up.

  1. Don’t be self-centered

“A selfish man is a thief”

-Jose Marti

In most recovery fellowships there is an emphasis on avoiding the self-centered behavior. Being self-centered is never really beneficial in the long-term, even if it helps you with some level of instant gratification. In addiction recovery, being so self-involved can be counter-productive to healthy growth.

Surely it is ok to take care of yourself and honor yourself. But being self-centered makes it less about self-care and more about self-seeking and being inconsiderate.

In fact, high levels of depression and anxiety tend to make us turn inward and focus on ourselves even more. The worse we feel the more isolated we become. Being considerate of others and finding a way to help them can actually relieve anxiety and depression by turning that energy outward.

In recovery, we should think of others as we improve ourselves. When we realize we must make choices and take action to benefit people other than ourselves, our compassion gives us perspective.

  1. Avoiding harming others

“If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.”

-Dalai Lama

Last but certainly not least, we can easily help ourselves and others by not causing harm. If you can’t make someone’s life better, at least don’t make it worse. You don’t have to necessarily go out of your way and do random acts of kindness, but at least don’t do random harm to others.

And this kind of compassion is pretty much just common courtesy. It can be active on a small scale and still impact you in recovery. You can throw your trash in a garbage can so someone else doesn’t have to sweep it up later. You could put away your shopping cart at the grocery store, or even use that crazy ‘turn-signal’ thing everyone keeps talking about when you’re driving.

While these seem like silly examples, for some people it goes a long way to just be considerate with the little things. It helps build character slowly but surely, while also giving us a sense of our impact on other people. If we can learn to so how our small kindnesses add up, maybe we will be more aware of the power in our bigger decisions.

Compassion in Addiction Recovery

It might not always be easy, but the important choices often aren’t easy. In addiction recovery, we should try to work on ourselves as often as we can, especially for the benefit of others. If our actions can make a positive effect and help someone else, while helping us stay clean and sober, we are on the right track.

But how do we start on that path?

If you want to begin a new journey that will help you build the life you deserve, while helping those you love most, there is help. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.

CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

What are Friends 4: The 4 Different Types of Friends Everyone Should Have

What are Friends 4: The 4 Different Types of Friends Everyone Should Have

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Justin Mckibben

Lucius Annaeus Seneca was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist and tutor to the emperor Nero of the Silver Age of Latin literature. This wise man once said,

“One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.”

The truth of this is profound and crucial to a meaningful, resilient friendship; understanding those closest to you and being understood for who you are is the fabric that true authentic friendships are made of.

Knowing what is important to the people around you and what kind of personality they have makes a relationship so much more natural and honest. Knowing what you bring to the table and the contribution your friends make to your life is very important, and there are probably at least 4 different types of friends everyone should have.

  1. The Seer

The Seer is the person in our life who does exactly what it sounds like… the see things. They do everything they can to help us see what is really there and bring clarity to situations which we may find it hard to notice what is trivial or what is necessary.

The Seer helps us to take note that we do not live in a vacuum. They show us that there are influences outside of us, either from our past or the current cultural influences, which can encourage us to react in one way or another. The Seer gives us the second opinion needed to evaluate whether we are being true to ourselves or placating to something beyond us.

In recovery from addiction the Seer can also see the things we are trying to control, the things we are complacent with, and where we can step up. These friends are important because when they understand who we are, they see what we do not see, and they bring it to our attention when we need to be protected.

  1. The Sympathetic

Sympathetic friends bring with them the calming and reassuring support that can keep us together in moments when we feel like falling apart. They are compassion and sympathy, without judgment or accusation the sympathetic friend will be our ear to listen or shoulder to cry on.

A perfect duo with the Seer friends, our sympathetic friends can balance out the harsh reality a Seer might bring with love and support.

These two are most effective in combination, because having one without the other can be enabling, or even overwhelming and put us off balance.

  1. The Joker

Who doesn’t like to laugh with a friend?

I know the majority of the friends I have are people who share a similar sense of humor with me and even keep me laughing when I don’t feel like it.

The Joker is the person brings that sense of humor into the troubling situations, while creating an opportunity to regain a fresh perspective without taking our problem, and especially ourselves, too seriously. In recovery we can all get a little on edge, because bottom line this is life or death with addiction, but we also can see the bright side and not live in doom and gloom.

The Joker is critical to keeping your sanity in life, because if everything is serious and dramatic than of course your life will mirror those vibes you’re surrounded with. Jokers present the concept of being open and flexible in a way that seems comfortable and even enjoyable, so having funny friends in your corner means having some sanity with a smile, laughing through the pain and not sweating the small stuff.

  1. The Muse

The Muse is the one who inspires us. This is the person who challenges us to step up. They know what our passions are and what we stand for, and when it comes time to take action they believe in us, sometimes even more than we do. The muse pushes us to do what fulfills us.

They call on us to acknowledge our calling in life, and they call on us to take action while not making us feel bad about where we are right now. They know how far we have come, and they want for us what we want for ourselves. In recovery being inspired by others can bring our program of recovery to a new level. When we see results in others we can try to work hard to get the same. When people believe in us and support our recovery we can often find motivation to do more.

So reading through the list, are any of these ringing a bell? I bet a name or face even have popped into your head when you examined each of the different types of friends. Maybe one friend showed up a couple times, in which case you are blessed to have some very versatile and influential people in your life.

We all cab depend on our friends once in a while, especially during the times in our lives when we are going through some tough stuff. When drugs and alcohol have defeated us, sometimes the best we can do is look for the right kind of friend to show us a new way. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

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