Learn To Relax

There are many challenges in our lives, many things that make us worry or upset us.  Sometimes, we suffer from anxiety in social situations.  Sometimes, we worry about bills or about problems at work.  Sometimes we are afraid of whatever might happen tomorrow.  Whatever it is that brings stress into your life, you may have given in to the temptation to use alcohol or other drugs to deal with that stress.  In the end, drugs don’t really solve the problem.  The use of drugs actually brings new problems into our lives.  It has been said that only very intelligent people can maintain a drug habit.  There is a lot of truth to this.  Finding a place to use drugs and figuring out how to get them can be very difficult.  Since getting the money needed to buy drugs often involves lying and deceit, you have to be smart enough to keep track of the lies you have told.

In the midst of the challenges of life, we can always trust in God.  We don’t need drugs to cope with life, we just need God.  The key to true peace involves trusting in God’s loving care for you.  You will encounter many challenges that are beyond your ability to overcome.  That’s OK.  God is all-powerful and He can overcome all of the challenges you face.  Trust in Him.  Relax, knowing that you are held safely in the hands of the all-loving God.

This doesn’t happen overnight.  Like any relationship, learning to trust in God is something we have practice.  If you review your life, however, you will learn that the times you tried to rely only on yourself were some of the most difficult times of your life.  By the same token, you were most at peace at those times that you were able to trust in God’s care for you.

Relaxing doesn’t come easy.  It involves letting go of having to control things.  You’ve probably heard the phrase: ‘Let go and let God’.  If you can’t or won’t let go, then you may very well find yourself overwhelmed by the challenges facing you.  If you can learn to trust in God, then you can learn to relax knowing that God is in charge.  One thing you can learn from your experience of abusing alcohol or other drugs is that you’ve often made poor decisions about your life.  Now, you can learn to make a great decision.  You can choose to trust in God.  Then, you can really relax.

Not Just Stopping, but Starting Over

Abandoning your addiction is really only half the story.  As important as it is to terminate a self-destructive behavior, more is necessary.  An example may help to clarify this point.  If you want to live a healthier lifestyle, for example, you have to do more than just spend less time sitting around or cut back on the amount of sweets that you eat.  You also have to starting getting more exercise and adopt a healthier diet.  Similarly, if you want to become a better student, you have to do more than just cut down on the amount of time you spend watching television.  You also have to spend more time studying.  Recovery from addiction, in the same way, requires more than just terminating your use of drugs.  You also have to spend more time engaged in healthy behaviors.

If you are able to stop using drugs, that’s a great step in the right direction.  You also have to find healthy ways to spend the time that you used to spend on drugs.  Recovery is more than just stopping one behavior.  It is also learning a new behavior.  In fact, it is learning a new way to live your life, a set of priorities, a new way to handle the challenges and stresses of life.  Abusing alcohol or other drugs is sometimes a way to cope with the problems that are a part of our lives.  Sometimes, we use alcohol or other drugs to fit in with our friends.  Overall, addiction can become a way handle all of the stress and suffering that can be a part of life.

What this means is that we have to learn new ways to deal with the stresses and sufferings of life, ways that do not rely upon drug use.  We must learn new ways to cope with the problems that are a part of our lives.  Formerly, we used alcohol or other drugs as a kind of crutch to help us handle our problems.  Terminating our drug use means surrendering that crutch and relying on ourselves, instead of relying on drugs.  We must learn new techniques for handling whatever comes our way.

We all have problems in our lives, and we have to learn healthy ways to deal with those problems, ways that do not involve using drugs as a crutch.  You can always rely on God.  You can trust Him to help you when you are struggling.  He’s much more reliable than the crutch of drug use.

How Do You Escape Habits?

Habits – we all have them. In fact, they say it takes about it only takes about 3 weeks, just 21 days, for something to become a habit.

Think about that – just drinking a few beers every day for 21 days could cause you to develop a habit of drinking. Just using drugs for 21 days could cause you to develop a lifelong habit of drug abuse.

In the scheme of an entire year – 365 days – or even in the scheme of your entire life, 21 days is equal to merely a few seconds.

And, it is when we develop these habits that things get dangerous…

As you develop a habit of something, it becomes much harder to quit. So, once you develop a habit of drinking, it is much harder to stop. Once you develop a habit of doing drugs, it is much harder to stop. A habit simply becomes a normal part of your everyday life.

So, when it comes time for recovery, rather from drugs or alcohol, the first step to changing is breaking your habits and developing new and healthy habits.

But, how do you break a habit that has seemingly become a normal part of your everyday life?

Well, it is not easy, but it is possible.

And, it starts with change.

To break a habit, you have to make a change – you have to stop doing it, you have to find something else to do instead, you have to learn to resist the temptation to go back to that old habit.

But, with change comes hard work…

To change, you have to become self-aware:

How can you avoid a temptation if you don’t even realize there is something tempting you?

Get off autopilot and become aware of:

  • What you are doing.
  • Who you are with.
  • How you feel physically.
  • How you feel emotionally.
  • Where you are.
  • What you are thinking.

By becoming completely aware of these things, you can learn what to avoid and what to do more of.

For example, maybe you haven’t been able to see your child very often because of your addiction…

2 Girls Hugging Each Other Outdoor during Daytime

So, at your next visit, rather than just going on autopilot and sitting there watching them play like you always do, you engage with them, have more conversations, and most importantly…

You notice how you are feeling in that very moment.

Do you feel happy? Do you feel relieved?

This can also be the first step to gaining the motivation for change.

Notice the things around you – notice what makes you want to change and how you can change.

You can always break a habit, but you can always pick it right back up.