Simplify Your Life

How To Simplify Your Life

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Five Ways To Simplify Your Life

We live a technologically driven age where we are overwhelmed with information. Very busy people inundated with tasks. We have work duties, family obligations, personal responsibilities, relationships to manage, and we have to learn how to do recovery and take care of our mental and emotional health.  It can all feel very overwhelming. Learning to simplify your life goes a long way in bringing about serenity and manageability.

Here are 5 ways to simplify your life:
  1. Take it one day at a time. This might seem cliche and you’ve probably heard it a million times, but there is some powerful truth spoken here. When you project into the future and start worrying about what might happen tomorrow or what could happen next month, you deprive yourself of the simplicity of living in the now. The present moment is all you have. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. Deal with what you have to do today. This helps to simplify things.
  1. Declutter your personal space. In your addiction, things became unmanageable. You likely neglected your personal space and allowed it to become overrun with all sorts of messes. Take the time to get rid of old papers, throw away trash, donate things you don’t need or use, and clean up. When your life is overwhelmed with the messes of your past, it becomes almost impossible to live a simplified lifestyle.
  1. Let go of toxic relationships. If you associate with friends or family members who are always inviting drama into your life, you need to kindly disconnect from these people. There are people who thrive on chaos and they have a special way of forcing everyone around them to experience the chaos they enjoy. One of the best ways to simplify your life is to only surround yourself with people who bring you peace, encouragement, and support.
  1. Learn the art of saying no. Quite often, you are bombarded with requests from people who need or want something from you. By continually saying yes to every request that comes your way, you overload your life with tasks and responsibilities that don’t belong to you. Remember, you have to take care of yourself first. Only say yes to things that will enrich your life and bring you peace.
  1. Connect with nature. There is something peaceful and beautiful about getting outside and appreciating the great outdoors. Stop and smell the flowers. Go for a nature walk. Visit a local park and feed the ducks. There is a lot to be said about slowing down and taking the time to appreciate the simplicity of nature.

Remember, recovery is really a simple endeavor, although it feels very complicated. The reality is that all you have to do is refrain from engaging your addiction – whatever it may be. When life feels complicated, we get stressed out and feel overwhelmed. This is uncomfortable. If you will take the five simple suggestions offered in this list, you will improve your quality of life and experience more joy, peace, and comfort.

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sex addicts

Sex Addiction

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Sex Addicts – While Sex Addiction is not officially recognized as a distinct addiction such as alcoholism or heroin addiction, it is quite real and it can be devastating. Experts and treatment professionals generally agree that there are a cluster of symptoms which constitute sexual addiction. Sex addiction, or hypersexuality, is difficult to diagnose largely because the line between a healthy and active libido and problematic sexual behavior is hard to define. Essentially, if one is so preoccupied with sex and engages in sex to the extent that these thoughts and behaviors negatively impact one’s life or get in the way of normal daily activity, then one is in danger of being addicted to sex. The difficulty is that psychologists have been reluctant to use the term “addiction” for this type of issue. Just a few symptoms may help a person decide if they are wrestling with this problem:

If one experiences continual and prolonged sexual fantasies to the exclusion of other thoughts.

Time spent engaging in sexual thoughts and fantasies interferes with regular activities.

If sexual thoughts and urges come as the result of other problematic feelings (anxiety, depression, etc.)

Engaging in sexual behavior without regard for social and legal consequences.

Sex addicts are generally vexed with a constant and unrelenting preoccupation with sex. Their thoughts about sex and engaging in sex persist to the exclusion of nearly every other aspect of their lives. It is normal to have sexual fantasies, but for the sex addict, engaging in sexual fantasies is on the order of an obsession. Their thoughts about sex interfere with other activities.

Another important feature of sex addiction is the problem of engaging in sexual activities without regard for social and legal consequences. Sex addicts, as opposed to those who engage in normal sexual activities, will engage in sex in the work place, in public, and other places and times in which there can be severe social and legal consequences.

Psychological experts generally agree that sex addiction arises from other issues and problems. Depression and severe anxiety issues are just two of the conditions which professionals have linked to what we now call sex addiction. Essentially, sex addicts are driven by deep psychological problems which are by and large untreated and they seek to escape from these difficulties by engaging in sex and endlessly obsessing about sex. Doctors have met with some success in treating sex addiction with antidepressants as these medication alleviate the underlying cause of sex addiction.

An unfortunate consequence of sex addiction is the prevalence of STDs and HIV/AIDS if people who have been diagnose as sex addicts. One of the stand out feature of sex addiction is indiscriminate sexual encounters. Many of these people do not use protection. The result is an tremendous increased risk for STDs and even HIV/AIDS. People who demonstrate the signs of sex addiction should find help as soon as they can. There is Sex Addicts Anonymous, as 12 step recovery program much like AA, which can help people recover for sex addiction. There are also an increasing number of treatment programs which specialize in sex addiction.  

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Recovery Journal

Recovery Journal

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Your Recovery Journal.

During treatment and recovery we are asked to process a tremendous amount of information. The science of addiction, the 12 steps, emotional management therapies of a various kinds—all of this can be difficult to sort through and manage. In addiction, the flood of feelings and ideas that come with our first steps in recovery are often overwhelming.

Just consider that we have been numbing ourselves with drugs and/or alcohol for however long we had been using. For some people this may have been decades of shutting off their ability to properly feel their feelings and to properly understand the world around them. One of the best methods for dealing with all of this is a recovery journal.

For many, the idea of sitting with an open and blank notebook and writing down their own thoughts and feelings is an utterly foreign practice. People will often balk at the idea by claiming they have nothing to say. The fact is, it is impossible to have nothing to say. What hangs up the newcomer to journaling is the belief that they do not have the “correct” things to say. Keeping a recovery journal means writing down your own thoughts for yourself and no one else. There are no rules. No one will grade your grammar or spelling. And no one will ever see it, therefore no one will ever judge you by what you write.

Enter Your Thoughts.

Getting your thoughts on paper allows you to see for yourself what is going through your mind. Recovery nearly always consists of a flood of conflicting emotions and thoughts. It is a natural tendency to try to work these thoughts and feelings out into a coherent whole before saying them or writing them. This is exactly what a journal does for you. With a journal, we can write down the thoughts as they occur to us without trying to make sense of them. We can confess to the journal those feelings which we find difficult to admit even to ourselves. Once these thoughts and ideas are in front of us we can begin to sort through them.

We can look at our own ideas in front of us and begin to see that some of them are a function of fears which are irrational, for example. We can begin to see on the page evidence of the things that matter most to us. For example, one may believe that their career goals were always first on their list of priorities. But up entry into recovery and experiencing a clearer sober version of themselves, the writings in a personal journal may show that family attachments are much more important. They can then begin the process of working with a sponsor and with a treatment counselor with this revelation in mind.   


Without getting into a digression on research, it has been shown that journaling is a tremendously effective tool for recovery and for other forms of personal growth. The main thing to keep in mind is that the personal journal is for you. It is private, just like every other aspect of treatment and recovery, and the only person who ever has to see it is you. I cannot emphasize enough how valuable a personal journal can be in the recovery process.

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Feelings as Part of Recovery

Feelings as Part of Recovery

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Feelings are one of those things that we all have and discuss, but also something we know little about in life. Feelings are demonstrated and felt differently from culture to culture and person to person. While some may find a hug comforting, others may feel it is intrusive. A good movie may make one person cry happy tears while another reacts with a giant smile. We often let our emotions control our decisions and this does not always work out favorably.

When in active addiction feelings are often dulled or nonexistent. Life becomes about the next fix, hit, or drink and how to obtain that next one.  If we do not learn to handle these feelings appropriately the result can be depression, stress, and anxiety. This can be accomplished in a number of ways and you must find what works for your individual situation. Some of the basics will be discussed in the remainder of this article.

In order to control emotions we must first identify them. This may sound simple, but often emotions are not felt in a singular manner. This means you may be scared and angry at the same time or happy and sad over the same situation. Being able to identify the emotions you are feeling, no matter how many can allow you to control those same emotions and handle the feelings appropriately. Once the emotions are identified then we may begin to control them accordingly.

Feelings as Part of Recovery -When in an emotional situation give yourself a time out to truly understand what you are feeling at that moment. If you are afraid then identify the source of fear. Are old thoughts and reactions taking over? Is the situation actually scary or just uncomfortable? Is the situation dangerous to your health and well being? Once you take a moment to think it through the situation may not be as scary or dangerous as originally assessed. The same is true of positive emotions such as excitement or happiness. Are you truly happy or simply reacting to others? You must take control of your own feelings.

As you learn to identify your emotions then you can also learn to control them. Just because the body reacts in fear does not mean a situation is dangerous. Sometimes fear is a learned response to a given stimuli. Some people are afraid of clowns, but the clown itself is not necessarily scary, the fear is learned from a previous bad experience. When in recovery we must learn not to fear or react to something simply because it was once a negative in life. Instead we must find the positive. For example, many addicts have spent time in jail due to their addiction or related behaviors. For many jail becomes a negative, but for those who have learned to control their emotions can see jail as a positive or a turning point that led to recovery.

Feelings as Part of Recovery – The choice is truly your own. How will you choose to react today? What emotions will be allowed to come forward? Choose wisely.

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Addiction Treatment Options

Inpatient Or Outpatient Addiction Treatment?

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When an addict seriously begins looking at addiction treatment options a major step has been taken. It is the first of many they will need to take in their stride if long-term sobriety is to be achieved.

Why such an important step?

When an addict finally admits that addiction is ruling their lives they are ending denial. This is a trait that all addicts build as their dependence deepens. They will deny to themselves that their substance abuse is as severe as it really is and will also deny to others that their use is a problem.

The two major treatment options:

When looking at addiction treatment there are two major options to consider. The first is outpatient treatment, the second is spending time as an inpatient at a residential rehabilitation establishment.

Inpatient facilities differ from outpatient facilities in a variety of ways. This includes the intensity of treatment, the environment in which treatment takes place and the cost of treatment.

Addiction Treatment Options – Outpatient treatment:

As the name suggests this type of treatment allows addicts to attend an addiction facility on an appointment basis. Once therapy and other agreed services have been completed the person undergoing such treatment returns home until the next confirmed appointment.

This type of treatment tends to suit those who have been addicted for a relatively short time before seeking assistance, and also allows the person concerned to continue their daily life relatively unimpeded.

Outpatient programs vary in that some involve all-day attendance, others require the patient to attend for one or two hours per session. Because outpatient treatment offers fewer amenities and dedicated staff time is limited this option is cheaper than inpatient treatment. Many personal health insurance policies will cover some or all of the cost for this treatment.

The downside to outpatient treatment is that the patient remains in their home environment. One which usually helped put them in this position in the first place. Another factor is that appointments are spaced days apart. This lack of constant treatment and supervision increases temptation for a recovering addict to resume substance abuse.

Addiction Treatment Options – Inpatient treatment:

This is seen as a far more focused method of treating addiction. It is effective for anyone with dependence problems and is particularly recommended for those with a history of long-term addiction.

A person opting for inpatient treatment is committing to a stay at a residential rehabilitation establishment. Staff will be present 24/7 and a set routine will quickly be put into place. This includes intensive counselling sessions on a one-to-one basis as well as group therapy.

Daily physical exercise tailored to a person’s ability will be taken and set meal times are established. The recovering addict must agree to abide by the establishment rules and it goes without saying that substance use of any kind is forbidden.

Additional benefits include an environment where everything is geared to recovery with ample time and space for personal reflection. Comfortable accommodation and extensive facilities add to the effectiveness of the healing process.

Costs vary dependent upon the establishment chosen. Many accept approved personal health insurance policies to cover partial or full payment for this comprehensive addiction treatment option.

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