Why Practicing Kindness in Recovery Matters
The recovery process can take a heavy toll on your mind and body. Some people may find themselves struggling to maintain a positive outlook in recovery as they go through the ups and downs of detox, withdrawal, as well as life and social changes.
Even if it’s the last thing you want to do, prioritizing your mental health care in those instances is more important than ever. Taking care of your mental health is one of the most influential factors in helping you shift out of a negative or dismal mindset to one that is healthy and optimistic.
One of the best ways you can do this is by practicing kindness.
Practicing kindness in recovery is one of the best things you can do for yourself, your mental health and of course, every person who is the direct recipient of your kindness (not to mention the ripple effect that acts of kindness create).
In this article, we’re going to discuss the importance of practicing kindness in recovery, as well as give you 10 of the best ways you can do so.
Why practicing kindness matters
The state of our mental health is one of the most influential factors in our lives.
When our mental health is suffering, our physical health does as well. We’re prone to take less care of ourselves, eat and drink less, abuse substances and worse. Partaking in consistent, intentional mental health care helps bring us back from the edge when we find ourselves engaging in unhealthy behaviors.
One of the simplest ways to take care of our mental health is by practicing kindness.
Benefits of kindness
There are two forms of kindness you can practice: words of kindness and acts of kindness, and both provide an abundance of benefits.
Some of the benefits of practicing kindness include:
- Improved immune system
- Strengthened heart and mental health
- Eased and reduced anxiety
- Boost of “happy hormones” (serotonin and dopamine)
- Strengthens builds, and even heals relationships
The great thing about kindness is that anyone can practice it. You don’t need anything except a desire to make a change in your life and others, and a commitment to the practice.
Acts of kindness
There are many different ways you can practice kindness (far too many to list here), but if you’re having a little difficulty coming up with ideas off the top of your head, we’ve put a few below.
Be kind to yourself
Often the person who receives the brunt of our pessimism and cruelty is ourselves. Somewhere along the way, we forget to remember the childhood version of ourselves that’s still within us. We forget to forgive ourselves we do less-than-good things while in survival mode.
We forget to treat ourselves the way we want to be treated; to be kind to ourselves in the same way we treat people with kindness. This can look like remembering that your addiction did not and does not define you; acknowledging and celebrating how far you’ve come; being patient with yourself; practicing self-compassion.
Respond rather than react
We as humans could save each other a lot of pain if we took the time to choose a response, rather than just indulging our knee-jerk reaction (which typically aren’t very kind). By staying aware of our behavior when we’re in a frustrating or difficult situation, we give ourselves the ability to pause before we think and actually carefully choose a well-intentioned response.
Consistently do small acts of kindness
Sometimes fear or insecurity convinces us that a small act of kindness is nothing; that it’s not worth “bothering” someone with, or that if we can’t do a big act of kindness, we shouldn’t do one at all. All kinds of acts of kindness can be powerful though; imagine how different the world would be if everyone always acted on their urges to do acts of kindness.
When you get an inclination to do something kind and are tempted not to because it isn’t “big enough,” remember that all acts of kindness, regardless of size, can be done with great love.
Get confidential support today
If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder, reach out to us at Freedom Detox.
We specialize in providing inpatient detoxification treatment in a safe and comfortable setting in North Carolina. We have a full medical staff of physicians, psychiatrists, nurses and counselors to help monitor and support you through this stage of your recovery.
We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment, which is why we will work with you personally to create a fully customized medical plan according to your unique needs and goals. Submit a confidential form or call us directly today at 800-475-2312.