Alternatives to The Twelve-Step Program 60

Alternatives to The Twelve-Step Program

For those suffering from addiction, the Twelve-Step Program is the world’s most famous method of recovery. It was introduced back in 1939 in The Alcoholics Anonymous ‘Big Book’ as it’s come to be known.

It’s since helped many more than one hundred men (and women) and has been only slightly adapted over the years. Regardless of small changes, the core principles of admitting alcohol/narcotic dependency, believing that God can restore health, and making amends to others hurt during one’s addiction are retained.

While this program has had many successes in helping thousands across the world to overcome their addictions, there are two main criticisms:

  • It doesn’t work for everyone, and;
  • It is founded on faith in a Higher Power.

Some people try this famous program, lauded as the ultimate key to sobriety, only to be disappointed and feel a sense of hopelessness that something that has worked for so many hasn’t worked for them.

Others are put off that belief in God is required to truly embody the program, which some people simply don’t align with.

It’s important to remember that the Twelve-Step Program is far from the only addiction management and recovery method out there. Every individual is different; therefore, a one-size-fits-all approach to addiction (or indeed anything) is impossible.

Here are some other recovery programs that have facilitated recovery from addiction for many people around the globe.

SMART Recovery

This organization focuses on cognitive behavioral therapies that help addicts to adapt their reactions, thought processes and dependencies into healthier habits. It helps those with alcohol and drug dependency recognize the emotional and environmental factors behind their problems and learn to manage addictive behaviors. SMART is committed to evolving its program as scientific knowledge evolves; remaining active rather than static where addiction treatment is concerned.

If this sounds like something you’d like to try, there are over 635 groups in the US and 613 international groups – it’s more than likely that there is one in your vicinity.

Women for Sobriety

If you are a woman who feels she would be more comfortable supported by a group of women, this is offered by WFS.

The group was founded in the 1970s by Jean Kirkland, who developed her own way of overcoming addiction and dependency. It centers on bolstering women’s self-value and addresses the individual emotional issues that lay behind each person’s addiction. 

S.O.S.

If Twelve-Steps hasn’t worked or isn’t something you want to try, but you’re open to getting support from a secular organization, then S.O.S. could be an option to explore.

They work on an abstinence-based approach and their groups are free to anyone who wishes to be free from addiction. They are a non-profit organization and cover running costs with donations, which are greatly appreciated by anyone who uses the service or other supporters.

Meetings generally begin with celebrations of sobriety and abstinence anniversaries, followed by discussions and group activities. They aim to create a positive, buoyant atmosphere through which to motivate members. Sharing of advice and strength is promoted and members are encouraged to offer their utmost support to others. 

Besides these examples, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of rehabilitation facilities all over the world that have developed their own recovery programs – it’s down to the individual to choose one that they think will benefit them best. This rehab website from NJ gives details about the SOBA College Recovery which integrates addiction rehabilitation with treatment for coexisting mental health disorders and return to education for young adults.

There are a multitude of options out there – some simple research is sure to find a path right for you.

***

This article is not certified medical advice. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please consult your doctor for medical advice about how it is best for you to begin to change your lifestyle.

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The Importance of Exercise to Your Professional Success 4

The Importance of Exercise to Your Professional Success

In today’s world, most jobs are demanding both physically and mentally. Competition is not always based on the best resume, education, or experience. Having the upper hand in your profession is most likely linked to your ability to think quickly, act appropriately, and carry out difficult duties with the utmost quality.

You need to be able to bring something new, different, and maybe even better to the table. So, how can you get the edge? How can you maximize your professional potential and output?

Believe it or not, the answer to that question might be found outside the workplace. It may be what you do when you are not at work that makes the difference in your work. What is it? EXERCISE, that’s what!

Replace Some Screen Time or Other Time Wasters.

Everyone needs to take a break from the workday. Television, gaming, social media, and video-viewing are what we often go to for this.

Try replacing some of your downtime with exercise, or trying exercising while you are in front of the screen. Exercising instead of sitting will not only help relieve some stress from your day but also help release some built up tension so you can actually rest better at night, helping you be better prepared for the next work day.

Exercising a few hours before bedtime elevates your body temperature. When your body temperature returns to normal, your brain and body are ready to sleep.

Exercise Sharpens Your Thinking.

It is a fact that as we age, our cognitive abilities decline.

While researchers may not have found the cure for dementia-related disorders, they do know that exercise helps delay onset or slow down its progression. Exercising during the years of 25 – 45 can boost the brain chemicals that prevent shrinking of the brain. It has also been shown to create new brain cells and increase proteins found in the brain that help keep thinking skills sharp.

Exercise Reduces Sick Time.

Exercise improves general health functioning and helps build your immunity to illnesses.

It has also been shown to increase our ability to think and work under stress, rather than giving in to the stress and being more susceptible to illness.

This keeps you reporting to work on a regular basis, and taking less sick days. The more you are at work, the more productive you are, and the more your employer values you.

Working Out Increases Your Stamina.

Long work days can leave you drained and listless. If you know you are facing long meetings, strenuous work sessions, or overtime for increased production demands, you can prepare to meet these challenges head-on.

As you exercise, over time your stamina will be able to withstand longer and more strenuous workouts. It also translates into helping you stay sharp during those long, arduous workdays.

Yes, How You Look Does Count.

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While it may never be mentioned, your appearance is noticed by employers, co-workers, interviewers, etc. You do not necessarily need to look like a buff bodybuilder, but having a svelte, strong appearance is a benefit.

Other’s first perception of you is of great importance. Think about interviewing prospective employees. Honestly consider the impact of their first impression on their employment outlook. Healthy looking is definitely a check in the “yes” column.

Energy levels are also higher when you are exercising regularly, and your energy is part of how you are perceived overall. When you start to feel better about yourself, you begin to present a more positive image to your coworkers.

It Boosts Your Confidence.

When you have conquered a goal in your exercise plan, like being able to run an entire mile instead of having to stop and walk some, you know you have accomplished something. You are on your way to bigger and better goals.

There may have been times along the way that you felt like that milestone would never come, but here it is. You feel proud and motivated to keep working toward your next goal. You see the fruits of your labor. You are energized and begin to feel better about yourself overall.

You begin to feel a sense of accomplishment that does not leave when you exit the gym doors. You carry that as a boost in your confidence as you go into work.

Bring the Habits of Exercise to Work.

What else do you learn through exercise? Goal setting, resilience, perseverance, learning new things, taking chances, organizing and managing your time, just to name a few. These are great skills to boost your performance at work, too.

You begin to realize that you can take what you have learned through setting up and sticking with an exercise plan to the workplace. You can use all these skills in your career. As you do, you will become more confident and thus, more effective in your daily tasks.

All of these are learned by starting, committing to, and following through with a fitness plan, and can become more of a life plan.

If you are looking for a job, being physically fit might not get you the job, but it will definitely help your chances. Your first impression is incredibly important, so do not brush off exercise and fitness lightly.

Exercise has so many benefits like sharpening thinking, building stamina, increasing energy, reducing negative effects of stress, building immunity, and boosting self-confidence. This can really help you in your professional success.

The benefits extend beyond your exercise time.

They stay with you day in and day out. If you are not currently exercising regularly, just start today, doing something small. Some sit-ups in front of the television, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, cleaning up your diet, or increasing your walking pace as you move around the office are good ways to get started. You will feel the benefits, even with these small steps.