Sometimes the ever constant talk about what you should be doing in recovery can really get in the way of your flow. Basically, we sometimes have to get creative with recovery, switch up routines and try some new things for awhile. Just because some things flow for awhile, doesn’t mean they will keep flowing like that. Find a way to get your flow going in recovery and how to get started.
What Flow Means
When we engage our minds creatively, psychologists call this ‘flow.’ this state of mind is considered an ‘optimal state of consciousness’ where we feel and perform our best. We don’t have to just be drawing or painting to flow. Sometimes we can just be losing yourself in an activity and feeling really good about how things are going right now. In addiction recovery, it can feel like finding flow is hard because of the sense of regret and fear from being saddled down with addiction. It helps to focus on what is healthy and brings good energy. Once you start to embrace those activities, it will be easier to ease into the flow.
Go with the Flow
A state of flow is really a state of mind. Flow may be the secret key to happiness. The simple act of occupying yourself with an activity can be helpful, but it is not always about that. It is often just letting yourself be free to do things without them existing for a purpose. The prefrontal cortex can be deactivated in flow, which allows people to simply exist and create without self-consciousness or judgment. When we do things we love, our brain releases dopamine, which is a natural antidepressant. Finding more ways to stimulate dopamine production is the key to sustaining a long recovery.
How to Flow
Flow happens differently for each person. Some find it in creative, hands-on activities. Some are able to feel flow while painting, drawing, writing, jewelry-making. But a person can also find flow while running, playing basketball, cleaning, or making dinner. Some people even find flow at work. Studies have show a person’s ability to enter a flow state is not linked to intelligence. The more people who are positive and motivated the more likely they are to enter a flow state. Maybe you need:
- To push yourself to a new level
- Find something you enjoy
- Do something for the sake of doing it for fun
- Other people who are into the flow with you (think yoga, hiking, art classes)
Recovery is a tough thing to go through, but creative space can increase the flow with which you experience recovery from addiction. Many people come into recovery with high levels of anxiety, some with trauma. Creative activities help release tension and soothe parts of the brain where your survival instincts kick in. This should build a feeling of safety and offer a place of refuge, even if only for a few moments during the day. Soon enough you’ll feel in the flow more often than not and like you are enjoying recovery (just a little bit), too.
Finding your flow in recovery starts with making the decision to quit using drugs or alcohol and start taking your life back from addiction. Call us to let us help guide you through how to do this, one step at a time. If you are struggling, let us help: call 561-277-3088 to get started.