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Friday, October 28, 2016

6 Healthy Ways to Release Emotional Tension

There are a lot of emotions tangled up with getting sober. You may be anxious or angry, or frustrated at times – and you may not even full understand why. When you’re overwhelmed by your emotions, you may just want to cram them in a box and deal with them later. But that’s a slippery slope that can lead to relapse. Instead, it’s best to find a healthy way to identify and cope with your feelings. Here are some simple ideas to release your thoughts and worries.
  • Get creative. Creativity is a great outlet for your emotions, whether that means painting, writing poetry, singing, dancing, or playing an instrument. Find which creative outlet helps you work out your feelings.
  • Confide in a trustworthy person. Hopefully, you feel comfortable talking to your parents about your inner thoughts. However, if you don’t, seek support from another trusted adult like an aunt or uncle, teacher, or guidance counselor.
  • Write it out. Journaling, or writing down your thoughts and emotions, is a simple way to identify your emotions and then let them go. Sit down for 15 minutes each day and write down whatever comes to mind – don’t try to edit yourself or sensor any thoughts.
  • Take a deep breath. Formally practicing deep breathing – whenever you feel angry, upset, frustrated, stressed or anxious – is an excellent way to reduce those negative feelings and calm down. Breathe from the diaphragm, inhaling deeply for five counts and exhaling slowly for five counts.
  • Practice meditation. Many young people find meditation helpful. This simple mind-body technique can help you fully feel your emotions (without distraction) and move through “stuck” feelings into a place of healing.
  • Let yourself laugh and cry. It’s OK to feel your emotions fully; it may even make you feel better. Give yourself permission to have a good guffaw or bout of tears once in a while. 
Finding Emotional Support at Hope Academy
A host of emotions inevitably arise as you begin working toward your sobriety goals. The professionals at Hope Academy can teach you to manage these feelings without resorting to substance abuse. To learn more, call 866-930-4673.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Why Young Adults Smoke Cigarettes (And Why They Need to Quit Now)

A new Cornell University study of young adults, published in the journal Health Economics, found that weight control – not peer pressure nor wanting to be “cool” or even an addiction to nicotine – is a major factor in cigarette smoking, vaping, and chewing nicotine replacement gum.  

Among frequent adolescent smokers, 46 percent of girls and 30 percent of boys smoke in part for weight management, according to researchers. And girls who said they were “much too fat” were nearly 225 percent more likely to smoke than girls satisfied with their weight. Being overweight was less of a predicator for smoking for boys, however. 

Sure, nicotine has been shown to be an appetite suppressant but smoking cigarettes is far from a magic bullet when it comes to weight loss. Besides, the damage to your body caused by smoking far exceeds the risks of a few extra pounds. “You’d have to gain about 100 pounds to equal the negative health consequences of being a pack-a-day smoker, Pat Folan, RN, DNP, the director of the North Shore-LIJ Center for Tobacco Control in Great Neck, NY, told

In addition, young adults who begin smoking by their early 20s are more likely to continue in adulthood.  

Quit Smoking Timeline: How Your Body Recovers
Luckily, there’s never a bad time to quit -- and the sooner you do, the sooner your body can start healing from the thousands of toxic substances you’re inhaling from cigarettes. It’s pretty amazing how quickly you’ll feel better, too. 
  • 24 hours later your risk of heart attack drops.
  • Two days later your sense of smell and taste returns.
  • After three days, your breathing improves.
  • After one week, your blood pressure falls.
  • After 3 months, skin tone improves.
  • After one year, your risk of cardiovascular disease is halved.
  • After five years, your risk of stomach, mouth, throat, esophageal, and lung cancer is halved.
  • After 10 years, your risk of lung, mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, and kidney cancer continues to drop.
  • After 15 years, your risk of cancer is the same as that of a nonsmoker.
Addiction Treatment for Young Adults
At Hope Academy, our young adult program is designed to help you change destructive behaviors and make lasting changes that will have a positive impact on your life and long-term health. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Recovery Dating Rules

In general, the golden rule about dating in recovery is to avoid it during the first year of sobriety.

Once you’ve passed that recovery milestone, however, you may be ready to get back on the dating scene and find a companion with whom you can have a healthy lasting relationship.

You’ll likely feel unprepared and uneasy – but don’t we all when it comes to dating? This may be especially true if you have a history of unhealthy romances. Luckily, the many life skills you’ve learned during recovery will help. You might also want to work with your therapist or addiction counselor to develop a sober dating plan, which may include some healthy dating goals.

Here are some more things to consider when you’re ready to start dating.

• Go slow and focus on gradually building a long-term relationship.
• Pick a partner you'll feel proud to one day introduce to your family and friends.
• Look for a dependable date with a steady job.
• Date someone who appreciates and respects you.
• Choose someone with shared interests, hobbies, and values.

• Go out with a person who is in active addiction, whether drugs, alcohol, or a behavioral addiction.
• Fall for someone who is married or emotional unavailable.
• Text, call, or email the person daily, even if you can’t wait to see him/her again. The goal is to go slow and to get to know one another through the course of dating.

Get Aftercare at Hope Academy

Upon returning home from rehab, it’s all-too-easy to gravitate to former patterns, dangerous environmental triggers, and toxic relationships, so we created a supportive transition between treatment completion and the return home to give you the best chance at sustained sobriety. To learn more, call: 855-221-1717.

Friday, October 7, 2016

New Staggering Statistics on Depression

It’s Mental Illness Awareness Week, October 2 through 8, and Mental Health America (MH) just released some surprising new statistics about depression in America. The numbers are drawn from one of nine screens available within MHA’s online screening program, which began in 2014, and has been used by 1.7 million people. 

Some notable findings include: 
  • 66% of screeners are under 25; 32% are under 18
  • 59% are found to have serious depression
  • 37% of 11-17 year olds score in the range for severe depression
  • 32% of all screeners report they have significant thoughts of suicide or self-harm
  • Among screeners who self-identify as youth and LGBT, 41% score for severe depression
Spotting the Signs of Depression
While the symptoms of depression are different in everyone, there are a few warning signs you should keep an eye out for, according to the National Institute of Mental Health: 
  • Feeling sad or "empty"
  • Feeling hopeless, irritable, anxious, or guilty
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Feeling very tired
  • Inability to concentrate or remember details
  • Trouble sleep or sleeping too much
  • Overeating, or lack of appetite 
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
Don’t let the stigma surrounding mental illness stop you or someone you love from asking for help, seeing a therapist, or even acknowledging that you might be depressed. If left untreated, depression can lead to suicide, and tragically, suicide is the third leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 24. 

Addiction and Clinical Depression Treatment
Young adults often self-medicate to deal with their mental illness and become addicted to these medications on top of alcohol and other drugs. Mixing substances is a dangerous and potentially lethal way to deal with depression. Hope Academy is one of few CA addiction treatment centers equipped to treat dual-diagnosis patients. To learn more, call: 866-930-4673.

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