The disease of drug and alcohol addiction is spreading like wildfire. The task of breaking the cycle of addiction can be difficult for all parties involved. There is no cure-all for addiction. Not all forms of treatments and therapies work. I highly recommend martial arts as an alternative to combat the disease of drug and alcohol addiction. Martial arts personally helped me in my recovery and it can do the same for yours. Martial arts can be beneficial to your recovery for the following reasons:
Therapy Can Be Uncomfortable
Individual and group therapy is not for everyone, especially those who are introverted. A lot of people who struggle with addiction prefer to keep their personal struggles to themselves. Therapy sessions can be an uncomfortable environment for some. Martial arts can be a great way to break out of your shell and meet people in a positive, comfortable environment. You can build positive relationships with your instructor and fellow students. A martial arts gym is a great place to escape and turn your focus away from addiction. On a side note, it can also be great to take up time and occupy boredom which is important in recovery.
Discipline is essential in recovering from addiction. It takes a lot of discipline to not drink or use drugs. Self-discipline is vital to being successful in martial arts. Learning a form of discipline can also be beneficial in preventing relapse. Self-discipline in martial arts can be an essential tool not just in martial arts but life as well.
Any form of exercise is highly recommended in recovery. A healthy lifestyle is important in recovering from addiction. Breaking addiction is both a physical and mental process. Martial arts is great for conditioning, cardio and muscular health. A healthy body can lead to a healthy mind which is extremely important in the recovery process. The urge to relapse can also be greatly prevented and reduced.
The practice of meditation and mindfulness have become popular tools in treatment and rehab centers. It is believed to be effective in managing cravings and helpful in preventing relapse. Meditation and mindfulness can come in many forms. The idea of meditation and mindfulness is to be aware of the presence of self, surroundings and the present moment. Martial arts is excellent for strengthening spiritual health. Martial arts requires a lot of focus and attention to detail. Martial arts can allow you to focus on the present moment, drawing attention away from cravings and negative thoughts.
A lot of people with a history of drug and alcohol addiction have a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. A dual diagnosis means a struggle with both addiction and some type of mental health issue. I believe this is where martial arts can be extremely beneficial. Martial arts can boost confidence and self-esteem which is important for someone who is recovering from the powerlessness and hopelessness of addiction. Belt advancement can aid in overcoming those feelings. Learning new skills, forms and techniques to advance belts can restore pride, confidence and self-esteem. The positive benefits martial arts can have on mental health are numerous.
Learning some form of self-defense can also be a boost to confidence and self-esteem. While it is a fun and enjoyable skill to learn, it can be useful in harm’s way. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain by learning an art of self-defense. It could save your own life or someone else’s especially in today’s world. Hopefully it never has to be used outside of the gym.
Kevin Repass is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. He is a writer for https://yourfirststep.org/ a south Florida-based company dedicated to providing resources and information to all those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.