Overcoming addiction can often be a complicated long slow and painful process. Many people recover from an addiction on their own and there are those that require a rehabilitation program such as SHARP. No matter which way you choose, the necessary basic steps to recovery are the same. The first step to recovery is finding meaning in your life by replacing your addiction with interests that challenge and engage you.

Often this means reconnecting with a meaningful hobby, person or other before your addiction started. In some instances it means taking up new interests that can replace your relationship with addiction. The second step is to participate in some form of exercise which is an antidepressant and is known to relieve stress and help you think clearly.

Exercise encourages the brain to release its own psychoactive chemicals such as endorphins that triggers the reward path and promotes a feeling of happiness and well being. Outdoor exercises helps to reconnect you with nature which has a calming effect. Both these steps lead to a positive outcome whereby you become reinvested in your community and in other people.

To recover completely from addiction, you need to re-enter the social world where there is a support system that discourages substance abuse. Once you have decided to kick the habit you will have to define exactly what, when and how you want to make the change. The third step is to define your SMART goals – be specific, measurable, achievable, and realistic and time based.

If you should require treatment, bear in mind that treatment works more effectively when it is tailored to your needs. No matter where you start, you need to understand that lifestyle change and addiction treatment will take time as there are no quick fixes. In the event of a relapse, this should not be reviewed as a failure, but rather as a potentially useful part of your recovery program. Relapse helps you to identify triggers and in turn plan a stronger recovery strategy.

Here is what a yogi has to say from a non religious perspective: