Why Maintaining a Hobby is the Secret to Staying Sober

When we were kids, our parents often encouraged us to find hobbies to stay busy and out of trouble. But as we got older, hobbies often began to take a backseat to more responsible tasks, like work, paying bills, and running errands.

However, studies show that maintaining a hobby is essential to a person’s mental health. This part of life is so vital that it’s an integral part of therapy in innovative places like SoCal Sunrise, where hobbies aid people as they recover from substance abuse.

In fact, some experts believe that finding a hobby you’re passionate about could be the secret to getting and staying sober. Hobbies have physical and mental benefits. Here, we’ll discuss how yours could help you avoid falling back on the old habits of substance use in your future.

The Logistics of Hobbies

First, let’s start by defining a hobby. The dictionary definition states that this term refers to anything done regularly in one’s leisure time that brings them pleasure. The downside of this definition is that you could say that using drugs or drinking would qualify as a hobby. So, we’ll be more specific and say that a healthy hobby can help you stay sober.

Healthy hobbies are those done in moderation (anything in an extreme can be dangerous) that have minimal impact on your finances, relationships, and other life factors. A healthy hobby may cost you a little investment in supplies, memberships, or time, but your family and friends likely consider it something that is beneficial and brings value to your life.

Advantages of Hobbies on Your Mind The right hobbies have a plethora of advantages. They keep you busy, so you’re not always thinking about the old, negative habits of using you had. They give you something to do when

you’re stressed and would have otherwise reached out for your preferred substance. Your mind and body stay busy, and you’re distracted from triggers.

The more you choose to engage in your new hobby, the easier you train your brain to replace engaging in unhealthy behaviors with your new, healthier alternatives. One of the main reasons that it’s so difficult to stop using a substance is that your brain rewards using drugs or alcohol with a release of happy hormones like dopamine and serotonin.

You didn’t want to give up that feeling. Now, with a hobby to replace using substances, you get the same dopamine release without the dangerous, addictive side effects.

In addition to keeping you busy by replacing negative patterns, improving your skills in your hobby helps boost your self-esteem. When you have confidence that you bring value to something or can “win” in an area, it becomes easier to get through those periods of depression that would tempt you to backslide.

Other Advantages of Using a Hobby to Stay Sober

When you were using a substance, chances are most of the people you met were also addicts. Your new hobby can bring you into a circle of like-minded people who have healthier habits. Depending on the activity you engage in, you may find yourself getting in better shape because you’re being more physical than you once were.

Your body will slowly recover from the damage done by your time using, although there may be some permanent consequences. As you become healthier and remember what it’s like to feel and think better, you may prefer to stay away from any unhealthy substance to keep your overall wellness in check.

Finding the right hobby to keep you focused may take time. Keep trying different experiences to find out which ones intrigue you and attract your interest. If you’re working with a professional along your recovery journey, talk to them to get started with a few suggestions!

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