Recovery is about mental, emotional, and spiritual growth. Drugs and alcohol were a way for us to stay within our comfort zones. We self-medicated to cope with any and all external stressors and found solace in the immediate comfort provided by intoxication. Sobriety gives us a chance to take on new challenges and gain confidence by overcoming any obstacles that may be in our path. When we move outside of our comfort zone, we begin to grow and develop in ways we never thought possible. There is something comforting about familiarity. However, the longer we stay in a state of familiarity, the less we will be capable of coping with anything outside of the comfort zone we have created. Eventually, anything outside of our familiar routine causes a state of anxiety and panic. According to the Positive Psychology People, “When we panic, this part of the brain stops working. You’ll notice this when you’re highly stressed. You struggle to speak clearly and you literally can’t think.” When we get put into a highly stressed state, we are unable to be productive. The anxiety and fear can easily lead us to seeking peace and solace in a drink or a drug. However, by pushing ourselves into a state between comfort and panic, we enter what is known as “the growth zone.” Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, explained in a New York Times article entitled Tiptoeing Out of One’s Comfort Zone (and of Course, Back In), recognizes that being too far outside of one’s comfort zone can be unproductive. Too much stress can cause negative mental and physical effects. The goal, according to Pink, “is to reach that optimal level so that our skills increase and we become comfortable with that new level of anxiety — then we’re in an expanded comfort zone.” It does not have to be an immediate process of throwing ourselves into stressful and anxiety-producing situations. Rather, we can slowly begin to experience new things that we may have never tried before sobriety– speaking in front of groups, expressing ourselves musically or artistically, talking to others in recovery, are all helpful ways to start growing by placing ourselves slightly outside of our comfort zones.
Your story doesn’t have to be one of diminished mental and spiritual health as a result of addiction. You can make the courageous decision to seek help now and begin building a brighter future in sobriety. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment center in the heart of beautiful Laguna Beach, is staffed with compassionate professionals who understand the disease of addiction from every angle and are dedicated to providing clients with all the tools necessary to achieve and maintain sobriety. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777