Woman in pink exercise gear stretching her arm.

How Can I Listen to What My Body is Telling Me About My Health?

If you pay close attention, you can catch certain signs about your health by listening to cues from your body.

One thing to keep in mind is that every person is different, so it is essential to learn your own body cues. Various health indicators can show up in different ways from person to person.

How to Listen to Health Cues from Your Body

The first way to make sure that you are ready to listen to your body’s cues about your health is to make sure that you know what is normal for you.

To get used to your baseline health indicators, you can keep a journal of how you are feeling daily. You don’t have to limit yourself to writing down just physical changes—tracking your emotions and mental health is beneficial, too.

There are many apps out there that you can use to log how you are feeling each day. Of course, writing things down in a notebook or journal works too.

By tracking your health and any changes each day, over time, you will have a good understanding of your general health and well-being, and you will be able to notice small changes that could be significant.

If you notice something unusual, consider doing a little research to clarify or isolate your concerns. While online research is certainly not a substitute for medical care, it can give you a little more clarity on the topic and allow you to explain your concerns to your doctor better.

Listening to your body and paying attention to any changes is crucial for your health, especially as you move forward in your sobriety journey.

A sober living home facility can be beneficial in many ways. If you are interested in learning more about this option, contact us today at Tharros House.

Woman relaxing with a cup of coffee

Relaxation Techniques for Times of Stress

One way you can help manage your feelings of stress is to begin practicing relaxation techniques. When you think about relaxing, the first thing that comes to mind might be enjoying a hobby or experiencing peace of mind. However, there is much more to it than that.

What Does Relaxation Do for Me?

Relaxation is a process that allows you to decrease the amount of stress on your body. By incorporating relaxation techniques as a daily part of your life, you can learn to cope with everyday stressors better. Additionally, relaxation techniques are useful in helping you manage long-term stress or health issues caused by stress—such as heart disease.

Relaxation Techniques to Work On

Many different relaxation techniques can be effective, so it is vital to find the right ones for you. Below are some standard relaxation techniques.

  • Visualization – To use this relaxation technique, simply begin visualizing mental images that allow you to imagine a peaceful and calm setting. It is helpful to sit somewhere comfortable and quiet and to close your eyes.
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation – When using the progressive muscle relaxation technique, you begin by tensing and then slowly relaxing each group of muscles. This process helps you become more aware of physical sensations and learn to distinguish between tensing and relaxing.
  • Autogenic Relaxation – With this relaxation technique, you will use both awareness of your body and visual imagery to reduce your stress levels. Simply repeat phrases or words in your mind that help you relax and reduce muscle tension. For example, think about being somewhere peaceful and focus on breathing in and out slowly and lowering your heart rate.

Relaxation techniques are a simple way you can work on reducing your stress levels.

Tharros House

Tharros House is a sober living community in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Contact us today to learn more about what we have to offer.

Addiction to drinking and gambling in Massachusetts

What Constitutes Addiction?

The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as a primary chronic disease of brain reward, memory, motivation, and related circuitry, which is reflected in an individual pursuing reward or relief by substance abuse. Addiction to nearly any substance can have a substantial negative impact on your life and the lives of those around you.

What Are the Basic Characteristics of Addiction?

Multiple unhealthy emotional responses or behaviors typically characterize addiction. Some examples of these behaviors and emotional responses include:

  • Impairment in behavioral control
  • Dysfunctional emotional responses
  • Cravings
  • Inability to abstain from using a substance or engaging in an activity
  • Diminished recognition of interpersonal and behavioral problems.

Additionally, substance abuse and dependence can cause impaired perception, learning, impulse control, and judgment. Because of these effects, individuals who suffer from addiction can have a hard time recognizing the extent of their problems. When someone with an addiction seeks out help, it is often due to close family or friends encouraging them to get help for their addiction, rather than seeking help on their own accord.

Signs of Addiction

If you believe that you or someone you care about is suffering from an addiction, there are some signs and indicators that you should be aware of that can help you move forward with seeking help. These signs include:

  • Excessive use of alcohol or drugs
  • Excessive time spent recovering from the usage of alcohol or drugs
  • Substantial focus on pursuing addictive substances
  • Adverse physical and emotional consequences from substance use
  • Worsening preoccupation with drugs or alcohol
  • Lack of desire to give up problematic behavior

Tharros House

For individuals who have suffered from an addiction in the past and are now living a sober life, moving into a sober living home can offer many benefits. Contact us today at Tharros House to find out if our sober living residence is a good fit for you.

Man screaming in anger after being triggered

What Kinds of Triggers May Cause an Addiction Relapse?

If you are recovering from an addiction to any substance, it is crucial that you become aware of common triggers that could potentially lead to a relapse. By understanding what could trigger or lead to a relapse, you can make sure to avoid these triggers so that you can continue living a sober life.

What Is a Trigger for Addiction?

Any social, emotional, or environmental situation that brings up memories of drug or alcohol use in the past or encourages you to revisit this time period in your life is considered a trigger. Triggers can stir up strong emotions that may give you the impulse to go back to using a substance that you formerly abused.

Although experiencing a trigger does not necessarily mean that you will relapse as a result, triggers can make it more challenging to resist the cravings that they produce. When you are happily living a sober life, experiencing a trigger event is an unwanted distraction.

What Common Triggers Can Cause a Relapse?

One of the most common triggers that can lead to an addiction relapse is stress. It is difficult to live a life completely void of any stress, so if stress is a trigger for you, it can be helpful to find ways to strengthen your coping skills. With stronger coping skills, the stress you experience in life may not have such a negative impact.

Other triggers that you should be aware of when it comes to addiction relapse include:

  • Certain feelings and emotions, such as feeling angry, tired, or lonely
  • Social isolation
  • Romantic relationships under certain circumstances
  • Situations in which drugs or alcohol are readily available
  • Mental or physical illness
  • Moving to a new residence
  • Changing jobs
  • Other people, particularly those with whom you used to abuse substances

Tharros House

If you live a sober lifestyle and are actively working to avoid triggers and setbacks to maintain your sobriety, a sober living home might be the right choice for you. Give us a call today to learn more about Tharros House and find out if we can help.

Woman laying down smoking in Massachusetts

What Are the Best Ways to Quit Smoking?

Many people decide to quit smoking once they realize the negative impact of the habit on their overall health. Fortunately, once a smoker does quit, there are significant health benefits that take place almost immediately.

Why Is Smoking So Addictive?

Smoking is an addictive habit due to the active ingredient in tobacco called nicotine.

When you smoke cigarettes, your brain quickly adapts to the nicotine, causing you to crave more and more of the chemical to feel the way you did after your first cigarette.

Over time, your brain begins to predict when you are ready to smoke a cigarette, then you have one, and then the cycle repeats again.

How to Quit Smoking, Once and For All

It probably won’t come as a surprise that the most challenging days of quitting smoking are the first few days.

Although it probably will not be easy to get through the first couple of days after quitting, it is essential to stick with it.

One helpful way to quit smoking is to choose a day and commit to being done with smoking that day and beyond. Having an end date that you commit to will make the process feel final and give you a better chance at success.

Another way to quit smoking is to make a list of all of the reasons you want to stop smoking and write down all of the benefits you will gain once you achieve your goal. Having a plan written out in front of you with reminders of why you are quitting in the first place can help you focus on your goal and move forward.

You may also want to consider nicotine replacement patches, gum, or prescription medications that can help curb cravings. These options can be extremely helpful.

Tharros House

Tharros House in Massachusetts is a sober living home facility where individuals can live and work on maintaining their sobriety in a collaborative atmosphere. Give us a call today to learn more about how we may be able to help you.

MRI scan of the brain

What is Addiction?

According to the American Psychiatric Association, addiction or substance use disorder is a complex condition in which someone uses a substance in an uncontrolled manner despite harmful consequences.

Individuals who suffer from addiction focus on using a particular substance (or multiple substances), such as illicit drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, to the point where their ability to function in day-to-day life becomes impaired.

People addicted to a substance continue to use the substance, even when they know it is causing problems.

Why Do People Become Addicted to Substances?

Not everyone who tries drugs, alcohol, or tobacco will become addicted to those substances.

While no one knows exactly what causes someone to become addicted to a substance, we know that there may be changes in the brain structure and function of someone using certain substances, which may contribute to an addiction.

The changes in brain structure and function cause people to have intense cravings for a particular substance and may also lead to changes in personality and behaviors. In fact, brain imaging studies have been conducted that show changes in the brain area related to decision making, judgment, memory, learning, and behavioral control.

When someone repeatedly uses or abuses a substance, they may change the way that their brain functions. These changes can be immediate (during the intoxication period), or the changes may occur at a later time.

Intoxication symptoms differ for each substance, so the specific effects vary depending on the substance being abused.

Tharros House and Sobriety

When a person decides to conquer their addiction and live a sober lifestyle, a sober living facility can be a helpful step in this process.

Living among others facing the same challenges as you can be beneficial in many ways. Contact us today at Tharros House to find out more about how we can help you continue with your sober lifestyle.

Girl working out, trying sober things to do during Covid in Boston Massachusetts

Sober Things to Do During Covid

With many places shutting down and the ongoing limitations on in-person gatherings and activities, sober individuals may have difficulty finding sober activities to engage in. Fortunately, there are still many different things to do so that former addicts can continue to avoid activities that could trigger a relapse.

Covid-19 Restrictions and Sobriety

It is no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic that the world is currently facing may cause added stress and some complex challenges for everyone as we all attempt to move forward. For sober individuals, dealing with these additional stressors can make them more likely to suffer a relapse. This is particularly true for people who have poor coping skills. In order to continue on a sober path, it can be helpful to stay busy and participate in a variety of activities to occupy your time.

What Are Some Ideas for Sober Things to Do During the Pandemic?

There are still plenty of things to do for fun despite the pandemic. Although the weather is getting colder, outdoor activities such as hiking, running, and going for walks are still great ideas, even in a pandemic. These activities allow for plenty of social distancing while also giving you the added health benefits of exercise.

Other sober things to do include reading books and listening to audiobooks. Reading or listening to a book are great ways to engage your mind and learn new things. For those who enjoyed reading before the pandemic—now is an excellent time to continue enjoying this hobby that you love. For others, now is as good of a time as any to give reading a shot as a new hobby.

Tharros House

Tharros House is a sober living facility in the Boston, Massachusetts, area. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you maintain your sober lifestyle.

Man and woman holding up home blocks for sober living house

How Do Sober Living Homes Work?

Sober living homes are group living residences for people who are in the process of recovery from addiction. Most sober living homes have a set of house rules that the residents must follow in order to live there. The most critical house rule is that the residents must remain sober and free from substance abuse.

Residents of sober living homes also often contribute to the house in different ways, such as completing chores based on a schedule. A structured living environment like a sober living home can be a great way for someone to adjust to life during and after treatment.

There are many people that use sober living homes to help them in the transition from rehab to independent living. Generally, those living in sober living homes can come and go as they please as long as they are following certain rules established by the home. For example, residents may be required to be home by a particular time or may have a curfew.

Who Can Live in Sober Living Homes?

There are some basic requirements for individuals who are considering living in a sober living environment. Most importantly, residents of sober living homes must be sober and be committed to remaining sober while they live in the home.

In the majority of cases, sober living home residents have already completed a substance abuse rehabilitation program before they move in. Residents who have already started living a sober lifestyle and have begun learning tools to help keep them sober tend to be more successful with adjusting to a sober living environment.

Tharros House and Sober Living

Tharros House is a sober living home in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Sober living homes offer many benefits to someone who is in recovery from addiction and wants to live with other sober individuals before living independently. Give us a call today for fill out the contact form on our site to learn more about how a sober living home can help you maintain your sobriety.

Woman in yoga clothes meditating to battle addiction in park.

Does Meditation Help with Addiction?

Meditation has been found to support addiction recovery since it can help you feel calm, cope with triggers, and ultimately, help you to avoid a relapse. Although meditation cannot wholly replace a full addiction treatment program with professional medical support, it can still be a helpful tool.

Many rehabilitation facilities include mindfulness and meditation as therapy techniques. Whether you are currently battling an addiction, in treatment, or have been sober for many years, practicing meditation can be incredibly beneficial for your recovery.

What is Meditation?

Meditation is a mind and body activity that is intended to promote feelings of calmness and relaxation. It can also help people improve their well-being and cope with illnesses.

You can begin meditating by sitting comfortably in a quiet environment. Next simply and effortlessly notice your thoughts as they come and go, allowing internal and external distractions to pass by without assessing them. Meditation may also involve deep and purposeful breathing during times of stress.

There are two main types of meditation. These types include guided meditation and unguided meditation. To practice guided meditation, a trained meditation or mental health professional will guide you through the session and work with you. Unguided meditation simply refers to meditation that is practiced on your own.

How Does Meditation Help Someone with an Addiction?

For those dealing with drug and alcohol addictions, everyday stressors can be challenging to cope with and may even contribute to a relapse. Multiple studies have concluded that mindful meditation can reduce certain symptoms like anxiety, depression, poor sleep, and drug cravings. Meditation can also help people feel more aware of their thoughts and have better control over their emotions.

Compassion with Meditation

As you begin to simply allow thoughts and distractions to come and go, you may notice all kinds of wanted and unwanted thoughts / emotions. This is completely normal. It is important to keep an open mind no matter what comes up, and understand that there are people everywhere experiencing very much the same thing.

By sitting and allowing without getting involved, it is allowing your mind and body to activate its natural healing capabilities. Much of the excess thoughts and feelings are simply reverberations of past experiences, so this sitting meditation allows all of the noise to pass by. At first it may seem daunting, but as with anything, practice makes perfect.

Sober Living at Tharros House

Tharros House is a sober living community located near Boston, Massachusetts. Sober living communities are a great place for sober individuals to thrive and continue working on their sobriety among peers who share similar goals. Contact us today so that we can help you decide if our sober living community is right for you.

Man with cloud of cigarette smoke wondering if he is addicted to something.

How Do I Know If I Am Addicted to Something?

People can enjoy many pleasurable activities in a healthy way that does not cross the threshold of addiction. However, sometimes the line between healthy enjoyment of an activity and developing an addiction to it can be crossed without someone even realizing it.

What Is an Addiction?

The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as a chronic disease that impacts the brain’s motivation, reward, and memory functions. A person with an addiction will feel as though they crave that substance—and may even ignore other areas of their life in order to fulfill their desires and support their addiction.

What Are Some Typical Signs of Addiction?

While addiction may be hard to recognize at first, there are some indicators of addiction that everyone should be aware. This may help you notice it as soon as possible in order to turn it around. Some signs of addiction include:

  • An inability to stop engaging in a behavior or using a substance
  • Lack of control
  • Decreased socialization and neglecting relationships
  • Ignoring risk factors, such as sharing needles even though there could be severe health consequences to doing so
  • Physical effects, such as experiencing withdrawal symptoms

For someone with an addiction, it can be challenging to recognize that the addiction exists and take steps to overcome it. Many addicts will continue to find ways to continue and justify their behavior. It can be beneficial and even life-changing for supportive people in their lives to get them help if they begin noticing these signs of addiction.

Tharros House Sober Living Home

Tharros House is a sober living home that can be found in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Sober living homes are an excellent option for people who have gotten sober and wish to maintain their sobriety and live among other sober individuals. Contact us today at Tharros House in order to learn more about how we can help you continue and strengthen your sobriety.