You remember how you felt when you got high for the first time; it was intense, fun, and one of the reasons you kept using. Assuming that you’re now in recovery, you may think that those highs are a thing of the past. I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong. Instead of using drugs or alcohol to get high, try one or more of seven fun activities that really get your endorphins and help you achieve a natural high.
Whether you enjoy yoga, dance, running, swimming, or organized sports, get high when you get active. The natural high that comes from sports stems from the release of endorphins, neurotransmitters, or chemicals in your brain. They activate your brain receptors, the same ones that respond to opiates, and they increase pleasure and your immune system while decreasing pain and hunger.
Georgia Institute of Technology scientists discovered that the runner’s high occurs after you run hard or ride bike for at least 50 minutes. I know that sounds like a lot of exercise, especially if you’re new to physical activity; however, choose a fun physical activity, talk to your doctor about starting an exercise regimen and then begin working toward achieving the natural runner’s high that comes from regular exercise.
While it lowers your heartbeat and relieves tension and anxiety, meditation also offers the endorphin release you crave as it changes your brain’s structure. Learn how to achieve a natural high via meditation when you watch an instruction DVD or attend a class led by a professional. As a bonus, I love the fact that meditation is a beneficial discipline anyone can perform at home, at work or in any other environment either alone or with others who support your sobriety.
Many addicts don’t want to replace an addiction to substances with an addiction to sex, and I agree; however, orgasm produces a warm glow and releases feel-good endorphins. So, enjoy sex with your committed partner as often as possible and stay high naturally while you have fun and bond.
Laughter does more than turn your frown upside down. It also increases the amount of endorphins in your body. Without spending a ton of money, take advantage of this natural high and rent a funny movie, read through a joke book, or watch a comic perform live or on TV. Then, laugh your way to a natural high whenever you want.
Helping others does more than meet their needs. Your acts of volunteer service also give you a blissful high that lasts for days. I recommend finding a cause you’re passionate about, such as cuddling cats at the animal shelter, tutoring kids after school or playing games at the senior center. When you give back, you improve life for others, show your gratitude for your sobriety and enjoy a healthy high.
Delicious and creamy, dark chocolate contains all the pleasure you need, including a sweet taste and chemicals that prompt your brain to release endorphins and serotonin, the brain’s antidepressant. Enjoy chocolate in moderation every day as you stay sober and naturally high.
Brag About Your Sobriety
No one likes a show off, but proudly sharing your sobriety produces a natural high that’s far better than any high drugs or alcohol produce. Start by telling your transformation story at an AA or NA meeting, in your small group at church or with close family members. As you speak from the heart to whomever will listen, your story gives you a natural high and keeps you and others motivated to remain sober.
I know the highs you got during your drug or alcohol addiction offered pleasure, but seven activities give you the same feeling. Plus, they’re healthy, natural and inexpensive. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and you can do just that without substances when you find natural highs.