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Money Addiction. Does it Exist?

Money is essential in life. You need it to stay afloat in life. However, is it possible for a person to develop an unhealthy dependency on cash? Some money addiction habits are obvious to notice while most are not. It is easy to spot some of these obvious manifestations, such as a money gambler or one who flashes their designer clothes or new luxurious cars. However, the challenge comes in noticing the hidden signs that even you could be having.  Anything can get you addicted. However, money addiction is easily dismissed since there are addictions that are considered worse, such as substance dependence. While money addiction is not as bad as substance dependence, the consequences are equally dire. Dependency on money can undermine integrity and honesty, ruin relationships, destroy careers, and even trigger depression. Let’s break this down to signs of money addiction and how you can beat money addiction.

5 Signs of Money Addiction

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1. You Are Obsessed With Obtaining Money

Your mind is ever preoccupied with the idea of obtaining money or getting more money. Consequently, even your behavior revolves around acquiring money. Such acts may include gambling or buying lottery tickets with the hope of winning and also overworking.

2. Being in Denial

When you are in denial about money addiction, you will tend to be unclear about your earnings, savings, expenditure, and debt. It is common for people to live in an obscure financial situation where you do not know the sum of money in your bank account or the total debt you owe your credit card company. You can also be in denial about your financial status, which may cause you to overspend and live a lifestyle you cannot afford. This will make you get into more financial debt and bankruptcy. Lack of financial goals, such as a retirement plan or saving for rainy days, is also a form of living in denial.  In such cases, you tend to think that a solution will come up when the problem arises, which is unrealistic. Denial does not only happen to irrational spenders and chronic debtors. It can easily happen to people who save excessively and hardly spend the money they have. Such people tend to worry about the numbers in their accounts and believe that the more the money, the happier and more satisfied they will be, but in most cases, the amount in their accounts will never be enough. Denial keeps people from seeking help, even as these behaviors continue to destroy their lives.

3. Self-image Tied to Money

People who have an addiction to money tend to believe that their self-image and self-worth is determined by the amount of money they earn, the money in their bank accounts or how much they spend. The hoarders go to the extent of missing events or social gatherings where they are expected to spend money with the fear of losing it.

4. Involving Yourself in Dangerous Behaviors

This is a common trait in people who are obsessed with money.  You tend to engage in risky behaviors such as gambling, overindulgence in the stock market with the hope of making more money and overspending. This occurs even if the gambler or the over spender cannot afford to make potential losses. However, this behavior of involving yourself in risky behavior to earn more money does not apply to all people who can be termed to be addicted to money.

5. Inability to Change Your Money Habits

You lack control over your money, and you cannot change your money habits despite the horrible consequences that come with your money dependence.  You have probably tried to change, but no solution is working, no matter how hard you try.  You have probably made decisions such as using cash instead of your credit card, but you end up carrying and using your credit card instead or you take some more money from your family savings to hit the casino one last time and swear you will return the money, but this never happens. If this is the case, then you have little to no control over the financial aspect of your life.

Effects of Money Addiction

People who are addicted to money require money to feel happy and satisfied, but the feeling is short-lived, and you end up brainstorming on other ways to make more money. You may also feel the need to keep your destructive behavior private due to the shame that comes with it, and this may cause more impulsive gambling or shopping. The consequences could be as bad as getting divorced, losing all your property, or bankruptcy.  You may lose self-confidence due to these recurring habits and begin to doubt your inherent abilities. Eventually, all of this will trigger depression.

3 Strategies for Beating Money Addiction

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  1. Be Honest With Yourself. If you identified with the signs listed above, you likely have money addiction. Admit it to yourself that you have a problem, and you need to seek help. This is the first step in dealing with money addiction.
  2. Have a Genuine Desire for Change. Consciously and willingly admit that you want to change and make inventories on your spending and study the patterns. This will help you see where your negative money habits are at.
  3. Seek Professional Help. Most times, you are too deep into the addiction and negative habits that you need professional help to help you begin your sober living.

Getting Help from Riviera Sober Living

Riviera is a health and wellness community helping men and women recover from substance use, mental health, and co-occurring disorders. We, at the Riviera Sober Living, have a unique and holistic approach to establishing long-term recovery. These programs also include couples sober living. The Riviera team provides the necessary guidance to support successful recoveries.  people standing on sandy beach, recovery homes in santa monica, halfway house los angeles, sober living homes in los angeles Our personnel dedicates their time to ensure you’re comfortable and have a friendly stay at our homes. Our therapists work with you to identify where the problem stems from and how to help you recover. Our services include treatment and therapy activities. Residents can also come and go as they please, and this creates a balance between the inpatient facility and the real world.  Riviera Sober Living has two facilities. The Palisades House and the Barrington House. The Palisades House is located at Pacific Palisades. It is co-ed with separate bathrooms for each gender and is a short walk to the beach with amazing views of the Pacific Ocean. The Barrington House is in West Los Angeles. The location is all male and a walking distance to various parks and a couple of shops. It is also close to schools such as UCLA, USC, SMC, LMU, and other schools.

Conclusion

Money addiction is an unhealthy dependence on money. Some signs of money addiction are gambling, overspending, or excessively saving.  The signs of money addiction are living in denial and obsessing over obtaining more money. These signs can also portray themselves in habits such as the inability to change unhealthy money habits, the self-image and self-worth of the person tied to the amount of money they have, and involving yourself in risky behaviors to get more money. The effects of dependency on money are undermined integrity and honesty, ruined relationships, destroyed careers, and can even trigger depression. You can cope with money addiction by being honest and coming into terms with your problem, open up to those closest to you and ask for their help. You should also make strong and intentional plans to beat the negative spending patterns you have and by seeking help from health and wellness communities such as Riviera Sober Living. The primary reason to work for money is to be able to purchase your tangible needs. This is the traditional way of thinking about money. Nevertheless, human beings don’t tend to behave in that way. Sometimes getting money only further fuels your urge to get more money. This behavior of human beings tends to be highly influenced by the situations they are in and environments from which they come from. At Riviera Sober Living – West Los Angeles Home, we are a sober house in Los Angeles, and we provide support to people dealing with alcohol and drug use, mental health, and co-occurring disorders. Our personnel and therapists work to ensure a holistic approach to establishing long term recovery. Contact us today and let us help you live a healthy, fulfilling life. Protected by Copyscape
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Facebook and Social Media Addiction

As much as social media has made the world a global village, a section of individuals is engrossed on social media exceedingly. However, companies, politicians, Non-profit organizations, and other people use social media platforms to convey messages to their target audiences. A section of social media users has managed to amass huge followings on the platforms and therefore earning through them by monetizing their activities. This is through promoting and advertising company products and several market brands.  The desire to be influential on social media and commercialization of brands has been on the rise in the recent past. This has resulted in a few millennials feeling pressurized, thus seeking to imitate the lifestyles of celebrities and other online influencers. Since millennials come from all walks of life, they end up living fake lifestyles by posing in posh places in photos, attending high-end events to get affiliated to a certain social class. They end up spending a lot of time on the platforms without realizing they are getting addicted. Approximately 10% of Americans are social media addicts, according to psychologists.

What Extent Is Regarded as Addiction?

As an Individual, if you are greatly concerned about what is happening in various social media platforms or you have a compulsive urge to log onto them, thus spending a lot of time on them, you are considered to be an addict.  Social media addiction can be significantly attributed to the provision of ‘feel-good‘ chemicals such as Dopamine and Serotonin. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat release a similar nervous speedway that recreational drugs and betting give to users. woman taking photo of pizza, sober house los angeles, affordable sober living in los angeles, addiction treatment centers Research studies have shown that the brain centers that are triggered by drugs like Cocaine are responsible for the compelling urge for social media addiction. Social media use has also resulted in poor decision making, whereas social media addicts portray behavioral signs, thoughts, and attitudes similar to drug-addicted individuals. When you post something on social media, and you get appealing responses, the brain releases dopamine a ‘feel-good’ chemical thereby perpetuating a habitual social media behavior.

Using Social Media Networks as a Coping Technique

Some individuals use social media to receive the recognition which they are not accorded in life. Other people use social media to deal with inner battles such as loneliness, depression, and stress. The frequent use finally causes problems like scorning work, school, poor physical health, and irritability, and mood changes. This makes you turn to use of social networks to relieve themselves, thus increasing dependency.

How to Detect Social Media Addiction

Using various social media platforms has become a norm for everyone, and therefore it’s advisable to be cautious not to fall into the cycle of addiction. As an individual, you are therefore encouraged to practice digital detoxification, which comprises a period of spending time away from electronics such as smartphones and laptops. This involves enacting easy steps such as deactivating one or more social networks, logging onto them once or twice every couple of hours, leaving your gadget on in a different room when going to sleep, and self-discipline by not holding your device during mealtime. These self-made rules and regulations enable you to be focused on physical relations, thereby reduction of dependency on social networks. Social media addicts portray nervousness and anxiousness after being away from social media platforms. You may also isolate yourself from your peers and family and a loss of enthusiasm in hobbies you once treasured.

8 Tell-tale Signs of Addiction:

1. Lying on the Duration Spent on Social Networks

The majority of social media addicts tend to feel guilt and shame as you spend a lot of time on social platforms. To cover this up, you opt to lie to your peers and family on time spent on networks since you can’t moderate your behavior as much as you are aware of its wrong.

2. Isolation from Peers and Family

Gradually, social media addiction increasingly consumes your time as an individual. Due to this, you may isolate and withdraw from your loved ones and participate actively in social platforms. man in red crew neck sleeping on a laptop, sober house los angeles, affordable sober living in los angeles

3. Loss Of Enthusiasm In Activities You once Loved

As social media participation progresses, as an addict, you increase your duration spent on social networks. This overindulgence takes up the time that you pursue other interests and hobbies you once loved.

4. Scorning Work and School to Spend Time on Social Networks

Since social media addicts over indulge on social networks actively, you may tend to abscond duties like work and school assignments. This is because you are unable to moderate your time and energy and prioritize other important key areas.

5. Feeling Stressed and Finding Life Meaningless

As an addict, at a certain point, you may feel as if life is meaningless due to boredom. Take into consideration that whatever you see on the social networks by the influencers and celebrities is barely a third of their lives. Also, they mostly highlight spectacular events in their lives, and they also have tight schedules of social networks. Most importantly, keep in mind that you have to work to maintain your lifestyle as well as learn and step out to experience the beauty of life.

6. Interruption of Talks to Log Onto Social Networks

As an addict, you are compelled by social platforms to the extent that you become restless and have difficulty concentrating during conversations with friends and family. Many a time, you may seem distracted and frequently check your smartphone for updates and notifications.

7. Anxiousness, Irritability and Mood Changes

Due to the inability to control your feelings, as an addict, you tend to feel anxious when you can’t regularly check your devices for updates and notifications. As much as you feel guilt afterward, you still do that over and over again.

8. Interferences in Professional and Personal Activities

As an addict, if you are schooling, you may experience poor grades, and missing out deadlines may be shown in the workplace. If you experience the specified signs, it is advisable to consult mental health services to be assessed and get individualized treatment.

Riviera Sober Living

Riviera Recovery is a health and wellness center that helps men and women recover from drug and substance use, mental health disorders as well as co-occurring disorders. Our team of expert health professionals is available 24/7 as needed, and our clients can participate in mandatory house meetings and other social activities. We have a sober living house in Southern California and sober living in West Los Angeles. At our sober living house Los Angeles, we offer services such as couples sober living as well as upscale sober living facilities. Riviera sober living has two house locations that are Pacific Palisades house and the Barrington house.  The Pacific Palisades house offers serenity with beautiful ocean views under the Santa Monica Mountains. It is also co-ed and has separate bathrooms for every gender. The Barrington House is an all-male facility with close proximity to several parks and shops. It has a cozy lounge area and a BBQ at the outdoor patio.  Clients can visit museums, gyms, yoga, and meditation classes since it’s centrally located to Beverly Hills, LAX, and Santa Monica.   men and women at the beach, sober house los angeles, affordable sober living in los angeles At our sober house Los Angeles, we also provide treatment for alcoholism. Alcoholics seeking help for alcohol treatment Los Angeles, 90067, can turn to us to begin your recovery journey. Our medical team of experts facilitate sober living in Los Angeles and is there with you throughout your journey, and they monitor your progress over time. Reach out today to get our help.

Conclusion

As much as anyone can suffer from food addiction, genes play a significant role in an individual’s likelihood of addiction. Factors such as ethnicity and gender also increase food addiction risks. Environmental factors like peer pressure, lack of parental guidance, and economic status also increase addiction likelihood.  Just like any addiction type, food addiction can be mitigated and treated. To increase the chances of full recovery and reduce relapse after some years, a twelve-step program and abstinence from the addictive foods should be considered by medical experts.  Since addicts react differently, even upon using similar foods, medical experts use personalized treatment plans for each person. As an addict, consult your medical service provider for help as soon as possible and start the recovery process
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Motivational Enhancement Therapy

Often the hardest aspects of recovery is changing our thought processes and actions, especially while dealing with various life challenges stemming from past trauma, depression, anxiety, and other byproducts of addiction. Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) is a motivational style of counseling that employs principles of Motivational Interviewing, a technique that itself was developed by two clinical psychologists, Stephen Rollnick, and William R. Miller. MET offers itself as an alternative to 12-step programs and is a form of addiction therapy that helps patients in recovery to overcome uncertainty related to a change in their self-destructive drug or alcohol behavior. It is well known that substance abuse alters the wiring of the brain, affecting neural circuits associated with pleasure, mood, and even one’s sleep-wake cycle. Consequently, it also affects a persons’ way of thinking, their decision-making abilities, how they take in knowledge, their memory, and management of performance. The primary aim of MET is all about motivating someone to face and change their damaging behaviors. As you may well know, that often even though people who have an addiction are aware of the negative impact their habit has on their lives and those around them, they are not willing to change or are not able to change their behavior. Motivational enhancement therapy is a form of communication that helps the patient to see inconsistencies in their self-destructive behavior and move them from a pre-contemplation state to one of action. MET applies particular focus on areas where he or she is hesitant about introducing potentially beneficial actions in their life, thus overcoming ambivalence. 

MET is based on five fundamental tenets:

  1.     Creating an environment of trust by expressing empathy, listening, and understanding their experiences and feelings to help an individual see their destructive behaviors
  2.     Developing discrepancy and elaborate on various incongruities by promoting differentiation in the patient’s mind to clearly show them where they are currently in their state of abusing drugs or alcohol and where they would like to be in a substance-free future.
  3.     During a MET interview, a therapist will do all they can to avoid arguments that may result in the client being distrustful, resistant, and oppositional. Instead, they will use techniques that will ultimately encourage trust and comfort.
  4.     MET counselors are trained to understand resistance to change instead of confronting it head-on, meaning they neutralize opposition by listening and being attentive without judgment or defensiveness. This is an effective way to promote trust and lower the levels of hostility.
  5.     A MET therapist will support a client’s self-efficacy by offering positive thoughts, reinforcement, and feedback to help an individual feel hopeful and boost their self-worth and esteem while at it.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy is customized to the specific needs of the person receiving treatment. Not only has it proven beneficial to those with a substance abuse disorder, but MET has also shown to also be helpful in the management of anxiety, eating disorders and gambling addiction as well as treatment for individuals who may be going through identity issues or trying to establish their autonomy. It is clear to see how this sort of methodology is complementary to other treatment modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavior therapy  

Spiritual Self Care

Many people might overlook this aspect of self-care, despite its absolute importance for maintaining our mental health. pea Regardless of your religious beliefs, do not fall into the error of reading this section quickly or skipping it completely. Indeed, taking care of oneself spiritually is not only about simply believing in a deity but about the connection with something greater than ourselves, and applies to atheists, agnostics and non-religious people. True, due to a rise in modern reliance on reason over faith, Americans seem to be looking less and less to religious institutions to define their social, cultural, and moral identities. A growing share of Americans is beginning to define themselves as “spiritual but not religious”, at an increase of 8% between 2012 and 2017. This, according to the Pew Research Center does not describe a moral deficit, but rather, new expressions of one’s spirituality.

Spiritual Wellness

Spiritual self-care corresponds to maintaining contact with your values ​​and what really matters to you. This type of self-care allows you to have long-term goals in life and to develop a sense of belonging to a noble and important cause. Here are the main tips to increase attention towards your spiritual self-care:

Engage in Regular Reflection.

Whether it is through meditation or prayer, take the time to think about the ultimate goal of your existence, and what you are seeking out of life.

Be open to inspiration

Allow yourself to be inspired. Seek out inspirational videos or Ted Talks, read inspirational literature or quotes, or even listen to that podcast of that famous person you admire. Find ways to lean into your optimism and hope for the future, and allow that to inform your daily identity.

Be open to not knowing

Try at times not to not have to be in charge or to be the expert. Allow yourself to learn from others, ask questions, and admit that you don’t have it all figured out. Find the courage to ask for help, and embrace your own vulnerability.

Be open to creativity

Be creative, whether through art, music, writing or anything else. Sing your heart out, or pour yourself fully into the art of making.

Engage in Meaning-Making.

Lean into the nonmaterial aspects of life: spend time in thought about what you are passionate about, whether it is a relationship, person, or project. Identify what is means to you and notice its place in your life, whether that is spending time with children, nurturing a connection to a spiritual community, or contributing to causes in which you believe. Give of yourself, and volunteer as often as possible.

Engage in Thoughtful Thinking.

If you believe in a specific religion, find out more about the roots of your beliefs and perhaps even explore the shared beliefs and nuances of other religions as well. Read poetry from similar time periods or track philosophical thought throughout the ages. And while it’s important to take time to think critically about religion, also allow yourself to get lost in its message. Spend time in nature, and allow yourself to get swept up into experiences of awe and wonder. If you missed it, check out Self Care: An Introduction; The importance of Physical Self Care; Psychological Self Care and Emotional Self Care Next Up: Relational Self-Care 

Relational Self Care

We know that the human being is a highly social creature. However, even in the ultra-connected era in which we live, while connectivity is at an all-time high, a true connection seems to be lacking. While social networks certainly allow us access to more people, these connections are often superficial and insignificant. Yohann Hari, in his book Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions, states,  “The Internet was born into a world where many people had already lost their sense of connection to each other. The collapse had already been taking place for decades by then. The web arrived offering them a kind of parody of what they were losing—Facebook friends in place of neighbors, video games in place of meaningful work, status updates in place of status in the world.”

Relational Health

Our well-being depends very closely on the quality of our relationships. Thus, when subject to a life absent of healthy relationships, we lose our sense of self-esteem, our capacity for empathy and compassion, and our mutual support. This often leaves room for a focus on individualism that encourages isolation and creates conflicts.  Under our current economic system, we are often rewarded for these behaviors as well, but more on that in our next segment. Here are some tips for improving the quality of your relationships:

In General:

Smile More.

The easiest and most effective advice to follow to improve your relationships with others is to smile. Smiling reduces aggressiveness, hacks your brain’s reward system to release dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin, and tends to help others’ have more positive perceptions of you.

Compliment People More Often & Be Sincere.

Keep track and notice the positive changes or the progress made by the people around you. Sharing with someone the ways that they have made a positive impact on your life, or even that you admired the way they handled a situation, can be a powerful gift, for you and for them. Taking the time to expand your focus onto others can have a huge ripple effect in your relationships.

Meet New People.

There is nothing quite like the intoxicating feeling of getting to know someone new, and connecting over a shared interest. C.S. Lewis’ famous quote reads, “Friendship is born at the moment where one man says to another, ‘What, you too? I thought I was the only one…’”

Nurture Important Relationships.

Spend time with people that you like, or time connecting with them via phone or writing and sharing updates. Check in with family members as well, and nurture your ability to ask for help.  This also includes being the one to take initiative in organizing activities with these people to increase the quality of time spent with them.

Complete a Digital Detox.

Digital detox refers to a period of time during which a person abstains from using electronic connecting devices such as smartphones and computers. Regardless of the length of the detox, it is considered an opportunity to reduce stress or to increase focus on social interactions in the physical world. Benefits include increased awareness, decreased anxiety, a better appreciation of one’s environment, and approaching the world in a more person-centered way.

In Close Relationships:

Spend Alone Time with Your Romantic Partner.

Firstly, see ‘digital detox’ above. More than just spending alone time together, engage one another in stimulating conversations, continue to seek understanding of the complex inner world of the other. Try not to spend all of your time together “doing” and cultivate a practice of just “being” together.

Develop Your Listening Skills.

It is absolutely impossible to achieve good long-term relationships when you are unable to listen. Embrace the fundamental idea that ‘you do not need to agree with what is being said to listen to what is being said’. Try to stay out of fixing the problem, invalidating feelings, or stealing the focus of the conversation.

Admit Your Wrongs.

One surefire way to make sure that you avoid happiness is to “be right, always right. Be the only one who is always right and be rigid in your rightness.” On the other hand, willingness to admit your shortcomings tends to go a long way in creating authentic and lasting relationships. While by no means is this an exhaustive list for how to have a good relationship, shifting focus to some of these practices will certainly help to increase relational wellbeing and overall life satisfaction. Next up: Professional Self Care.  

Emotional Self Care

This is the fourth blog in our series about the importance of Self Care. Make sure to check out the importance of physical self-care and psychological self-care as these two constructs, body and mind, set the stage for our ability to have good emotional regulation and emotional self-care. Together with these other foundational practices, as the primary rings of self-care and the main focus of cognitive behavioral therapy, these three elements are important to master in order to move on to the deeper realms of spiritual, relational and professional self-care.

Emotional Well-being

Emotional well-being can be defined as the overall state of one’s emotions, as well as their sense of purpose, and ability to pursue meaningful goals. However, emotional well-being is not the absence of emotions, but rather, the ability to understand the value of your emotions as signals of what is happening internally, and to use them to propel your life forward. Becoming an emotionally mature adult involves first taking responsibility for the way that we feel, and the way that we communicate those messages to others. It involves ridding our vocabulary of the phrasing, “you made me angry! (frustrated, sad, violent, etc.)” or in essence, “you made me react that way!” In this process, it is imperative that we remember that emotions are not “good” or “bad”, and it is truly only our attitude and reactions that matter. Often considered as a taboo subject in today’s culture, this aspect of our person is an intimate constituent of our happiness as indeed, taking care of your emotions is a delicate process. However, it remains a necessary process, and involves the following considerations:

Love Yourself.

Practice giving yourself affirmations and praising yourself for a job well done. Set yourself up for success by planning out several small tasks throughout the day which you know that you can accomplish, this will help to boost your self-esteem and help to feel good about yourself. Start with making your bed.

Listen To Your Needs.

Pay attention to what might be going on in your emotional world, and seek out healing activities to bring comfort to the storm raging inside of you. Reconnect with your inner child by reading your favorite books again, or re-watch your favorite movies and leave space for yourself to connect with any and all feelings that arise.

Identify with Your Feelings.

In her book, Braving the Wilderness, Brene Brown speaks of her practice of writing permission slips to herself as she goes about her daily life. This advice is useful for those of us who have a hard time expressing emotions. Give yourself permission:
  • To be sad
  • To be excited
  • To Cry
  • To act goofy
  • To laugh boldly
  • To have fun
  • To express your political or social outrage

Create a Healthy Support System

Make an effort to stay in contact with important people in your life, and balance your schedule to make time to be with friends or family members who really understand you. Devote time and energy to these and other relationships that bring you joy.

Embrace Vulnerability

Although many people aren’t comfortable talking about their feelings, or what’s going on in their emotional worlds, we know that it is through our ability to have an honest connection with others that we are able to find true healing. Opening up about personal issues is never easy but can have huge effects. Whether in a community support group or with a therapist, talking it out and processing through your emotions can reduce your sense of helplessness and provide relief in the shared burden of your struggles. Stay Tuned for the next installment in the Self-Care Series: Spiritual Self-Care.

Psychological Self Care

After establishing physical practices to take care of your body, the next important aspect of self-care to master is in learning to take care of your mind. Both physical and psychological well being lay the foundation for one’s ability to have good emotion regulation and experience emotional wellbeing. Thus, psychological or ‘cognitive’ self-care is another important pillar of mental health, focused on control over one’s thoughts and mental state. Psychological self-care is the practice of paying attention. When you are able to become aware of the details of the sensations around you, it is easier to live in the present moment; and when you are in the present, you can more effectively abandon the resentment of the past or anxieties about the future. Here are some ways to increase your mental well-being:
  1. Make time for Reflection.

So often, life can be lived on autopilot, where we may be constantly moving from one activity to the next, never truly stopping to take stock of our current reality or to pay attention to the thoughts rattling around in our minds. One of the most important elements of learning to take care of our minds is to stop and give them a voice, to take a moment to listen, and to adjust our course of action as needed. Writing in a journal can help to begin to notice and identify patterns of thinking, or other thought errors, or even simply serve to quiet the racket of thoughts screaming for our attention. Participating in your own personal psychotherapy can also assist in cultivating this practice of paying attention, and also may provide you with some feedback about factors outside of your awareness.

2. Practice Meditation and Relaxation.

An important aspect of psychological well being often seen in meditation techniques and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), is to practice non-attachment to our thoughts. Russ Harris, a proponent of ACT, states that mindfulness is “Consciously bringing awareness to your here-and-now experience, with openness, interest, and receptiveness.” When we engage as an observer or even researcher of our thoughts, we are able to truly notice our inner experience—listen to our thoughts, judgments, beliefs, attitudes, and feelings without the burden of defense. Focus on the movements of your own breathing, and become aware of your bodily sensations.

3. Explore Different Sides of Yourself.

Get to know yourself, and let others know different aspects of you. Experiment with your relationship with control, either by practicing your ability to receive help from others or by showing up and taking charge, even if it is just in some small way. Try letting someone else be the “expert”, or see what it might be like not to have the pressure to be the one in the family who brings the comedic relief. Increase your awareness of the role that you serve in the important contexts of your life, and decide whether you are happy with it.

4. Be Curious.

Spend some time trying on some new hobbies or attending events that help you engage your intelligence in a new way, whether that is going to a history exhibit, science center, sports event or theatre performance. Say “yes” to something you may be hesitant about, and give yourself the permission to try. Read literature or contemplate a work of art. Maybe even get in touch with the inner artist inside you.

5. Get Focused.

When was the last time you gave your full focus to something?  Say “no” to extra responsibilities sometimes so that you can truly focus on what brings you joy. Regardless if it is completing a jigsaw or sudoku puzzle, reading a book, or working on a paint-by-number, engage in an activity that requires your full focused attention. Again, give yourself permission to miss that phone call or text, and relax into the knowledge that there is nothing else you need to do and no one that you need to respond to for a while. Continue reading our series about the importance of self-care. Next up: Emotional Self Care.

The Power of Sleep

Have you ever known what it’s like to start a full day on empty? You know that you needed that sleep, but you either voluntarily or involuntarily got little to none. So, here you are packing up your things for a long day ahead and you find yourself feeling empty inside. Your brain feels foggy, you’re cranky and can’t focus. That cup – or pot – of coffee is the only thing you’ve got going for you in order to make it through the day. In this scenario, you represent one-third of American adults who are not getting the sleep they need on a regular basis, which the CDC estimates to be 7 hours a night. Why is sleep so important to our mental health?         With good sleep, you can think more clearly, stay focused and make informed decisions, which plays a large part of your daily successes in schooling, family responsibilities or at work. Well- rested, your productivity and problem-solving skills are greatly increased, which in turn makes for greater ease in avoiding relapse. However, sleep deprivation has quite the adverse effect: cue “brain fog”. This term finds its origin in describing the disconnect between neurons (cells of the brain) and their inability to communicate properly with one another, usually resulting in temporary mental lapses and slowed response times . Having a consistent sleep routine is one way to ensure that your brain is functioning on all levels properly. Life is stressful, so let’s get less sleep?         The first aspect of the above sentiment is true: life is stressful.  However, the answer to a hectic day should be anything but reducing Z’s. After a restless night, you may find yourself more likely to be irritable and more emotionally reactive to situations. However, sleep is in itself a powerful and restorative stress reducer.  A good night’s sleep can assist with your cognitive skills and alertness. Unfortunately, in today’s culture, sleep tends to be one of the first things to go when we feel under pressure. Lack of sleep will reduce your mental clarity, which, when combined with traffic jams, a demanding workload, or any attempt to remain in control of a chaotic life, will likely lead to stress. This becomes a vicious cycle when that stress then becomes the cause of the next restless night, further preventing you from the experiencing the restorative effects of sleep. Cycles such as this delay someone from entering the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of the sleep cycle. REM is the sleep stage responsible for restoring mental function, and how the brain processes emotions and memories.  Conversely, too much time in REM sleep can also cause daytime fatigue, which can further disrupt normal sleep cycles and mood. Sleep is Important for Mental Health and Recovery         Good sleep also helps prevent depression and anxiety. While these, in addition to one’s current stressors, make it difficult to fall asleep, quality sleep is what helps to decrease the amount of anxiety you experience by allowing you the mental clarity to see and work through the root cause of the anxiety. For those in recovery, sleep is vital, as it leads to less impulsive behaviors, and reduces one’s risk for relapse. While the experience of disturbed sleep is common for those in early recovery, failing to establish a sleep routine lends way to destructive habits like reaching for caffeine, nicotine, or sugary or processed foods just to make it through the day, furthering the cycle of and not addressing its root cause. Your Future Self Will Thank You Our bodies work best when they are on a set schedule, waking up and falling asleep at the same time every day. Try to relax your mind before getting into bed by avoiding blue light (phones, TVs, etc.) for at least an hour before crawling into bed, as this is known to disrupt the circadian rhythm. Listen to calming music, read a book, count backward from 500, or write in a journal. But once you are lying down, try to turn your mind off so you can receive the restorative sleep you so desperately need. When you prioritize getting a solid 7-8 hours of sleep each night, your body and mind will thank you, your friends and family will thank you, and quite possibly so will your boss, your bank account, and those who share your commute. Good sleep is a vital aspect of everyday life. It influences your health, feelings, and ability to effectively work your recovery. We at Riviera Recovery know the importance of sleep and value it’s healing powers, especially for those in recovery. Learn a little bit more about our mission, and what is important to us, or contact us with any specific questions you may have.

Mental Health Residential Treatment Los Angeles

Mental Health Residential Treatment Los Angeles

America is beginning to take a hard look at the need for mental health services that have long been scarce.  Mental health disorders, such as bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorders, and schizophrenia can be incapacitating if not treated early. Rising prevalence of psychiatric disorders overall brings the subject of mental health into sharp focus today.  In fact, according to data provided by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nearly 44 million adults experience mental illness each year in the U.S.  With a dearth of psychiatric facilities available and a complex health insurance landscape making getting help difficult and confusing, there is a clear need for renewed focus on the state of mental health services available. Increasingly, private residential mental health treatment programs are on the rise, helping to fill the gap in providing help for those in need.  Mental health residential treatment Los Angeles is providing essential psychiatric and behavioral health treatment services in a variety of settings, from suburban communities to rural enclaves.

About Mental Health Residential Treatment Los Angeles

In the early stages of a mental health or mood disorder, most individuals seek help via a private physician or psychiatrist who can prescribe medication and monitor progress.  Often, psychotherapy is also prescribed to provide an outlet for individuals who struggle with the effects of living with a mental health condition.  A therapist can help the individual construct new coping techniques and guide them toward better social functioning. When a mental health disorder continues to deteriorate, however, a more aggressive, focused treatment plan is implicated.  Usually at this point the individual has become unable to manage their life, is suffering from feeling completely overwhelmed by their disorder, or may be a danger to him or herself or others.  By entering an inpatient or residential mental health treatment program, the individual can first be stabilized and then treated in a more targeted fashion.  Residential treatment offers a safe, supportive environment free of the stressors that may have caused the escalation in symptoms.

What Services are Provided in Residential Mental Health Programs?

The residential setting provides a community-style environment where individuals become part of the larger “family” and learn how to respect the other residents while taking responsibility for their behavior.  This leads to a nurturing atmosphere where the residents are supportive to each other as peers while working toward their recoveries.  At the same time, residents learn to take care of themselves in order to become more autonomous and high functioning.  Some residential mental health facilities offer a work-based program, which allows the individual in treatment to also work at a job. Within the inpatient setting, individuals will receive a tailored treatment plan following an intensive psychiatric and physical evaluation, including a review of their mental health history.  Each treatment plan will vary according to specific needs, but most will participate in a variety of therapeutic interventions that foster healing and recovery.  These include the use of evidence-based therapies such as psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral therapy, and others, and will be provided in both individual sessions and group sessions.  Psychotropic medication management and holistic therapies round out the residential treatment.

Dual Diagnosis Residential Treatment Programs

In many cases, a serious mental health disorder coexists with a substance use disorder.  If this is the case, finding a residential behavioral health treatment program that specializes in treating dual diagnosis is appropriate.  A dual diagnosis program will simultaneously treat both the addiction and the co-occurring mental health disorder to achieve a sustained recovery.

Riviera Recovery a Resource for Mental Health Residential Treatment Los Angeles

Riviera Recovery provides an important role as a liaison for individuals seeking inpatient mental health treatment.  Located in Malibu, California, Riviera Recovery offers a concierge sober living environment and will coordinate mental health or dual diagnosis treatment services with local providers.  If mental health residential treatment Los Angeles is desired, contact Riviera Recovery to begin the journey to improved well-being at (866) 478-7899.