Stay positive and exude gratitude!

11 May

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Happiness is an active choice that we make each moment of every day. Abraham Lincoln once said: “Most people are about as happy as they make their minds to be.” It is true that your family genetics, general health, brain structure, exercise levels and other external factors play into your happiness, but a positive mental outlook can make all the difference. In your everyday personal life and in the workplace when you make a serious effort to increase positive emotions and self-perception you not only help yourself but your help all of the people close to you as well. Tell people how much they mean to you more often, say ‘thank you’ more, smile and live in the moment. Dwelling on the past or worrying about the future are not only unhealthy but they are unproductive ventures as well.

Do all you can each day to reframe negative thinking into a new positive outlook. It’s all in how you look at things! When asked if the cup is half empty or half full respond with, “At least I have a cup!”

Create opportunities to express gratitude as much as you can.  Help yourself and others by shifting focus to what works in life and appreciating it instead of dwelling on what doesn’t. Creating a personal culture of gratitude and appreciation can dispel doubts and negativity in your environment. This allows you and those around you to shift perspectives on life and stay on the bright side.

Try a simple method to stay positive:  reflect on the past day, week, or month and think about three people who have helped you during that time. Maybe they have done something for you that you could not have done for yourself. Maybe they said something helpful or insightful. Or they just listened and acted as a sounding board. Sit for a few minutes and notice the feelings that emerge when you focus on the kind and generous contributions others make in your life. Acknowledge the interdependence between your current level of well-being and success, and the generosity and contribution of those around you. This will help open everyone’s eyes to the natural reality of gratitude leading to happiness.

Come to Cornerstone. Make one stop to STOP.

21 Apr

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Cornerstone has been helping addicts recover for 32 years. We understand addiction and what it takes to stop for good. We have worked hard during our years of service to build a comprehensive system that truly works for each individual. One of our main goals was to eliminate the need to transfer our clients out to other companies in order to receive treatment services that we could not provide in-house. We are proud to offer our clientele a full continuum of care including a medically assisted residential detoxification program, an extended care program, an alternative sentencing program, a monitored residential program, an intensive outpatient program, a family program and even sober living.

When you or someone you love comes to Cornerstone you can feel secure that we are able to fulfill all of your recovery needs without sending you somewhere else. You remain in the community with your peers that you have moved through your path to recovery with and are able to maintain healthy relationships with other clients and our professional staff.

Make Cornerstone your first choice for addiction treatment. Make one stop to STOP.

AA – Against Athiests?

19 Apr

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There have been a few recent stories in the news about  Alcohol Anonymous and it’s connection to religion or a ‘higher power’. A man in Toronto is claiming that he has been discriminated against due to being an Agnostic or Atheist. Can those without belief in a higher power still be accepted in the AA community or do secular addicts need to form their own support networks?

Read on HERE to find out.

What’s the difference? Alcohol Abuse vs Dependence

12 Apr

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Alcoholism can be described in different ways, for example using the term ‘alcohol abuse’ or the term ‘alcohol dependence’. Do both of these descriptions mean the same thing? The answer is NO. No they do not mean the same thing at all.

What is Alcohol Abuse?

The term ‘alcohol abuse’ refers to someone who drinks alcohol to the point of harming themselves or to the point of engaging in risky behaviors like driving under the influence or having unprotected sex. A person who abuses alcohol will do so in spite of the consequences they face each time they drink. They will repeat this behavior time and time again and allow the wreckage to build up all around them. Alcohol abusers have impaired cognitive abilities and impaired judgement when it comes to decision making. This bad decision making and the consequences that arise from it will inevitably create tension in interpersonal relationships and will negatively affect their performance in all areas of their life. This person may not have become ‘alcohol dependent’ yet but the constant damage to the brain, liver and digestive tract will accumulate and soon become a major health issue. Unlike someone who has become alcohol dependent the alcohol abuser may still have some self control over how much and when they drink.

What is Alcohol Dependency?

Someone who is ‘alcohol dependent’ has a physical and psychological need and desire to drink alcohol. They have abused alcohol to such an extent that it becomes required by the body to function. This person has now built up a tolerance to the copious amounts of alcohol that they consume and are able to drink large quantities with little outward evidence. When they don’t feed the body the required dose of alcohol their body begins to crave it. The four criteria used to diagnose true alcohol dependency are high tolerance, uncontrolled daily drinking binges, cravings for alcohol and outward physical signs of withdrawal when not drinking. Both the abuser and the dependent alcoholic are at risk of serious health consequences from liver disease to cancer but while alcohol abuse is highly and quite easily treatable, alcohol dependency requires skilled assistance in a medically assisted detox facility. It takes time and a strong network of support for the dependent person to break free of the chains of their addiction.

This skilled and quality assistance can be found here at Cornerstone of Southern California in our DHCS licensed and certified, Joint Commission accredited Inpatient Residential Detox Program. We have been helping addicts for 32 years and are ready right now to help.

Addiction Recovery – STICKING WITH YOUR RESOLUTIONS

6 Apr

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Many of us make new year’s resolutions at the end of each year and find that a few weeks into our new gym routine or diet regimen we begin to falter and fade back into our old unwanted habits. One of the very best ways to stay on track with your new goals, especially when you are an addict in recovery, is to create a plan that will help keep you motivated. There will always be struggles and moments when you aren’t sure you can go on but when you have a plan you can quickly regain your footing. Read on to learn a few great tips on how to make a plan and stick to it!

Make a list of the reasons why you are making the change:

You have committed to making a change. Great! Now you need to stay motivated. First thing you need to do is make a list of all the positive reasons why this life-change will benefit you and what those benefits are. Make a few copies of this list and put them in different places that you know you will see every day. Some reasons don’t need to be written down but instead could be represented by a picture of someone you love or the person who motivates you to stay with your goals. These images and your list will keep you focused on the positive benefits your new goals will create in your life.

Make another list of things that encourage you:

What motivates or encourages you? Is it a song or a short video? Maybe someone famous or someone who has accomplished the very same goal you are in the process of achieving? Make a habit of listening to the song that pushes you or watching the video that encourages you whenever you are struggling. I have found that Youtube.com has thousands of inspirational videos that will motivate you. Here are a few of my favorites:

Lean on your friends, family and your sponsor:

Everyone needs a healthy support system of family and friends, whether you are in recovery or not, who will help you along the way. Remember who will push you to be better in this group and make a point to speak to them regularly about your progress or even your lack of progress. Your sponsor is an excellent well of strength and encouragement, so use them as much as you feel the need to. They will give you the pep-talk that you need to correct your course and realign with your commitments. You can even schedule when you plan on interacting with your sponsor or motivators each week to stay honest.

Start writing in a daily journal:

There will be hills and valleys along your path to change. Writing your daily gains and losses is a healthy way to keep track of how you are doing on a daily basis. This action also makes you much more accountable for your actions and inactions. You will see when you miss an activity or a goal and will be more inclined to make up the activity at a later time instead of just forgetting about it. Listing the reasons why you missed doing something you were supposed to do can be an eye opener in and of itself. You will learn what works for you and what doesn’t, what triggers you and what doesn’t.

Find a home group and attend regularly:

Our family, friends and sponsors are an excellent start to a strong support group but attending a regular group AA meeting is also a major step in the right direction. Listening to the hardships and accomplishments of your peers in recovery is a powerful thing that will push you even more. Sharing your own losses and gains with others is another great way to stay focused.

Treat yourself the in the best way possible every day. Your goal is not to be perfect but rather to consistently strive to improve your physical and mental health, your quality of life and your personal relationships. Stay sober and take the next indicated step and all else will to fall into place. Everything is NOT going to go the way you planned, but if you can continue to strive towards your goals, you will be succeeding on your path every single day.

Tips to tame stress

25 Mar

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Are you irritable and frustrated due to too much stress in your life? Our case managers here at Cornerstone have come up with a few simple tips to reduce your stress level and restore serenity. These tips won’t take a lot of time and can help to bring your life back into balance.

Get out and get active

Any form of physical activity will work for you as a stress reducer. You do not have to be an athlete and it doesn’t matter if you are out of shape – daily exercise is always good for you and will relieve your stress.

When you are active your endorphins will naturally increase and in turn will enhance your overall sense of happiness and well-being. Being active also naturally helps your mind to focus on your movements which takes your mind off of all the other things that may be ‘stressing you out’. Simple forms of exercise include walking, running, swimming, gardening, biking or lifting weights.

Laugh and be silly

We all know how good it can feel to have a good belly laugh. Laughter also releases endorphins that make you feel more positive and happy. So tell a few bad jokes or watch a good comedy – it will definitely make you feel better.

Connect with friends and family

Our instinct when stressed may be to isolate from others in order to deal with it but this is actually the opposite of what you should do to deal with your stress. You should reach out to others, friends and family, and make connections socially. This works due to offering your mind a distraction from the thoughts that are causing your stress and also will provide support from others in dealing with your ups and downs. Stay out of your head, maybe even try volunteering. By helping others we help ourselves.