Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Why Is It So Damn Hard to Change?


Random Resource ThuRsday

This week I blogged about knowing the what's and why's that lead to your acting out.. and that you have to have data to understand your habits. Knowing your triggers is key to breaking an addiction.   When we act on our triggers, we are just reinforcing our trigger/behavior/reaction mechanism. 

Oprah is not where I normally get information for sharing but I thought this was a great article that talks about dopamine ..  you know the chemical released in your body when you do an acting-out behavior.  I cropped out a small portion for you to read but I urge you to read the rest.


Why Is It So Damn Hard to Change?


Read more: http://www.oprah.com/health/How-to-Change-Your-Bad-Habits/3#ixzz2MsAonyaW

Photo: Hugh Kretschmer
Dopamine teaches your brain what you want, then drives you to get it, regardless of what's good for you. It does this in two steps. First you experience something that gives you pleasure (say, McDonald's french fries), which causes a dopamine surge. Some of that dopamine travels to the area of your brain where memories are formed and creates a memory connecting those fries with getting a reward. At that point, in sciencespeak, the fries have become "salient." And when you're exposed to something that's salient, you may think, "That's bad for me, I shouldn't,"  but your brain registers, "Dopamine jackpot!" 

Which is where step two comes in: On top of creating memories, dopamine controls the areas of the brain responsible for desire, decision-making, and motivation. So once fries become salient, the next time you see or smell them, your brain releases a surge of dopamine that drives you to get more fries. When you succeed, your brain produces more dopamine, which reinforces the memory that made fries salient in the first place, etching it further into your brain. It's a never-ending cycle: The more you do something that's rewarding, the more dopamine makes sure you do it again. This is precisely how habits form. Eventually, if the fries become salient enough, your brain will release dopamine and push you to get fries anytime you see the colors yellow and red, even if you're nowhere near McDonald's.

And this is true for any behavior that results in a reward: Orgasms cause dopamine surges. So does hitting the jackpot when you gamble, winning a race, acing a test, doing cocaine or methamphetamines, smoking, drinking. "Dopamine is motivation," 

...

But my big question for Volkow is this: How do you get yourself hooked on something that's not inherently pleasurable to you—like living on salads and broccoli or, in my case, exercising? Many people get a natural high from working out. I, however, am not one of them. "Isn't there some way to trick the dopamine system?" I ask her. "Some way to fool my brain into craving exercise?"

Sure, she says: The secret is thinking up rewards. My payoff for working out could be a pedicure or a new pair of shoes. For someone trying to diet: Maybe you get a massage after a week of good eating, or have a friend dole out gift certificates if you stay on track (you pay, but she controls the vouchers). "Giving yourself rewards for a behavior engages the dopamine system so your brain will associate the positive outcome with it, which will help you form the habit."

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/health/How-to-Change-Your-Bad-Habits/2#ixzz2MsAgxKuM


Well, I wish I could reward all the recoveryBox users with something great to help retrain our brains..but hopefully when you earn your badges, that will give you a small sense of accomplishment.

For more information about recoveryBox, visit the website and see if it's an app that might be helpful in your recovery from your addiction. www.recoveryboxapp.com

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Customize your Sobriety Date View with a Picture of a Loved One

Personalize your "Sobriety Date" view with a picture of those who mean the most to you. Each time you see this view, be motivated to continue on your journey to freedom from your addiction. 

Your view will change based on the picture selected as well as which device you are viewing it on. 

You can continue to set a "Recovery Goal" on the banner as well as return this view back to the original recoveryBox view by canceling out your picture. 


Want more information about recoveryBox, the iPhone App for Addiction recovery? Visit our site for specifics about how recoveryBox can help you on your recovery journey.

Want to download it now? Visit the recoveryBox page in the Apple Store.

Be Motivated!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Visually Searching recoveryBox ~ Discovering our Habits



The power of recoveryBox, the addiction recovery toolset, is being able to understand our habits. If we are being diligent about what we are doing and being accountable, it will become obvious that are making progress by seeing your yellow/red lights diminish while the number of green lights (which are new healthy habits) continue to grow.

By looking at our new visual chart it's easy to see - wait, yellow lights always occur on Friday nights but only on weeks where (and you fill in the blank); or I see I'm not really tracking my lights on Wednesdays I see.

While it might sound obvious that we should know this already, it's often not. Those living in recovery for an addiction are usually living day by day and often hour by hour. So being able to see what's going on visually is an important part of the recovery process.

Are you ready to try recoveryBox?

Here is what one reviewer wrote recently when recoveryBox 5.0 came out.

Better and Better 

I appreciate that there is constant improvement on an already powerful and helpful app. You are always responding to feedback and making things better. Thanks for s great app.
We are listening and welcome all feedback. We want to make sure recoveryBox is not just another app - but an important tool as part of your recovery journey to living a life of freedom. Download it today!


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Entering Yesterday's Lights..Here's a Hint..updated for iOS7

So you skipped a day entering your lights, but you decided to go back and enter them because it affects your weekly numbers.  BUUUTTTT..you find that each time you have to reset the Date Spinner or Category Spinner........


Nope...you don't!  Here's a hint.

Go to More Tools -> Preferences

There are 3 VERY important settings that you can enable to help make this faster.

1.  Retain Date: this will keep the date of the LAST light your entered.  It's great for entering historical "lights".

2. Retain Category: if you are a person who likes to enter each entry separately for a Category, then enabling this to on will help you out also when entering historical "lights". No more resetting of the category. It will keep the spinner set to the last Category entered.

3. Retain Number of Lights: this is not as important but maybe you are entering an entire week's worth of "lights" and you are entering them by day and category and you know you had the same number for each day.  This is what will keep that number spinner on the last previous entered number.


These preferences are only there to help you stay compliant by allowing "entering of your daily lights" to be as flexible as possible.  So go ahead and quickly enter past lights to create the complete picture.  It's easy and fast.

Don't have recoveryBox the iPhone app for addiction recovery, check out www.recoveryboxapp.com

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Part 1: One-to-One Accountability and Green Lights

This blog post is going to be broken up into 3 different ones.

1.  Adding my Green Lights for Accountability.
2.  Adding Triggers for Accountability
3.  MOST IMPORTANT:: Being Accountable To My Sponsor or Accountability Partner

recoveryBox was built for those who are in recovery for some sort of addiction with some sort of accountability feature.  

When we go through some sort of treatment it's so important that we are honest with ourselves but also someone else..most likely someone who has been there done that.  Usually we choose someone (but not always) who has been there so they understand the pressures we feel and can offer encouragement during those times.

By adding your Lights and Texting/Emailing to a sponsor or accountability partner you are taking ownership of your addiction and telling yourself that you are on the journey to recovery.  It's crucial that we do this!!

Adding G2 One-to-One Accountability Lights are Easy!!



When you Text/Email your Lights to a Sponsor each day that is checking in. That is letting the see a quick snapshot of your day without you have to rehash or even rethink the day. So that's a G2 One-to-One Accountability Green Light I get to add!

I tend to check in with him in the AM with a text to say Good Morning but at night after my day is done I send a text of my Lights.  It's a system we created with the use of recoveryBox during a one on one meeting.  
I'm supposed to send my lights by 10:00 PM.  
It's that easy.  Check in and get credit and Being Accountable all in one easy step.



In the next segments, I'll show how adding triggers completes the picture for accountability and what to do with these lights..in other words using the accountability feature.




Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Alcohol Recovery App ~ Helping Break the Addiction

recoveryBox - the Addiction Recovery iOS App

recoveryBox was created originally for those in recovery from a pornography or sex addiction.  However, after working with lots of counselors on this concept, we configured recoveryBox so that it would help those who want to break free from the addiction of alcohol.

The preconfigured addiction selection for alcohol has suggestions of the types of habits that need to be broken (called your red lights).  But you can create your own type of addiction that would work better for you by creating your own custom red lights.

By tracking your good habits (green lights) as well as warning situations (yellow lights - people, places, and things) and triggers you can create a clear picture of what habits you have as well as need to break.

Keep accountable with your sponsor or counselor or accountability partner. recoveryBox will let you know it's time to enter your daily lights as well will remind you to connect with your sponsor.

recoveryBox works well with a traditional 12 Step Program or Celebrate Recovery.  Try recoveryBox today. Available for any Apple iDevice.

Don't worry if the lights you see here don't match what you need help with. Customize the addiction to match what you need to track. Users will also want to track their triggers (also customizable) so that accountability partners/sponsors can get a good picture of what's going on.

Want to break the addiction? Accountability does work!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

CoDependency Recovery App - Breaking Free

recoveryBox - the Addiction Recovery iOS App

recoveryBox was created originally for those in recovery from a pornography or sex addiction.  However, after working with lots of counselors on this concept, we configured recoveryBox so that it would help those who want to break free from the addiction of CoDependency.  

The preconfigured addiction selection for CoDependency has suggestions of the types of habits that need to be broken (called your red lights).  But you can create your own type of addiction that would work better for you by creating your own custom red lights.

By tracking your good habits (green lights) as well as warning situations (yellow lights - people, places, and things) and triggers you can create a clear picture of what habits you have as well as need to break.

Keep accountable with your sponsor or counselor or accountability partner. recoveryBox will let you know it's time to enter your daily lights as well will remind you to connect with your sponsor.

recoveryBox works well with a traditional 12 Step Program or Celebrate Recovery.  Try recoveryBox today. Available for any Apple iDevice.

Don't worry if the lights you see here don't match what you need help with. Customize the addiction to match what you need to track. Users will also want to track their triggers (also customizable) so that accountability partners/sponsors can get a good picture of what's going on.

Want to break the addiction? Accountability does work!