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In 2012, clinical psychologist Dr. Meg Jay published a book titled The Defining Decade: Why your twenties matter – and how to make the most of them now. Meg Jay is a doctor who specializes in therapy for 20-something year-olds struggling with how to handle adulthood and avoid the dangers of becoming irrelevant. Her book is centered around encouraging the 50 million individuals in their 20s, in the United States, to stop putting off life’s grand adjustments and major decisions until later years – since your 20s are the most transformative decade of your life.

Our staff at Treatment Alternatives in Boca Raton, Florida, found the messages shared in this book incredibly relevant to our lessons in recovery treatment. Although you may find yourself experiencing feelings of uncertainty, addiction recovery gives you the blessing and opportunity to start fresh again, and shape your life how you want to.  Decisions you make in your 20s can and will shape the outcome of the rest of your life, and it is important to make wise choices during these times.

Here are the top lessons in addiction recovery from The Defining Decade:

Use your brain development to your advantage

Part of addiction treatment is rewiring the way your brain works. Addiction treatment centers in Boca Raton agree with Mrs. Jay when she says that rewiring your brain is the opportune time to develop new habits: “practice calming techniques that can work over the long run:  exercise, therapy, mindfulness, yoga, cognitive meditation, deep breathing, healthy distraction, dialectical behavior therapy. Use your rational mind to counter the anxious and catastrophic thoughts you have.”

Be mindful of who you surround yourself with

As written in her book, Meg Jay claims “the modern tribe will help you survive, but it will not help you thrive.” This means constantly surrounding yourself with likeminded people will severely limit your potential for growth, change, and learning. Especially for those suffering from addiction, changing your “modern tribe” – those who you surround yourself with – can have a major impact on the trajectory of your life.

Establish Identity Capital 

Identity Capital, as author Meg Jay describes it is “… our collection of personal assets—a repertoire of individual resources that we assemble over time. Some identity capital goes on a résumé … and other identity capital is more personal, such as how we speak, where we are from, how we solve problems, how we look.” Identify capital comes down to the things we do to add to our own personal value, both on a resume and in life. It is an investment in yourself.  Joining Treatment Alternatives is an investment in your health and well-being, and you can begin building identity capital from your very first day.

What are some other ways you can build identity capital? Ridding your life of toxic relationships, quit delaying things you need to get done, teaching yourself a new skill, begin networking, and see a project through form start to finish. At Treatment Alternatives, you will work on yourself every day, which will build identity capital for you to make the most of your life after treatment.

Make Use of Weak Ties

Weak ties, while often forgotten, can turn into some of the most positive relationships in a person’s life. A weak tie is a friend of a friend, or an acquaintance from your past. Reaching out to a weak tie can open doors for you in terms of new jobs, new locations, new friendships, and new experiences. Addiction recovery is all about laying fresh groundwork for your life, and making use of weak ties can be one of the simplest ways to get started on that.

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