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The Eden Alternative and Healing

There are three plagues that haunt all of us, making it difficult to thrive in a chaotic and confusing world: Loneliness, helplessness and boredom. From childhood to elderhood and every time in-between, we all need close companionship, meaning and purpose, and variety and spontaneity. When all of these are removed, we find it challenging to cope with daily life.

The Eden Alternative ( has researched these plagues in nursing homes after finding that elders, who were not sick, failed to thrive, and often died. Yes, we can die of loneliness, helplessness and boredom. Or we can use

the Eden Alternative seven domains of wellbeing to build a more vibrant life that helps carry us through healing from our addictions.

We start with the domain of Identity, knowing and accepting our story and believing in our own personhood, our value. Finding a way to connect, through belonging, being engaged and involved with groups or individuals, or building a relationship to nature or a place. We all need security, which gives us freedom from doubt, anxiety and fear. Security gives us a sense of self respect and dignity, and might start with having a private place of our own. We also are supported by a sense of autonomy, the liberty to make choices, to be free to determine our pathway. One of the most vital is to have meaning and purpose in our lives, so that we have a sense of hope, value and even sacredness.

Another domain. growth teaches us to approach our lives with the knowledge that we are still developing, expanding and evolving when we continue to embrace learning. And perhaps the most profound is to have moments of joy in our lives. Small and simple activities that fill us with contentment, pleasure or delight, have the power to uplift our spirits.

These domains are linked together in a circle, with none being more important than the other. Each domain works to heal us, to lift us, and to give us courage. And of course, to banish those plagues that haunt us.

More information can be found at

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