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Recovery, Self-Improvement

Letting Go of Anxious Thoughts

By Jennifer McDougall

It’s one thing to have a thought or two about this or that, but it’s a whole other ballgame when you find yourself anxiously thinking and dwelling on all the possibilities or worries you have running through your head. Trust me, it’s not uncommon to feel this way. It’s not uncommon to overthink things or worry about this or that, but that doesn’t make it healthy. At Passages, we are here to help you train your mind to let go of anxious thoughts so you can experience a more peaceful mindset.

You may find yourself sitting there at a traffic light going over everything you did or said. You may be there lying in bed at night going over every anxious little wonder you have in your busy mind. We have all been there at some point where we can’t seem to just chill and let go of all the anxiety clouding up our mind. It could be stress over a job, relationship, risky decision, or a worry you have about the coming day. It’s understandable. Life can be stressful at times and things may feel a bit overwhelming, but there is a way to release that tense energy and settle your thoughts so you can think more clearly and get a better night’s sleep.

Here are 10 simple ways to start practicing letting go of all those anxious thoughts.

  1. Remind yourself that no matter what, every little things gonna be alright.
  2. Take 3 deep breathes. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Feel yourself letting go of all your stresses and all your worries; no matter how big or small they are.
  3. Get on a healthy workout routine to release endorphins and burn off built up tension.
  4. Drink plenty of water throughout the day so you remain hydrated. This is crucial to your overall wellbeing. Hydrate hydrate hydrate!
  5. Write it down. Journal your thoughts and experiences in a notebook. Keep it by your bed, in your purse, backpack—wherever is most accessible to you throughout the day so whenever an anxious thought comes to mind you can write it down and get it off your chest.
  6. Talk to a professional therapist. Friends are great to lean on and vent to, but sometimes we need a professional’s unbiased take on specific situations we are experiencing.
  7. Once a week do something you’ve never done before. Go hike a trail you’ve never been on. Explore a place you’ve never been. Try something challenging such as surfing, golfing, or public speaking to get you out of your comfort zone. Afterwards you will feel rewarded and have a sense of accomplishment.
  8. Pick up that book sitting on your bookshelf that’s been staring you in the face for longer than you’d like to admit. Pick it up and start reading. We also encourage you to visit our wellness store for a collection of self-help books that will change your life.
  9. Meditation is great way to relieve anxiety. We recommend you invest 30 minutes per day to meditate away your worries.
  10. Make a gratitude list of even the most simplest things in life you are grateful for.


Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Image via We Heart It

Self-Improvement, Sober Lifestyle

How to Make Life More Exciting

By Jennifer McDougall

Sometimes we slip into a rut, where life feels less than exciting and maybe a bit too mundane. What can you do to turn up the wick and liven up your burnt-out routine? At Passages, we encourage you step out of your comfort zone and shake up your routine so that you can thrive in life—without the use of drugs and alcohol. If you are someone who feels their life is not all that exciting, this article is for you.

Getting started, let’s evaluate how you are spending your down time. When you get home from work, or have free time at any given point during the day, what are you doing during that time? Are you taking the opportunity to learn something new or pick up a gratifying hobby? Have you gone anywhere different; away from your standard day-to-today stomping ground?

These are some of the questions you need to first ask yourself if you’re feeling a bit grey, or that you’re in a bit of a rut.

Maybe you are lacking social interaction. Maybe your motivation is at an all-time low. Maybe you have way too much quiet time and not enough courage to put forth the effort in making a change. If so, don’t feel hopeless. There are many things you can do to spice up your life and drive fuel to your inner flame. All it takes are a few changes; maybe even a strong dose of bravery to shake things up. Trust me, this dullness you’re feeling is only temporary—it will pass when you choose to do something about it. Within only 24 hours, with the power you have within yourself, you can begin living a life that is fulfilling and way more exciting.


  1. Shake up your morning routine a couple days a week. Starting the day off differently every so often will help increase your flow of creativity and motivation. Start by planning ahead the night before with 3 major key things you would like to accomplish before lunch time the next day.
  2. Host an event. It could be at your house, at a park, or a venue nearby. Invite friends and family or get involved with com to schedule something to involve the community and like-minded people who would be interested in attending.
  3. Get a make-over or a fresh new look that will have you feeling bold and confident. We don’t recommend taking drastic measures as this could affect your mental and emotional wellbeing. DO make a few minor adjustments to improve your look.
  4. Get out of the house. If you work from home, go work from a coffee shop, library, or park where you are around other people. Sign up for a fitness class or local sporting team to be a part of. Step out of your comfort zone.
  5. Go someplace locally that you’ve never been before, such as an art gallery, museum, book store, animal shelter, or park.
  6. Plan a trip and explore this incredible planet we are so fortunate to live on.
  7. Try a new recipe and invite some friends over for a sober dinner party.
  8. Go to a rock concert.
  9. Move around your furniture to mix up your living space a bit. Maybe add some fun lighting or buy a new piece of art.
  10. Take time to forgive yourself when you’re feeling bored. This is a sign of depression in which you need to look at your current circumstances and adjust your outlook. Remind yourself how fortunate you are to have the life you do. Make changes when necessary, but don’t beat yourself down with negative feelings of regret.


Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Image via We Heart It

Addiction Treatment Centers, Recovery, Rehab

Where Can I Read Reviews on Passages Malibu?

The team at Passages wants you to know how great our program truly is. All the reviews and testimonials on this site were written by Passages alumni, who have graduated from the program. As you will see in each review, the alumni’s of Passages have had a remarkable and life changing experience. We believe in our holistic program of healing, but understand that it helps to hear it from those who have been through the program and experienced it first hand. Please take a moment to read some of our reviews and see for yourself that Passages is everything we claim to be.



World Class Experience…

at a World Class Program!

Last year, I spent 5 weeks at Passages Malibu, working on a lifetime of mental health issues which led to substance abuse. I could not have chosen a better Program to help me wrestle with my demons.

The facility and Staff are top notch; First Class all the way around! The program consisted of hours and hours of one-on-one counseling with my primary, family, spiritual and chemical dependency counselors.

Passages also provided other programs to help with my Recovery. Some of my favorites were Tai-Chi. Music and Art Therapy, and Personal Training. Added to that were additional hours in Massage, Acupuncture and Hypnotherapy. I was so grateful for the self-care part of the program, and believe my Recovery progressed rapidly due having the time to relax after so many productive and intense counseling sessions. The Passages Way works on each aspect of your mind, body and soul.

Today, I am much more involved in life than I was a year ago. While I still make mistakes and the occasional poor choice, I don’t have to live a life where I believe I’m the mistake. For that and much more, I have Passages to thank.

It really is a World Class Property. Which makes for an easier time to work on your “stuff”. I highly recommend that you give them a call before you begin your journey of discovery to the healthier you. I’m thankful I did. And, they take Insurance; BONUS!

Passages saved my life!

My experience with Passages was beyond any expectation. Yes, I was scared to call and ask for help. My family and friends were encouraging me for years to quit drinking but I didn’t know where to begin or what I needed to do. I was lost. My career was in a rut. I couldn’t save a dime. I was spending all my money on alcohol and pot. I became out of shape and undesirable. I wanted to get my life back and back get control. I wanted to make myself and my family proud of the man I was but alcohol and drugs stood in the way. I was trying to cope with so many underlying issues I wasn’t even sure what they were or how to fix them. I went to Passages for 90 days and the results have been incredible. I’m happy, healthy, and live a life I can finally be proud of. I’m thankful for the people at Passages who really helped me overcome this nearly deadly battle. I encourage anyone out there who is reading this to please pick up the phone and call them! You won’t regret it.

Cade M.

Love when I find a treatment center that actually cares about the patient first!

This place is amazing! Thank you for all you do and helping my best friend in getting back up on his feet. Super grateful… highly recommend this place to anyone and everyone looking to break free from their addiction 🙂

Passages Delivers as Promised

Passages provides excellent holistic treatment for addiction in a beautiful environment. The experience heals and nourishes the mind and soul. If you are engaged and ready to fully dive in to the experience with an open mind, you will get what you came for.

Thank You Passages

When I first reached out to Passages I was scared. I knew I needed help but I was afraid to ask for it. Once I mustarded up the courage to reach for the phone and finally call for help, I felt I great sense of relief. For about a year I watched the Passages commercial on TV and found the message to be powerful and quite intriguing. After hearing Pax’s story and how badly he struggled with addiction it gave me a lot of hope that I could pull out of this hole I dug for myself. My troubles began with alcohol, then marijuana, then cocaine. I chased a high to escape from my insecurities, anxiety, depression, and trauma. I just didn’t want to feel anything. I wanted to be happy and confident but I was destroying my life with these substances. During my 90 day stay at Passages, my entire world changed and improved. All of the therapists help bring many things to light and helped me heal my underlying conditions causing me to use and abuse drugs and alcohol. I am so thankful I reached out and committed to changing my life with the help of Passages. My family, career, and relationships are all so much more stable. The best part about being at Passages was the care and support everyone there gives you. They treated me like family. I never felt so welcomed somewhere before. Pax and Chris made regular visits and interacted with us—they treated me like a normal person, not someone with a disease or sickness like they do other places. Thank you to everyone at Passages who helped me get my life back and save me from destroying my future. I am so grateful for this, every single day.


Passages gave me the tools to help me get my life back. The day I arrived I was really nervous, I was greeted with open arms by the entire staff. I felt like I was surrounded by my family it was so strange. I arrived after dinner was prepared and I was so hungry, the staff was so thoughtful they put a plate aside for me just like my mom used to do. My days were crammed pack with little down time, evenings were extra special spending time with others around the fire pit talking and spilling our guts. I needed a place where I could get to the roots of my addiction and begin to rebuild my life and that’s exactly what I received at Passages. I found getting help is nothing to be ashamed of, it’s a reason to celebrate and something to be proud of. I have recommended Passages to many People I know so they may have the same opportunity of living a Happy and Healthy life. Thank you to everyone at Passages, the list is long and I will never forget those whom saved my life.

My Perfect Sobriety Retreat

When I first heard about Passages I was skeptical. I was not familiar with the philosophy as it is much different than other rehab facilities out there. After my first initial phone call with admissions I knew this was the start of something great. Insurance covered a large percentage of my 30 day stay. It was everything and more than what you see advertised. The grounds are immaculate, the staff is helpful and welcoming and more importantly that treatment sessions are world-class. Since graduating from Passages I have a better understanding on what was driving me to use and abuse drugs and alcohol. I now focus my time and attention on healthier alternatives to manage my stress and anxiety. I believe anyone out there who’s struggling with addiction could benefit from the treatment offered at Passages.

Since my stay 13 years ago.

I was one of the first 100 patients to walk through the doors at Passages Malibu, and receive treatment almost 13 years ago – I was but a mere 20 years old with absolutely no hope for my future. At that time in my life I couldn’t figure out which way was up, and which way was down – I had been abusing heavy drugs daily since I was 15 years old and never thought I would be able to kick the bad habits I had created for myself in that time. My biggest fear when walking into treatment was that I would be ridiculed and made to feel that I was a lost cause, and that I would always carry the stigma of “junkie” with me forever.

Before I even left for Passages, I called and left a message on their hotline asking for more information – within 10 minutes of leaving the message, to my surprise I received a return phone call from Chris Prentice himself. (during what would have been dinner time on the West Coast) I was shocked that this man, this stranger; would take anytime to reach out to me directly, let alone take the time away from dinner with his family to reach out to me so quickly. We spoke for nearly an hour, and after hanging up with him, I was booking my flight and would be arriving the next morning.

I spent 5 weeks at Passages Malibu (even spending my 21st birthday there – which the staff and my group made one of my most memorable birthdays I have ever had to this day) and was able to learn so many wonderful things that have helped me become the person I am today. Not only was I able to regain a positive outlook for my life, I realized that I wasn’t cursed, I wasn’t powerless, and I certainly wasn’t a “junkie” – I was a wonderful human being that just had many unresolved issues from my childhood and past that were causing me to want to “unplug from life” and drugs was how I personally chose to to do that unplugging.

I wish I could say that life was nothing but cupcakes and rainbows upon leaving, because it certainly wasn’t – but I have always remembered what I learned and have no question I wouldn’t be around today if it weren’t for Chris, Pax, and the rest of the staff at Passages Malibu.

Today I am a successful, happy, and extremely balanced 34 year old. I have a wonderful home, a fantastic career, and a loving family.

The treatment program offered at Passages is one of a kind, and completely life changing. I encourage anyone out there struggling with addiction to reach out to them and simply speak to someone, you will surely get the same warm feelings I got 13 years ago when I made the phone call for help, and I promise after spending time at Passages – you too will once again regain the positive outlook for a bright future.

Worlds Best Rehab Passages Malibu. Please go and discover a new you

I can’t say enough about how Passages Malibu saved my life.Mike bent over backwards fighting daily for treatment for me from my insurance. These guys saved my life. They are not just a treatment facility they are a family and you become part of that extended family once you attend. I never in my life had a chance to deal with the trauma from my childhood . I never felt like I could relax let my guard down.I could never open up. The first thing you will feel is how safe feel like living in a therapeutic cocoon.I never had that and was my first taste of that I was able to let go and let my guard down and for once in my life trust others.I can’t say that I didn’t have my own personal struggles . I did my mind was at war with my physical self ..Passages gave a road map to rediscovering myself. Accepting my faults as beautiful gifts and using them as postive assets to my life.Im ok and know I’m where I should be for right now in the universe.I rediscovered my lust for life and appeicate the small things as I did as a child that brought me so much joy and meaning to my life.Im not saying I’m not perfect or did I turn into a guy eating sprots and tofu which I tried there and was so good.I even relasped which im ok with because it was part of my journey to letting go of the pain and getting back on the right path .Ive learn to learn from my mistakes and embrace tham learn from them .the fact that I’m not perfect which is beautiful and that’s ok.. I held on to all this pain for so long that it became apart of me.I blamed everyone but myself I wrongly after my Dad passed blamed passages. That was the old me repeating a pattern blaming others for my mistakes even my drug use. I again looked for a reason to use and blame others . This time I noticed what I was doing I’ve gain the insight and tools to identify what I was doing . I was able to stop think and turn things around.Pax and Mike and all of passages thank you for such a priceless experience and a journey that awaken my soul .,You can’t put a price on peace of mind or self awareness or pulling me out of the purgatory I was living in and accepted this as my life forever.Im happy to say im on my own journey and everyday a new beautiful day filled with such beauty and joy. thank Pax and Mike for such a beauitful priceless gift .. Matt Overton ( Passages Family of 2015)

A life-changing process

If you want to change your path, go! If you want to blame others for your inability to recover, stay where you are and save yourself some money and time. Because you will look for someone to blame everywhere you go. I believe they have the best treatment possible. It was my first and I hope my only one. I got to meet one of the co-founders and he is very down to earth, accessible and supportive.

At first I was worried about the possibility of having a fun life without substances. At last I found all of the ways I could enjoy every day and be sober, thanks to Passages Ventura and its wonderful staff.

Great alternative to 12-Step programs.

I attended Passages almost five years ago and personally found the experience transformational. The staff, the program, and the setting were all very conducive to my recovery. While I don’t think anyone will have much success without the right frame mind and dedicated effort, the approach at Passages was just what I was looking for after being underwhelmed by the 12 Steps. Although I did have one brief slip shortly after leaving, I was able to right the ship quickly and have been sober over four years now. I believe my time at Passages was instrumental to my new way of living.

An Amazing Unforgettable Experience

My name is Scott Anderson, and I was a True Addict/Alcoholic in every since of the word. Before I went to passages in 2010
I had been on an All Day Bottle to Tooth Vodka habit, as well as popping copious amounts of Morphine/Vicodin & Valum & smoking Weed. All after being white knuckle sober for a year after a previous 7day detox from Alcohol & Cocain.
My girlfriend gave me the Book on the Cure which I read while I was using. One night I had enuf!
I Made the call to passages and was picked up in the morning by a town car headed to Passages. That was the Best Decision I’ve Made in This Life.
What can I say?… From the moment I began treatment with a Team of Phsychologist, an Acupuncturist, massage therapist, what I called the “Resident Guru”, who I’ll never forget, that guided us daily in Meditation, Chi Gong, Tai Chi, Sound Therapy, Hikes through the canions, kayaking, surfing…
It was Just an Amazing. And we had the Best Chef! This was no Rehab! I called it “Therapy Camp”. Reason being, this place helped me work out my underline issues that drove my addictions with the help of a collaboration of therapists daily. I stayed for 90 days by choice. At the end of each month I knew I had more work to do on myself. And the work I was getting done with my therapist was so deep and going so well I also wanted to keep it going. I made lots of great friends and we all helped Each other along the way. I could go on and on. Passages Was A Truly Special And Life Changing Experience. It was hard work no doubt about it! But I put in the work that needed to be done because I truly would not be here today without my intentions and the help of every person at Passages.

According to Healthcare Global

Healthcare Global also gave us the topmost review in their feature called “Top Ten Rehab Clinics In The World” due to our innovative mode of drug and alcohol addiction treatments. Their feature recounts several facilities we provide to our members to make their journey quit drugs easier. There’s a mention of our pristine ten-acre facility and the ocean view and our leisure facilities including our gym, vast tennis courts, swimming pools and basketball courts.
Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Addiction, Dependency, Rehab, Self-Improvement

10 Ways to Cope with the Loss of a Loved One

By Jennifer McDougall


Accepting the loss of someone you loved and cared for, no matter the time or relationship, it can be extremely difficult. Leaning on loved ones and avoiding the urge to isolate into your own personal shell is important.  When someone you love passes on, there is a numbing pain that is usually felt within our core. We want to run from pain too often when it arrives. When challenges or circumstances present themselves, it is best not to run or try and hide from the emotion or event that is or has recently taken place. By running, I am also talking about resorting to substances for temporary relief. You must know that drugs and alcohol won’t bring your loved one back and attempting to drown your pain with addictive substances can not only be fatal, but can also make matters much worse.

Recently, a friend of mine passed away from an on-going battle with addiction. Heroin was his coping mechanism. Heroin is also what took him from this world. He himself was looking for an escape. For years, he was in discomfort with himself; in pain for many of the pieces in his life never added up to a fulfilling measure (his own personal belief). The truth is, he was a bright young man with a great sense of humor. He was loved by many people, but sometimes (for reasons we don’t always understand) that’s not enough.

There are underlying reasons to why a person does what they do. Behind every person’s addiction, behind every reason to escape the consciousness we know and feel completely when sober, is an underlying reason driving the force of every thought and action.

When someone feels pain, they typically want to run away from it. The trouble is that pain is meant to be felt. It is a natural sensation that can benefit us in many ways. If you avoid the feelings of sadness and loss, you prologue the grieving process in which delays the natural cycle of healing. It is important that you feel everything during this process. If you don’t, it can lead to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, anger, insomnia, job loss, relationship trouble, financial difficulties, unresolved guilt, and many other things you are much better off without.

Symptoms of Grief:

  • Shock and Disbelief– There’s a feeling of numbness that usually hits when the news is broken to loved ones of a sudden passing. The disbelief and denial of the truth is common. Only by accepting the truth and handling the news in the most conscious and collective manner possible will we be better off.
  • Sadness – Despair, loneliness, a sense of emptiness and absence are common symptoms to feel during the grieving process. Crying is not a sin, so if you feel sad let it out. Feel what you feel.
  • Guilt – You may feel guilty for things you said or did to this person who has passed away. Even if the death was out of your control, you still might blame yourself for reasons you should only stop and learn to forgive now that the person has passed on.
  • Anger – You may be mad at yourself, God, the situation itself, the drug that caused the death, the driver behind the wheel, or the medical team who couldn’t save them. You could be mad due to feeling abandoned. That’s okay, but don’t stay mad for too long. Forgiveness goes a long way.
  • Fear – Loss can trigger feelings of worry, a loss of hope, and create insecurities.
  • Physical Symptoms (Nausea, fatigue, weight loss or weight gain, insomnia, body aches)


How to Cope with Loss:

  1. Seek support in others rather than grieving alone (join a support group, talk to a therapist, turn to family and friends)
  2. Take care of yourself (Be real with how YOU feel, express your emotions in a creative way, workout, shower daily, stay hydrated and eat nutritious meals)
  3. Do your best to be POSITIVE
  4. Engage in activities with others
  5. Avoid drugs and alcohol – treat yourself to a sweet dessert or a sweaty workout instead (total opposites, I know)
  6. Daily meditation for healing benefits and mental stability
  7. Make plans for the future to give yourself and others suffering something to look forward to
  8. Get out of the house at least once a day and be around other people
  9. Accept that the feelings of guilt, regret, pain, and suffering will soon pass
  10. Be patient through the grieving and healing process – take your time and allow yourself to go through every motion as you best feel fitting for yourself


Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Image via We Heart It

Addiction, Rehab, Self-Improvement

Repairing Broken Relationships in Recovery

By Jennifer McDougall


Healing broken relationships in recovery is extremely important. Letting go of the past, asking and accepting of forgiveness, being authentic in your actions, and using the tools you acquired during rehab is essential to your sobriety. Broken relationships carry a weight of regret and miscommunication. There’s a strong chance that throughout your days of substance abuse, you most likely hurt people along the way. When we use and abuse drugs and alcohol, we lose our authenticity—meaning we alter our consciousness to be less than intentional and in many cases hurtful to those we love and care about.

Drugs and alcohol have been ruining families and relationships of all types for years. That is no secret. Many arguments and disagreements are fueled by intoxicated behavior. The end result is rarely a pretty sight to see. Picking up the broken pieces from the destruction caused by carelessness is a process. To mend these broken relationships the following tips will help you in repairing them in the days to come.

  1. Communicate with Honesty
  2. Listen to Them Carefully
  3. Acknowledge Yours Short-Comings
  4. Ask and Accept Forgiveness
  5. Keep Your Promises (Rebuild Trust)
  6. Stay Sober
  7. Be Active in the Relationship
  8. Set Realistic Expectations
  9. Focus on Those Who Support You
  10. Be Patient as the Wounds Heal

Also read: Marriage & Family Therapy at Passages Malibu

Purchase a copy of The Laws of Love at the Passages Wellness Store


Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Image via We Heart It

Addiction, Recovery, Rehab

How to Practice Mindfulness

By Jennifer McDougall


Being mindful means to be aware and accepting of the present moment, your experiences, and sensations. It’s this therapeutic practice that helps ease your mind and body of anxiety, tension, cravings, and emotions. After eight weeks of practicing and training your mind and body to be mindful, studies have shown a great deal of improvement in the immune system; making it easier to fight off illness. This practice has also proven to increase positive emotions while reducing stress and negative emotions such as depression and cravings for addictive substances. Mindfulness has many other benefits such as, improving memory, empathy, focus, enhances relationships, and improves sleep patterns.

You do not have to be still or act as a statue to be mindful. It is simply living your life moment by moment. It helps to pay close attention to your breathing, especially when energy and emotions are intense or begin to increase. To best recognize when these emotions or energy begins to rise, you must remain aware—moment by moment. Remaining present in each and every moment means being completely conscious and not altering that consciousness with polluted substances, such as drugs or alcohol.

To achieve ultimate mindfulness, meditation is highly recommended.

Mindfulness Techniques

  • Basic Mindfulness Meditation – Paying close attention to the present experience moment by moment
  • Urge Surfing – A tool to stay focused from all distractions causing an impulse of desire for addictive substances. Without feeding it, repressing it, or fighting it let the be just that—an urge. Let it come, then set it free.
  • Body Sensations – Being aware of vibrations, temperature, pressure, lightness and heaviness, hardness and softness, itching, numbness, tingling, and all other sensations perceived within the body
  • Sensory – Be aware of sounds, sights, smells, flavors, or touches
  • Emotions – To feel physical expression completely

Benefits of Mindfulness:

  • Helps relieve stress
  • Improves focus and mental clarity
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces chronic pain
  • Helps treat heart disease
  • Improves sleep
  • Break free from addiction and anxiety
  • Mend broken relationships
  • Helps end self-destructive thoughts and behaviors
  • Overcome obsessive-compulsive disorders
  • Helps to be more engaged in activities
  • Form deeper connections with others
  • Less worry about the future or past regret
  • Heal from painful emotions or past trauma
  • Less concern about self-esteem, ego, or success
  • Expands the capacity to deal with unfavorable events

How to Practice Mindful Meditation:

  • Allow 10-15 minutes of quiet time away from your computer, cell phone, or any other outside distractions
  • Find a comfortable place to sit in the quietness of your home or office
  • Do no operate heavy machinery or drive while attempting to meditate or while listening to a guided meditation
  • Start with a guided meditation
  • Breathe slow, deep, and steady
  • Observe your inner thoughts, emotions, and sensations without judging any of them as they come and go (just be one with the flow)
  • Meditating can be challenging in the beginning, but if you stay with it you will soon come to experience the many benefits
  • Practice Mindful Meditation once a day if not more

Aside from meditating, mindfulness should be practiced throughout the day—moment by moment. It is an awareness you will soon become accustom to that will help you in more ways than one. Below are several meditations you can try today and throughout the week.

Purchase a copy of Meditation on The Perfect You

Urge Surfing Mindful Meditation:

Basic Mindfulness Meditation:

Healing Meditation Music:


Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Image via Pixabay

Passages Rehabs, Recovery, Rehab

Discovering Self-Acceptance in Alternative Rehab

By Jennifer McDougall


People often ask, “Why are you being so hard on yourself?” This usually happens when someone is not fully self-acceptant in who they are as a person. Judgement of oneself causes us to reject certain aspects of our being. Self-acceptable is often mistaken to be the same as self-esteem, but it is not. Instead, self-acceptance is simple. It means to like the person you are and accept the things you don’t. This doesn’t not mean you claim yourself to be perfect. It just means you recognize who you are and without rejecting that person, you respect, love, and care for them—just as you would for someone else whom you accept as they are.

As children, we learn to act or behave a certain way to be accepted by our parents. As adults, we do so to be accepted by our friends, spouses, or society in general. This is where we begin to steer wrong and get off track. It isn’t about being accepted by anyone else. If you do not have self-acceptance in your life, things tend to be harder for you in life. You take criticism, set-backs, and rejection personally.  This then turns into self-doubt. We then question where we went wrong or what is the matter with us; why we not good enough to be accepted by others.


“Wherever you go you will find people lying to you, and as your awareness grows, you will notice that you also lie to yourself. Do not expect people to tell you the truth because they also lie to themselves. You have to trust yourself and choose to believe or not to believe what someone says to you.”

― Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom


Many doctors believe that negative emotions and thoughts about oneself is the cause to disease and illness. At Passages Addiction Treatment Centers, we believe that addiction is caused by the following reasons:

  1. Chemical imbalance
  2. Unresolved events from the past
  3. Beliefs you hold that are inconsistent with what is true
  4. Inability to cope with current conditions


Now you may be asking yourself, “Okay. Well, how can I learn to accept myself so I can be a stronger individual who doesn’t beat themselves up over what other people may think or how I look at myself in a negative way?” Below are 10 helpful tips to begin practicing self-acceptance. If you have questions or comments, please fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

  1. Point out your strengths and be proud of them
  2. Create a reliable support system
  3. Rid our life of as much negativity as possible (pay attention to who and what you’re surrounded by)
  4. Forgive yourself of past mistakes or flaws you see in yourself
  5. Donate your time and charitable items for a greater cause to help others
  6. Know that accepting yourself for who are is not giving up on striving to be a better person
  7. Treat yourself with kindness (take care of your mental, physical, and emotional health)
  8. Think kindly about yourself
  9. Speak well of others
  10. Reconcile the loss of a dream or goal that fell through – learn to make peace with it


Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Image via We Heart It

Recovery, Self-Improvement

5 Ways to Overcome Social Anxiety

By Jennifer McDougall


Have you ever felt uncomfortable in a social setting where your nerves are racing around from beneath your skin, you feel overwhelming and intense anxiety, and want to hide out in the corner of a room? This is what it feels like to have social anxiety. Its more common than you may think. For some, they can go out and be in a public setting where they interact with others and feel completely comfortable and confident. For others, they participate in these interactions only to then go home and sink deep into an obsession of overthinking every move they made and every word they said.

“Social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, is an anxiety disorder in which a person has an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations. Anxiety (intense nervousness) and self-consciousness arise from a fear of being closely watched, judged, and criticized by others.” – Defined by WebMD

Behavioral symptoms

  • Fear of being judged
  • Avoiding social interactions altogether
  • Fear of talking to others
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Excessive drinking or drug use
  • Avoiding direct eye contact because of self-doubt
  • Trembling, shaky voice, blushing, and/or sweating
  • Avoiding situations that you may be the center of attention
  • Worrying about the worst possible outcome of the situation
  • Analyzing the event after its taken place

Physical symptoms

  • Fast heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Stomach ache
  • Muscle tension
  • Confusion or “out of body” feeling

There are many ways you can overcome this fearful situation. We have 5 helpful ways for you to breakthrough from this turbulent feeling. We want to help you feel more at ease when you’re around other people and have to interact when it feels most uncomfortable. Here are some suggestions.

  1. Try visualization
  2. Deep breathing exercises
  3. Work with a therapist
  4. Go to more social functions
  5. Identify your behaviors so you can eliminate them

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Image via We Heart It

Recovery, Self-Improvement

30 Simple Tips for Self-Care

By Jennifer McDougall


Do you ever get so busy you forget to take care of yourself? You get so caught up in the day-to-day motions of work, family, and all the plans you set out for yourself, therefore, you unfortunately forget to leave time practice self-care. This happens to all of us from time to time because we aren’t always careful to pay attention to when we need to slow down and focus on treating ourselves. When life gets busy, remind yourself that you need to slow down and take a break. Don’t exhaust yourself. Stay connected to your mind, body, and soul. As a result, you to be happier, healthier, and more fulfilled.

Here are 30 tips or suggestions for you to stay in tune with yourself, making sure you feel great, look great, and take the best care of yourself so you can be productive in all areas of your life.

  1. Practice good hygiene every single day
  2. Eat healthy meals and stay properly fueled
  3. Surround yourself with positive people
  4. Forgive yourself wholeheartedly
  5. Be gentle with your thoughts- your mind is a powerful thing
  6. Keep your home clean and organized
  7. Get outside and soak up the sun
  8. Take a nap
  9. Go to sleep early & wake up early
  10. Stop beating yourself up for not adding up to your own standards
  11. Avoid drugs and alcohol
  12. Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated everyday
  13. Avoid negative influences and interactions
  14. Stop comparing yourself to others—we are all on our path, respect that
  15. Do something nice for someone else
  16. Think things out before making any rational decisions—feel it out
  17. Pay attention to how you’re feeling. Listen to your body.
  18. Exercise for at least 30 minutes’ daily
  19. Journal your thoughts and daily experiences
  20. Build strong relationships with friends, family, and co-workers
  21. Allow yourself to have new experiences
  22. Step outside of your comfort zone with fearlessness and confidence
  23. Read for 20 minutes a day
  24. Mediate at least once a day
  25. If it doesn’t feel right or doesn’t suit you, say “NO” and don’t feel bad about it
  26. Pay your bills on time
  27. Spend less. Save more.
  28. Treat yourself to fresh flowers and desserts
  29. Turn up the music—sway to the rhythm
  30. Take the proper vitamins and supplements your body needs to thrive


Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Images via We Heart It

Addiction, Addiction Treatment Centers, Alcohol Addiction, Alcohol Rehab, Dependency, Heroin Addiction, Passages Rehabs, Prescription Drug Addiction, Recovery, Rehab, Relationships

How to Talk to Your Loved One About Addiction

By Jennifer McDougall

Sitting back and watching a loved one spiral out of control is heart-wrenching. The person you once knew has become angry, unstable, and quite possibly irresponsible. We know that you want to help them as best as you can. Without forcing them into rehab, it’s better if they see the choice as their own, but that you helped open their eyes to acknowledge a life-threatening problem. Don’t wait for them to lose everything before you step in and lend a helping hand. There are many things to expect, as this is not always a comfortable or easy process. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you initiate the conversation to motivate them into the right direction.

  • The person you love and care deeply about is most likely in denial. They may not believe there is a problem to begin with. It will take time for them to accept the fact that they are on a dangerous path that could be fatal and completely detrimental to everyone involved. They may think they’re behavior is normal and since they are alive and functioning there is nothing to discuss. This is where they are wrong and you shouldn’t give up persistence on the matter.
  • Expect volatile and emotional behaviors as this confrontation will be upsetting for them. Try your best not to fuel the fire with more anger. Make your points clear to them in a way that will stop them from yelling after they’ve screamed at you, told you how wrong you are, and how little you know about anything they are experiencing.

Many of those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol spiral out of control whether it is immediately after being hooked on a substance or gradually over time. They desperately want to grab a hold of something that gives them purpose and fills void. Typically, they feel as though their lives are meaningless and no one really cares what they are experiencing.

Reaching for the bottle or a syringe to get high takes them away from the place they feel unwanted and forgotten. It’s painful for everyone involved: the addicted person, the family members, co-workers who witness the destruction, and friends who want to help. The addict may begin hearing that their condition is a disease and they are powerless over their own demons. That is not true. At Passages, we don’t believe that addiction is an incurable disease.  We believe in the empowering nature that as humans, we can overcome any obstacle that is put in our way; that if we look at what is causing the problem and focus on healing the underlying conditions then it is absolutely possible to break free and live an addiction-free life.

We believe that those who become dependent on drugs and alcohol do so for the following reasons:

  1. A chemical imbalance
  2. Events of the past you have not reconciled
  3. Current conditions you can’t cope with
  4. Things you believe that aren’t true

Chances are your loved one is struggling with one or more of these factors. In order for them to overcome their addiction they will need to enter a treatment center, such as Passages Addiction Treatment Centers where the healing process is focused on treating the underlying conditions. Talking to your loved one may seem uncomfortable at first, but it’s important that you don’t hesitate as the problem could grow increasingly worse. Here are 7 key points to focus on.

  1. Put a stop to enabling You may not realize it, but you could be making the problem worse by creating excuses for them, or sugarcoating the condition. Be stern about ground rules and the expectations you have for them. Hold them to their promises and commitments. Let nothing slide.
  2. Educate yourself as well as friends and family on everything there is to know about addiction. Start by purchasing a copy of The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure, written by Pax and Chris Prentiss.
  3. Ask questions. Find out what it is that is driving them to use drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms. Let them open up to you. Listen attentively and make eye contact assuring them that you care and hear what they are saying.
  4. Make them feel loved instead of judged. Avoid using the term “addict” when addressing them. Don’t yell or make harsh threats. Try to avoid using phrases that belittle their worth. Instead, empower them and remind them of their strengths, aspirations, accomplishments, and how much they matter to you.
  5. Consider hiring a professional interventionist to conduct an intervention at home or somewhere private.
  6. Provide them with information on treatment centers. Give them brochures, contact information, photos, and enlightening reading material. Talk to them about the many treatment options available for them to get help and put a stop to this brutal battle.
  7. Suggest alternative options for coping with pain, social anxiety, or trauma. Provide them with a list of things to do and give them a sense of hope that things can get better with change. Life doesn’t have to be unmanageable or painful. It can be fulfilling and full of life if you’re willing to make real lifestyle changes.

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Photo courtesy of: Jennifer McDougall

Recovery, Self-Improvement, Sober Lifestyle

How to Find Inspiration When You Need It Most

By Jennifer McDougall


Often times we search for inspiration to stimulate our creative capabilities. Inspiration is what boosts our motivation to feel or do new things and helps push new ideas through the creative process. When we lack inspiration, the world may seem grey or dull; it’s not as colorful or exciting as it would be if we felt inspired.

At Passages, we recommend trying these 15 helpful tips for you to discover the inspiration you need.

1. Change up your daily routine and surroundings.

Take a different route to work. Clean and redecorate your home and office space. Add color and light to dark corners. Create a sticky note to put by your computer with an inspiration quote- change it out every couple weeks.  Turn up the music. Create a new playlist. These things help change your day to day view, which in turn expands creativity.

2. Do your best to avoid distractions.

Set your phone aside and turn the ringer off. Focus only on the task at hand.

3. Let go of doubt, regret, and pity.

Leave the past in the past. Try not to dwell on negative events or mistakes. Focus on this moment, right here, right now. Be grateful for your many blessings for there are others in the world who are far less fortunate. Open your heart and open your mind to forgiveness.

4. Meditate for 10-20 minutes at least once a day.

Meditation helps improve the way your brain processes information. Studies have shown  that meditation reduces blood pressure, anxiety, pain, symptoms of depression, and increases your mental strength and ability focus.

5. Exercise at least 5 times a week.

Exercise helps you look and feel better. It also helps with mental clarity and the relief of stress.

6. Wake up with the sun and get an early start to your day.

Get to bed at a decent hour (9:30pm- 10:30pm) and plan to wake up fifteen to thirty minutes earlier than normal. As you make these gradual changes you will find that you have more energy throughout the day.

7. Distance yourself from negative and toxic energy.

Who we surround ourselves with can have a major impact on the way we feel and the decisions we make. It is important to keep a positive circle of people who contribute only good to the world around us. Negative influences and energy will leave you feeling drained, and unmotivated.

8. Avoid the use of all drugs and alcohol.

Drugs and alcohol cloud our minds and alter our conciousness. By avoiding these substances we can discover clarity and a healthy flow of energy.

9. Work on building self-confidence.

This can be a tricky one. We are all a little hard on ourselves sometimes. Too often we compare our lives to those on social media and think less of what we have and who we are. Don’t. Remind yourself how much you have to offer. Think nothing less of yourself, but remember to always stay humble!

10. Talk to those around you and be sure to ask plenty of questions- be curious.

Asking questions helps broaden your horizons on other possible perspectives. It helps open your mind to learn new things and adds depth to your thinking process. Never underestimate the power in being curious.

11. Watch a Movie based on a true story. 

There is something so inspirational than a good movie based on a true story.

12. Change up your playlist. 

Maybe its time to listen to something new or something you haven’t heard in a while. Browse around on Spotify or Apple Music and see what else might appeal to you.

13. Detox- Physically, Mentally, and Emotionally

It may be time to detox for a few days and rid your body of any harsh toxins.

14. Read a book. 

Stop by the Passages Wellness Store and pick up a new book today.

15. Take a vacation. 

Broaden your horizons by exploring new territories. Get out of your comfort zone and travel to places less familiar. This will allow you to think outside of the box. Unwind and relax for a few days without any distractions. Recharge your energy and refocus your mind.



Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Image via We Heart It

Sober Lifestyle

Delicious and Non-Alcoholic Beverage Recipes

Sparkling Rosemary Limeade

Makes eight 5-ounce servings — or more, depending on dilution

1 cup lime juice (from about 6 limes)
3/4 cup sugar
Peel of 2 limes
Two 4-inch sprigs fresh rosemary, plus more to serve
4 to 6 cups chilled sparkling water

Stir the lime juice with the sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Lower the heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the lime peel and the rosemary sprigs. Simmer for another minute, then turn off the heat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Strain out the lime peel and rosemary and mix with the chilled sparkling water in a sealed jar or bottle. Taste and add more water if you want a lighter flavor.

Serve over ice with a small sprig of rosemary muddled into the drink.


Pink Grapefruit and Pomegranate Soda

Makes about 6 drinks

1/2 cup pink or red grapefruit juice (from about 1 small grapefruit)
1/2 cup pomegranate juice (from about 1 medium pomegranate)
1 cup sugar
2 star anise pods
Soda water
Pomegranate arils for garnish (optional)

Combine grapefruit juice, pomegranate juice, sugar, and star anise in a small saucepan over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugars.

Remove from heat and let sit 30 minutes. Strain and discard solids. Let syrup cool completely.

To serve, fill an 8-ounce glass halfway with ice cubes, add 3 tablespoons of syrup, fill with soda water, and stir. Add more syrup for a sweeter or stronger flavor. Garnish with pomegranate arils.


Iced Green Tea with Ginger, Mint and Honey

Serves 6 to 8

6 cups water
1/4 cup ginger, peeled and sliced
3 to 6 bags green tea (depending on how strong you like your tea)
1/2 cup mint leaves, tightly packed, plus extra to serve
1/3 cup honey
1 lemon, divided

In a medium-sized pot, combine the water and ginger slices. Bring to a boil. Once the water boils, remove from heat and add the tea bags and mint leaves. Cover the pot and steep for about 15 minutes.

Strain the brewed tea; separating the liquid from the mint leaves and tea bags. Mix in the honey and juice from half of the lemon into the tea. Transfer to a pitcher and cool to room temperature before refrigerating.

Slice the second half of the lemon. When ready to serve, add 1 to 2 lemon slices into each glass, along with a few mint leaves and ice cubes. Once the tea has cooled, pour it into the glasses and serve.


Blackberry & Sage Spritzers

Makes 10

1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup of water
3 to 4 fresh sage leaves
1 pound fresh blackberries
Sparkling water
Extra blackberries and sage leaves for garnish (optional)

Combine the honey and the water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir it together as it heats up. Once it reaches the point just before boiling, shut off the burner and remove the mixture from the heat.

Add the whole sage leaves and the blackberries to the hot honey mixture and stir. Allow the berries to macerate in the honey syrup until the mixture has cooled significantly and the berries have broken down a bit.

Pour the blackberries and the syrup into a blender. Blend the entire mixture (including the sage leaves) on high until it is well combined and looks uniform in color and texture. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the blackberry seeds. You should have about 2 cups of smooth, thick syrup.

To make the spritzers, fill a cup with ice and add some of the blackberry and sage syrup. Use two tablespoons for a mild spritzer, or a quarter cup for a sweeter one. You can play around with a ratio to suit your taste.

Add sparkling water to top, stir, and garnish with extra blackberries and a bit of sage.


All recipes were provided by: The Kitchn


Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Image via We Heart It