Do you believe in the power of positivity? For people who are going through addiction recovery, a positive outlook on life can go a long way. What makes recovery sustainable is one’s motivation, and positive thinking can become the fuel to renew motivation. Positivity goes beyond this to include gratitude, hope, humility, and resilience when faced with life’s challenges.
The True Meaning of Recovery
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has developed a working definition for recovery: “A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.” Guided by this definition, recovery encompasses four major dimensions: health, home, purpose, and community. In all these areas, one needs to internalize a sense of hope, which serves as the catalyst for the entire recovery process.
Because people who struggle with substance use disorders are often clouded by a sense of hopelessness, shame, guilt, and negativity, true recovery requires regaining a positive perspective about change. This message of positive thinking needs to be strong enough to anchor and motivate them for a long time.
The Battle Against Negativity
People who have substance use disorder tend to have co-occurring emotional and mental health issues. The latter may form a vicious cycle with substance abuse, making them more dependent on drugs and alcohol as the substances worsen the mental health condition. While there are sometimes deeper causes involved, such as traumatic experiences, negative thought patterns are one common symptom of such comorbidities.
Although everyone has an inner monologue, people suffering from addiction tend to hold onto untrue and negative beliefs. They include bitterness about the past, pessimism about the future, resentment of others, and being overly critical of oneself. An overwhelmingly negative outlook on life can trigger anxiety and depression, leading to one’s dependence on drugs and alcohol. In this way, negativity is like a self-fulfilling prophecy. It can also push away friends and family who are concerned about a loved one’s behavior, leading to more isolation.
Even though recovering individuals have taken an important step toward positive change, most still face the challenge of battling residual negative self-talk. This is because the pattern of negative thinking is still there, and people tend to fall back on old habits, including mental habits. Simple abstinence from drugs and alcohol is not enough to make negative self-talk go away. One needs to work with cognitive-behavioral therapists who can coach them on how to identify and cope with negativity.
The Benefits of Positive Thinking
We all need to re-evaluate life and adjust our basic understandings of it. Recovery is the time to shake up your worldview. It is a time to connect with the many beautiful things in life, which should not be taken for granted. Positive thinking involves giving things and people their due respect. Take family and friends for example. It is a wonderful thing to have their love and support, and you should not take that for granted even in moments when you don’t feel like being close to them.
Positive thinking centers around gratitude. There is always something to be thankful for in life, and one just needs to have the eyes to spot them. This grateful outlook is critical for people in recovery. They also need to practice self-forgiveness and self-affirmation. Achieving early sobriety is indeed something worth celebrating, so people in any stage of recovery can look at themselves with fresh eyes to see how amazing they are and how far they have come.
The shift in outlook on life can greatly reduce stress in recovery, meaning positive thinking is one kind of relapse prevention. This does not mean that one should discount suffering or ignore emotional pain. On the contrary, recovery specialists recommend one should recognize the presence of pain and despair, but also recognize that there is life beyond it.
Practical Advice for Boosting Positivity in Recovery
Positive thinking is not cheap sloganeering. It is founded on a set of values and beliefs. For example, we believe that people who struggle with substance use disorders have essential worth and dignity. They should not be shamed or discriminated against. Access to high-quality treatment is a right for everyone. These values are deeply held in the recovery community.
Recovery is a journey of personal growth. Allow yourself to be open to these positive values and practices. Work with recovery specialists in your treatment center to rebuild a healthy lifestyle. Surround yourself with positive people and relationships. Start practicing positive self-talk on a daily basis. Keep a gratitude journal to record all the small victories on this journey. Write thank-you cards to family and friends as a way of showing appreciation. Once you are deeply rooted in a strong support system, you can find sustainable momentum toward full recovery.
Do you want to encourage yourself or a loved one who is in recovery to have a positive outlook on life? Recovery is a journey of personal growth fueled by positivity, and one should be open to these positive values and practices. If you want to work with recovery specialists to rebuild a healthy lifestyle and surround yourself with positive people and relationships, our residential facility is the best place to be. At Laguna Shores Recovery, our team of licensed mental healthcare professionals and therapists can coach and counsel you on regaining positivity in life. Most of our staff has been in recovery themselves, so we understand the pains and struggles. Finding strong bonds with people in recovery is an essential part of the recovery process. Our full medical residential facility offers a range of treatments, including diagnosis, behavioral therapies, and 12-step programs. Early intervention is key. Act now and call us at (866) 906-3203.