Seven Ways Positive Thinking Can Help Your Recovery

Seven Ways Positive Thinking Can Help Your Recovery

Managing depression through positive thinking also manages addiction recovery

Because addiction is largely a psychological disease, much of it is rooted in unhealthy or unproductive thought patterns. There is a reason “stinking thinking” or addictive thinking is much maligned in treatment, therapy and support groups. Continuing to think in the same, negative way during recovery does not lead to lasting change. Learning to turn negative thoughts into positive ones supports a drug or alcohol-free life.

Positive Thinking Helps You Admit to Lack of Control

Drugs and alcohol give users the illusion of control. They refuse to admit to a problem, and even after experiencing job loss, criminal charges or financial stress, addicts often continue to see themselves as in control and infallible. Positive thinking allows individuals to recognize what is beyond their control — their drug use. Individuals who think positively are not threatened by an awareness of impotence. They accurately see what they can and cannot change, and rather than feel inadequate or worthless and drink to cover such emotions, they are able to ask for help.

Positive Thinking Puts an End to Blame

Addicts commonly blame other people, their situation or other outside factors for their drug use. Even after coming to recognize that addiction is a disease, they may blame themselves. This blame is detrimental to recovery as it either shifts responsibility or creates negative, self-defeating thoughts. Positive thinking helps individuals see themselves and others in a good way and to recognize where positive action can be taken.

Positive Thinking Helps You Gain Self-Esteem

Positive thinking helps recovering drug and alcohol users recognize their strengths while also recognizing their weaknesses. Recognition of weaknesses is not the same as focusing on or stressing about these areas beyond individual control. Focusing on strengths provides agency and allows individuals to understand that asking and getting help for weaknesses is a strength in and of itself.

Positive Thinking Reduces Anger

Anger is a common emotion felt by those in addiction and early recovery. Anger consists of an immediate emotional reflex followed by a reaction to and retention of the feeling. While reflexes cannot be controlled, positive thinking allows individuals to change their reaction and helps them not retain anger. Letting go of real and perceived causes of anger allows individuals to let go of a potential relapse trigger.

Positive Thinking Reduces Depression

While depression is a disease much like addiction, it can be managed through therapy and positive thinking. Since depression is a common contributor to drug use and can act as a trigger for relapse, managing depression through positive thinking also manages addiction recovery.

Positive Thinking Lets You Get to Know Yourself

When you do not think you like who you are or what you do, you do not get to know yourself. Addicts tend to avoid self-reflection. Positive thinking allows individuals to see strengths, weaknesses and most of all truths about who they are. Knowing yourself is key to liking yourself and fueling your strengths rather than weaknesses.

Positive Thinking Helps You Recognize Negative Thinking

When all an addict can focus on is negative thought patterns, he or she may not be able to see them for what they are. When an individual thinks positively, he or she is then able to recognize when thoughts become negative. This offers the opportunity to take action and rethink a situation rather than return to all negative thoughts and the risk of relapse that accompanies these.

You Can Recover from Addiction

Stop self-defeating or denying addiction and ask for help. Call our toll-free helpline for help and encouragement in finding rehab and therapy resources or support for recovery after treatment. You can recover, and we can help.

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