Your attitude will make a big difference in how you navigate the ups and downs of addiction recovery. A positive, can-do attitude can get you over the difficult times ahead. It can help you cope with the negative emotions and situations that can lead to relapse. If you fall – and this is common – a positive attitude can help you get back on your feet.
Understanding Triggers that Can Lead to Addiction Relapse
When you’re combating addiction, you’re bound to face triggers that can lead to setbacks in your recovery. You may meet people or visit places that remind you of your addiction, tempting you to relive those days. Stressful situations in life can lead to emotional upheaval and a weakening of your resolve to keep fighting. Stress can put you on a downward spiral, making you more susceptible to negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, and depression – all of which can lead to relapse.
Overconfidence, social isolation, complacency, loneliness, and reminiscing are additional triggers that pose a risk of relapse in addiction recovery. By recognizing your triggers, you can take measures to avoid them in order to avoid relapse.
When triggers overwhelm you, consider seeking help and support from loved ones or medical professionals from substance abuse facilities in your local area. Temptation is normal during recovery. A positive attitude can keep you from succumbing to temptation so you can stay on track in reaching your recovery goals.
The Benefits of Positive Thinking in Recovery
Positivity can be an invaluable tool to help you succeed in recovery. The benefits of a positive, can-do attitude are boundless when it comes to overcoming setbacks to your recovery. Here’s how staying positive helps in addiction recovery:
Combats negativity – A positive mindset can help you cope with the negative feelings that relapse can bring. It keeps you from succumbing to stress, anxiety, and depression so you can get back on track with your recovery. A positive attitude can keep you moving forward when your emotions aren’t cooperating.
Increases self-efficacy – Positivity increases self-efficacy to give you greater hope that you can reach your recovery goals, even when you relapse. The more you believe in yourself, the greater your chances of succeeding in recovery and in life.
Improves health – A positive attitude can help improve your physical health and well-being. Positivity can help you combat illness to stay healthy. If you’re sick, positivity can help you recover quicker. Good health can make it easier for you to stick with your recovery.
Motivates you to succeed – There’s nothing like a positive mindset to help motivate you and others to succeed. You can be a tremendous influence in the lives of others by projecting a positive, can-do attitude. It’s especially important to stay positive after a setback or relapse in your recovery journey.
The Dangers of Negative Thinking
Negative thinking, sometimes known as stinking thinking, can threaten your recovery and general outlook. Stinking thinking consists of negative thoughts and feelings such as pessimism, cynicism, resentment, and bitterness over the past. Left unchecked, negativity can suck the joy out of your life, leaving you without hope for the future.
Stinking thinking is dangerous for you and those around you, as it can pull your peers down as well. If you find yourself in a negative spiral, cognitive behavioral therapy may be able to help. Through cognitive behavioral therapy, you can learn how to break negative thinking habits and develop positive thinking skills that will help you cope with the difficulties of recovery.
Ways to Maintain a Positive Mindset
Staying positive isn’t easy, especially when you’re healing from an addiction. You will have ups and downs on your recovery journey. On bad days, you may be tempted to give up altogether.
Maintaining a positive attitude, however, is essential to a successful recovery and a brighter future. A positive outlook will give you greater purpose and meaning to your life.
Here are a few ways to maintain a positive outlook when the going gets rough:
Meditate: Take time to meditate daily for peace and relaxation. Meditation can help calm your mind and spirit when stressful situations arise. When meditating, make an effort to think about the present, not your past. Consider the wonderful benefits you’re receiving from your new substance-free life.
Own your life: Own your life by taking responsibility for past mistakes and striving to create a better future. Your determination to better your situation can help propel you forward into accomplishing your goals.
Surround yourself with supportive people: Welcome the help and support of family, friends, and colleagues who want to see you succeed in your recovery. Avoid toxic influences whenever possible. If you need additional help, seek professional recovery services or join a local support group.
Practice self-care: Eat right, exercise daily, and get the rest you need to stay in good health. Good health can improve your mood and outlook on life. Treat yourself by participating in activities you enjoy. Take up new hobbies and interests that challenge your creativity. Read, listen to, or watch inspirational material that keeps you motivated and inspired to reach your goals.
Give back to your community: If you have extra time on your hands, consider volunteering to help others in need. Look for causes you believe in and causes where you enjoy giving your time and effort. Volunteering can boost your confidence and self-esteem as you do your part to help improve the lives of others.
Set recovery goals: Set short- and long-term goals for your recovery to challenge you to keep making progress. Celebrate every goal you achieve knowing that it brings you one step closer to freedom from addiction.
Keep a gratitude journal: Remind yourself constantly of the good in your life by writing down positive things that occur during the course of the day. Journaling can help keep life in perspective when difficulties arise so you’re not tempted to quit making progress.
All this is to say that positivity can be a valuable asset when you’re traveling down the road of addiction recovery.
shatterproof.org – The Reality of Relapse
inpathybulletin.com – The Power of Positive Thinking in Addiction Recovery
brainline.org – How to Clean Up Stinking Thinking and Cope Better
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery
sobercollege.com – 10 Tips for Staying Positive in Early Recovery