Positive thinking can enhance the effectiveness of addiction treatment. It can also increase your chances of getting sober and staying abstinent. After all, addiction recovery is a battle of wits, patience and perseverance. Your mental frame and state will make a huge difference in your results. A change in mood and mindset can affect your behavior. It’ll factor into how you respond to treatment. For example, those with a more positive mindset may be more receptive to treatment. They may be more willing to open up and heal from the addiction. Those who are more positive may also take advantage of more of the resources offered at the rehab center. They may also make more friends to create a strong social network that supports them through the recovery process. “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”~ Epictetus Those who manage to stay positive tend to face better outcomes. They’re less likely to give up on treatment, even if they run into some obstacles along the way. They’re more likely to pick themselves up even after they relapse, and they’re more likely to go through the entire treatment program. Staying positive in the face of intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms may not be easy. Withdrawal timelines for drugs and alcohol can span anywhere from a week to over a month. Many recovering drug addicts and alcoholics will want to give up at some point in time. This is why most drug and alcohol rehab programs require patients to go through behavioral therapy. Therapy will help keep their spirits up. It will also keep them in a calm and happy state of mind. This makes it much easier for recovering addicts to stay on track. If you’re seeking addiction treatment, learn more about the power of positive thinking here. This guide will teach you how to get the right mindset needed for addiction recovery.
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The Power of Positive Thinking
Positive thinking can greatly increase your chances of successfully getting clean and sober. Positive emotions and thoughts can open up your mind to other options. It will also build over time, creating a lasting emotional resilience. Those who nurture positive thinking will recover faster from cardiovascular stress, have better sleep and have a greater sense of overall happiness. They will feel more motivated to stay clean and get sober, and will make healthier lifestyle decisions. Many people believe that thoughts are vibrations of energy. If you believe in your thoughts or have positive thoughts, your situations will change. To change external circumstances, you must first change the internal ones happening in your mind. This is known as mind power. The power of positive thinking can help you achieve your desired outcome, which is sobriety. If you focus on success, you’ll attract success. On the other hand, if you focus on fear and failure, you’ll attract that instead. This is known as the Law of Attraction. It’s one of the most popular and most well-known Universal Laws. Basically, what you think is what you attract. This means that adopting a positive mindset during recovery will speed up your recovery. If you empower yourself mentally, you’ll be more likely to succeed. Use your thoughts consciously to awaken new opportunities.
Ways to Maintain a Positive Mindset
Staying positive can be difficult, especially when dealing with an addiction. You’re going to have a lot of good days and a lot of bad days when going through addiction treatment at a rehab center. It’s easy to want to give up and to give in to your negative emotions and feelings. But just like a seed, positivity can flourish and grow. All you have to do is nurture this mindset. Here are several ways of nurturing a positive mindset:
- Keeping a gratitude journal. This technique is often used by those who practice mindfulness-based relapse prevention. Write down all of the positive things that happen every day. This can be something as major as getting a raise or as minor as having ice cream for dessert. Write down anything that brought you joy.
- Using inspirational books, audio, and videos. You can even print out inspirational quotes that speak to you. Being around inspirational material can keep you motivated. It can also increase your overall positivity.
- Spending time with positive and supportive people. This includes family members and friends. Get rid of all the toxic people in your life. They’ll only hinder your progress. If you need additional support, join a support group. Both Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous groups can be quite effective.
- Reducing exposure to negative news. Stop watching negative news and start watching shows or news channels that have a more positive outlet on look. Instead of reading about a robbery that happened last week, read about how a citizen made a change for the better. Or, read about the latest inventions created.
Surround yourself in positivity to maintain a positive mindset. It’ll improve your mental health and mood. It’ll help you be more prepared in facing a drug or alcohol addiction head on.
Refresh Your Mind with a 7 Day Mental Diet
Your mental state and frame will have a huge influence on your behaviors and actions. Unfortunately, most people haven’t adopted a positive mindset yet, especially if they’re struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction. Most recovering drug abusers and alcoholics tend to have a pessimistic viewpoint on life. They may even not believe in their own recovery. This is where a 7-day mental diet will come in handy. This type of diet will transform your mind and your way of thinking. By changing your way of thinking, the conditions in your life will change too. You’ll find yourself reacting to situations differently. You’ll become happier and more cheerful. Your quality of life may even improve. The 7-day mental diet involves not holding onto a negative thought for seven days straight. The goal is to focus on the positives in life only. This will take a lot of conscious effort. This mental diet will help you develop a habit of positive thinking. After the seven days, you’ll find yourself focusing on the positives more than the negatives. So, what if you do dwell on a negative thought during the seven days? Well, then you start over from day one until you reach seven consecutive days of positive thinking. It’s important to note that this will be rather difficult. It’s not easy to dwell only on the positives. This is because negative thoughts are going to drift into your mind from time to time. It may take you several tries before you succeed in completing this diet.
What Is a Negative Thought?
Did you know that the human brain produces up to 50,000 thoughts in a day? Did you know that 70% to 80% of these thoughts are negative? This means that, for most of us, an overwhelming majority of our thoughts are negative. They bring us down and cause us some form of grief. Since the majority of our thoughts are negative, it’s important to define what a negative thought is. After all, the goal is to purge your mind from these emotions and thoughts, so that you can use positive thinking in your recovery. A negative thought is any thought that:
- Makes you feel like a failure or reminds you of past failures
- Makes you feel disappointed trouble
- Criticizes your actions
- Causes you to feel spite, jealous or self-condemnation
- Pertains to getting sick, injured or in an accident
- Makes you feel limited or pessimistic
Basically, a negative thought is anything that’s not positive and anything that’s not constructive at all. Your heart will tell you whether a thought is negative or not. The problem with negative thoughts is that they influence our physical and mental condition. Studies show that negative thoughts can cause a person to be at greater risk of developing hypertension. They can also increase the risk of infections, cardiovascular disease, and digestive disorders. These thoughts can bring on chronic stress that may even decrease the person’s lifespan by shortening the telomeres, which are important parts of the DNA strand. Negative thoughts can have a strong impact on the addiction recovery process. The truth is that they aren’t necessary. Approximately 85% of the things people worry about usually end up having a positive or neutral outcome.
What to Do When You Have a Negative Thought
During the 7 days mental diet, you can try to be as positive as possible, but you’re still going to have some negative thoughts. It’s unavoidable. The goal of this mental diet is to never speak these negative thoughts out loud. Instead, you’ll eliminate a negative thought by:
- Setting it aside and forget about it. Instead of spending any energy entertaining the thought, you’ll immediately move onto something else. Don’t let the negative thoughts have any of your time or energy. Focus on something else instead. For example, you might want to start focusing on a hobby or start thinking about what you have to eat for dinner.
- Replacing it with a positive thought. You can do this by saying, “That’s not what I mean. What I actually mean is this.” Replace the negative thought with a positive one. For example, instead of thinking that you can’t do something, think about what you can do.
Do not allow yourself to hold onto a negative thought or feeling. You might still feel lousy or frustrated; however, you won’t linger around those feelings. By moving on, you’ll be more ready to face the challenges in your life head on. You’ll notice what’s great about a situation instead of what’s negative or bad about it. If you stay committed, you’ll feel like a different person after 7 days. You’ll notice your mental health improving. You’ll also notice that staying positive becomes easier and easier. You won’t have as much difficulties as time goes on. Fewer and fewer negative thoughts will intrude into your mind. Instead, you’ll almost always immediately think of the positive factors in the situation.
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The Role of Self-Efficacy in Positive Thinking and Addiction Treatment
Self-efficacy is basically the act of believing in yourself. It’s believing that you have the power and the capability to do certain actions to get certain results. It can affect how you think, behave and even feel. Self-efficacy can impact your psychological state, your behavior and your motivation. As a result, it can play an important role in substance abuse treatment. Studies have shown that self-efficacy can predict a recovering addict’s drug or alcohol consumption after receiving treatment. It can predict the outcome of substance use disorder treatment. To develop a strong sense of efficacy, the recovering addict must first identify a goal that they would like to accomplish. They must then determine what they need to change and what they have to do to get there. After that, they’ll need to put together a game plan for approaching challenges and taking on other tasks. A person with a strong sense of efficacy will have the following traits:
- Break down challenges into easily manageable tasks and goals
- Develop a deep interest and curiosity in all of the activities that they participate in
- Develop a strong sense of commitment to their goals and activities
- Figure out ways to recover quickly from setbacks, like relapses, and disappointments
This type of mindset is vital for someone who is trying to win his or her fight with addiction. Those with a strong sense of efficacy must approach all situations in a positive light. If they focus on personal failings or on negative outcomes, they are more likely to feel discouraged. They’re also more likely to stop believing in themselves.
The Power of Intention to Maintain Positive Thoughts
A concept in the Law of Attraction is the Power of Intention. Basically, you don’t attract what you want, but what you are. In order to become what you want, you must first have an intention to get it. Everything that has ever happened in your life begins with intention. If you decide to go buy groceries or call a friend, it all starts with intention. Intention can lead to both positive and negative outcomes. By being aware of your intentions and harnessing this energy, you can become the person that you want to be. If you strongly intend to get sober, you’ll make decisions that will get you there. Intentions are strongly linked with self-efficacy and also your deepest desires. “You are what your deepest desire is. As your desire is, so is your intention. As your intention is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”~ Upanishads An intention is a directed impulse of consciousness. This impulse contains the seeds of the goals that you are trying to achieve. You must nurture your intentions for them to grow. It’s an energy that allows you to create the outcomes that you desire.
How to Harness the Power of Intention
How can you harness the Power of Intention? How can you get it to work for you and not against you? There are many theories around. Here are some of the top tactics recommended by philosophers and counselors:
- Meditate. You can plant the seeds of your intention by meditating. Focus on the intention while you are most at peace with yourself. Meditation will take you into the silence of pure consciousness.
- Check in with your intentions. It’s easy to accidentally veer off course. It happens with everyone. Check in with your intentions on a regular basis to make sure that you’re still on the right path. Consider whether you are taking the right steps to make your intentions come true.
- Focus on your intentions. Listen to them and focus on them. Put all your efforts and thoughts into nurturing and growing your intentions, so they become reality.
- Remain centered. Your intentions become much more powerful if they come from a place of contentment, and not from a negative place. Stay centered. Don’t let anyone influence your thoughts or plant a seed of doubt in your mind. Brush off other people’s criticisms.
- Let your intentions bloom. Everything will happen when the time is right. Trust that you’ll get the results and outcomes that you want.
The Power of Intention can make a huge difference in addiction recovery. This is why this concept is often explored during behavioral therapies, like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Motivational Interviewing (MI).
The Power of Focus on Positive Thinking
So, how do you stay positive? Simple, you focus on it. According to several researchers, if you can focus your thoughts in one direction for as little as 17 seconds, it’ll attract another positive thought. The positive emotions you experience become stronger. More and more positive thoughts and emotions will join again at the 34-second mark. If you continue to think positively, more emotions will join again at 51 and 58 seconds. If you’re able to focus solely on positive emotions for 68 seconds, your thoughts will begin to transform into a physical manifestation. You’ll feel the energy bubbling inside of you. The longer that you focus on positive thoughts, the more power you summon to it. Focusing gives you leverage. Focusing your mind on a specific thought will help you take action. In fact, some people would even say that it drives action. But, how do you stay focused? There are many different techniques and tactics that can be used. Meditation, for one, can help you hone your focus into a specific direction. You can also try using the focus wheel process, forgiveness prayers, the pre-paving process and a reality check.
Learn How to Love Yourself Again to Get Rid of Negative Emotions and Mindset
To stay positive, you must first believe that you deserve it. You must love yourself and forgive yourself for all of the mistakes that have brought you to this point in life. That’s not easy for many recovering addicts and alcoholics. They tend to feel a lot of guilt, shame and self-loathing. They may even have low self-esteem, which can interfere with the recovery process. Stop negative thoughts and behaviors by learning how to love and respect yourself. Learning how to love and respect yourself can be difficult for some people. Here are some pointers to follow:
- Meditate. Don’t let the chaos of addiction recovery consume your life. Instead, take some time out of the day to meditate. Clear your mind and let go of the hate. Don’t let it consume you. Similarly, it’s a good time to focus on self-love. Think about how far you’ve gotten and how proud you should be of yourself.
- Take care of yourself. Loving yourself means taking care of yourself as well. This includes eating a healthy diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy. It also involves getting regular physical exercise to keep your body physically healthy.
- Get enough sleep each night. You’ll be able to better control your emotion if you sleep close to 8 hours each night. Let your mind rest, so that it has time to appreciate itself.
- Spend time doing things that you love. Pick up on hobbies. Let your mind flourish once again doing what it loves. This might include dancing, singing, painting or even just taking a hike every now and then.
Addiction recovery is not easy. You need as much help as you can get. If you treat yourself with kindness, you’ll be far more likely to succeed.
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Seek External Help with Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous Support Groups
It’s hard to maintain a positive mindset by yourself. Most people will waver when they run into obstacles and challenges during the addiction recovery process. To maintain a strong positive mindset, it’s critical that you surround yourself with a strong social network. You can do this by joining a support program hosted by the rehab center. If you’ve already completed treatment, you will benefit greatly from joining a 12 step program or a support group. There are many 12 step programs and support groups out there. Out of all the options available, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are the two most popular faith-based options. SMART Recovery is a science-based program that’s also gaining popularity. These support groups welcome everyone. Even the faith-based programs will welcome agnostics and atheists. For those who wonder how a 12 step program works for agnostics, most support groups will let members replace a Higher Power for anything else. Support groups not only give recovering addicts and alcoholics an outlet to vent, but they also help them learn more about their addiction. This is a great time for most recovering addicts and alcoholics to get the help they need. Studies show that those who rely on a support group will tend to have a better mental health condition. They will also be much more likely to enjoy a higher quality of life.
How to Yield the Best Results Possible
If you’re interested in joining a support group, there are plenty of ways that you can enhance your experience. For one, try to attend at least one meeting a week. Consistency is key. You’ll find that developing a habit of going to a support group each week will help you stay positive. If possible, attend the same meeting. This will help you build a strong relationship with other members. It’s also important to be open and to be honest. The conversations at the meetings are 100% confidential. You’ll be able to stay positive if you let other people into your world. Similarly, it’s important that you find a good sponsor. Having a good sponsor on your team is like having a good coach on a sports team. You’ll not only get access to the resources you need, but a good sponsor can keep your spirits up. He or she can remind you that there’s light at the end of the tunnel and to keep going.
Stay Positive and Keep at It
Relapses may happen. It’s actually quite common with the addiction recovery process. To successfully achieve long-term sobriety, try to maintain positive thinking throughout the recovery process. Never give up hope. Learn how to change the way that you think. Get rid of all negative emotions, and learn coping strategies to deal with any obstacles that may get in the way. A healthy mental state is the key to a successful recovery. There are many different ways to maintain a positive mindset, as mentioned above. Different types of behavioral therapies may also recommend different tactics and techniques. Learn how to love yourself again or even go on a 7-day mental diet. Try out all of the recommendations to find out what works for you. If you need addiction treatment, Northpoint Washington will be there to help every step of the way. Our addiction specialists can evaluate your mental frame and state. They can teach you how to stay positive, and also help treat co-occurring mental health disorders, like depression. Help is just one phone call away. Get the support you need by calling us at 425.437.3298 or using our contact form. We have addiction specialists on standby 24 hours a day to answer your questions and to offer you support. If you have any questions, you can even leave us a comment below.