Negative thinking in Recovery

Breaking the Bad Habit of Negative thinking in Recovery

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Negative thinking in Recovery.

Addiction comes with a host of bad habits. Whether it is breaking the law to get another fix, lying to others to hide your problems, or simply forgetting to take care of yourself in a healthy manner, addiction is bad news. One of the worst habits we must break when entering recovery is the habit of negative thinking in recovery. As an addict you are often full of negative thoughts. Whether you believe you cannot get better or are not good enough to be successful in the world, you tend to fulfill what you think of yourself. This can be a difficult habit to break, but it is far from impossible.

Though negative thinking often becomes ingrained in our thought processes once we are aware of this type of thinking it can be altered. In order to break this bad habit, like other bad habits, we must make a conscious effort to change the way we perceive things. We must also alter the way we perceive certain tasks so negative thinking does not take over. With the self awareness that comes with actively taking control of our thoughts and actions, real change can be accomplished. There are several basic steps that can be taken in order to break the bad habit of negative thinking in recovery.

Decide To Change.

One step is to decide you really want to change. If you are not committed to altering your thought patterns then real change cannot occur. This step can take time and effort but will become easier over time. As each thought comes to mind take it captive and decide whether it is positive or negative. If the thought is negative, change your thinking. For example, I have to spend the whole day in the office can become I get to go to work and earn money for the things I enjoy. Every thought can be turned around with effort.

You should also try to gain insight into what is causing the habit. Are you simply comfortable being unhappy and negative? Often negativity has become so much a part of our daily lives that we do not realize what is happening. By being aware of why we react the way we do, we can alter it. This will not happen immediately, but will become a new habit with practice.

Set Goals.

Set reasonable goals for yourself. Setting goals gives us the opportunity to work toward something and then celebrate reaching that goal. Start small with something that can be accomplished in a day or a few hours. When that goal is met, reward yourself in a fun way. This allows you to both accomplish a needed task and get rewarded with something that will make you feel good. These goals also allow for measurable progress. Recovery takes time and by setting measurable goals we can monitor our own progress. Seeing progress can increase positive thoughts.

Seek Help.

Lastly, seek help if changing the habit of negative thinking is too difficult to do alone. Therapists are often helpful at helping to monitor progress and hold you accountable for distorted views of self and the world. Don’t wait any longer, start working on being more positive right away. You have taken the first step by entering recovery or in the least considering it. You are worth the effort and  you can succeed with a bit of hard work.

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.

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