Always look for the silver lining. Keep your chin up. Just keep smiling. There are a million motivational posters, sayings, and memes available at the press of a button or two, but why are they so popular? The fact is that positive thinking is actually beneficial in a number of ways. Positive thinking is a tool that can be used to help get through the toughest days of early recovery and continue to help long term. Read on to learn the benefits of positive thinking as well as ways to help keep you positive over time.
First you must realize that positive thinking does not mean that you ignore life’s less than perfect moments. It instead means that you approach any unpleasantness with a productive and positive way of thinking in which you expect the best outcome, not the worst. So much of the world takes a glass half empty approach to life when the benefits of seeing the glass as half full are scientifically documented. A few of the known health benefits of positive thinking include an increased life span, lower rates of depression, better physical and psychological well being, and better overall coping skills. Any one of these benefits would be enough reason to give positive thinking a try, but all combined make something as simple as changing your mindset, a no-brainer.
Though positive thinking is as simple as changing the way you think, it is often a challenge for those who are in recovery. Addiction can alter the way the brain processes situations and thoughts that we take in each day. It can take time, consistency, and practice to break this negative thinking cycle. In fact, you will still think negatively, probably often. When a negative thought occurs, try changing the negative to a positive immediately. Something simple such as oh no it is raining again to the plants will grow well this year. As you practice this daily, positive thinking will become a habit. You should also learn to perceive more and judge less so that you can learn more about others and yourself. Take time to just listen when others speak and observe as you go through life. Often we waste words when silence would do much more good in the situation.
If you do find yourself in a negative situation or one in which something needs to be said, take time to compliment the person on a positive in the midst of the craziness. It may not seem like much but this small compliment can greatly alter how things proceed. A calm and kind word can defuse highly stressful situations if handled correctly.
As you start to change take note of what is working in your life and stick with it. There is no need to focus on what is not broken in the early stages of recovery. In relation to this, remember that you are not perfect. If you do start thinking negatively then simply alter the thought, we all make mistakes. The overall goal is to better yourself, not become perfect as that is unrealistic and unattainable.
Finally, have the courage to face and overcome your fears. Even when things look grim you can have the faith to believe they will get better. If you are going forward, just keep moving in the same direction.
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