Your thoughts have the ability to shape your whole day. When you let your mind go on auto-pilot, it can be hard to break out of negative cycles. You become so used to seeing and thinking about things in a certain way. Making a conscious effort to change your thinking patterns can turn your outlook around. How often do you let one seemingly negative event or thought dictate your mood on what could otherwise be a good day?
In addiction recovery, having a positive outlook is important in reducing risk of relapse. Looking on the bright side and seeing things from a different perspective can help you to stay on the path of recovery and motivate you to keep pushing forward. In time you are able to overcome challenges without letting them set you back. You become more resilient. Part of treatment at a California rehab is learning strategies and tools for having a more positive outlook.
- Accept Imperfection
The desire for perfection can be a barrier in recovery. While you want to become the best version of yourself that you can be, keep in mind that no one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes; what is important is that you learn from them. Resist the temptation to hold yourself to unrealistically high standards. Focus on doing your best and accepting that you are good enough and you are worthy of achieving success. You are putting forth the effort to turn your life around, so take pride in the progress you have made. Recovery is a journey, not a destination. Being less critical of yourself and acknowledging that everyone makes mistakes can help you to keep a more positive outlook and reduce your stress.
- Recognize Small Achievements
It can be very rewarding to meet major milestones, but don’t overlook the smaller successes as well. While saying no to a drink offer or finding an alternative remedy for pain management may not seem like much to someone else, to you it may be a small victory. One week or one month of sobriety is a something to be proud of. Changing your behavior and breaking out of old routines is an accomplishment. As you plan for long-term goals, make sure you build in short-term goals as well. As you tick off these benchmarks, it can make reaching greater heights even more rewarding. Whether you celebrate on your own or with friends and family, know that every step forward counts, no matter how small.
- Practice Mindfulness
When you feel yourself slipping into negative thoughts or stress is building, step back and take time to refocus. Meditation can be an effective way of connecting with your inner thoughts and clearing your mind. Even if it is just for a few minutes, engaging in meditation and deep breathing can help you stay more positive. Become more aware of your body, your surroundings, and your thoughts. When you stop negative thoughts as they begin, you can redirect them and prevent these thoughts from ruining your mood. Focus on the positives and what is going right instead of what isn’t working out as well.
- Change Things Up
If you’re feeling as though you are stuck in a rut or falling into unhealthy thinking, make a change. The same goes for if you are feeling tempted or stressed in the moment. A change of scenery can make a difference because it alters the environment and atmosphere. Shifting from a busy office or restaurant to a quieter stroll outside can help you clear your head. Certain sights, sounds, and smells can be triggers, so removing yourself from the situation can help reduce cravings.
Boredom is another risk factor for relapse and negative thinking. When your mind is not actively engaged, it can wander and perseverate on challenges. Build structure and routine into your day. Plan for activities so that you have something to look forward to. Challenge yourself to try new things. Even in recovery you will need to adjust your approach as time goes on to stay proactive.
Keeping a journal can be a great way to keep a more positive outlook. Write down the things that you are grateful for each day and the positives in your life. When you are having a rough time, go back through and read these messages. They can help you to continue seeing the bright side and turn your thoughts around. There is always something to be thankful for if you look closely enough and have the right mindset. Reading inspirational books can help as well.
- Keep Positive Company
Surround yourself with people who have a generally positive outlook on life. These friends and family members will help to lift you up instead of bringing you down. Their good mood, smiles, and laughter will rub off on you and provide inspiration. Know who you can turn to for motivation and support. Think carefully about who you choose to spend your time with.
When you make a conscious effort to stay positive and actively engaged, it can support your recovery efforts and improve your quality of life. Steering clear of negative thoughts can help curb depression and stress. Everyone gets down now and then, but the important thing is not to let it dominate your day and to find healthy ways to bounce back.
Equip yourself with the resources and tools you need for a more successful recovery by contacting Chapters Capistrano today at 949-371-4198. From detox and counseling through relapse prevention and family programs, Chapters Capistrano can support you in overcoming addiction and starting a new chapter in your life.