Sometimes negative thinking screams at you, while other times, those negative thoughts can creep in so subtly during addiction recovery that you don’t even realize they’re there. If you don’t know they’re there, it’s hard to see how they may be impacting your life. If you struggle with negative thinking, reach out to the team at Bayview Recovery today at 855.478.3650.
Identify Negative Thoughts During Recovery
Some common negative thoughts during recovery include:
- I’m not worth saving.
- It’s not worth it to stay in recovery.
- If I make a mistake, it was all for nothing.
- I can’t do it (recover, get a job, repair my marriage)
- Other people are better than me or more deserving of happiness.
These kinds of lies hold you back from being who you can be.
Negative thinking can also come in the form of refusing to acknowledge all that you’ve accomplished. You might subconsciously try to turn positives into negatives.
For example, some people believe that something terrible is just waiting around the corner if something good happens. Often, unaddressed trauma lies behind this type of thinking pattern. It’s something you learned from experience.
However, that way of thinking becomes a very negative and emotionally harmful way to live your life. You never feel like you can celebrate your victories because you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Grow a Positive Thinking Garden
Positive thinking is a lot like a garden. Positive thoughts start small, like seeds. You’ll barely know they’re there. If you struggle with negative thinking, those seeds may be trying to grow among weeds. However, if you give the positive ones the attention, they can grow into a more positive way of thinking overall.
Turn Negatives into Positives
Now, sometimes negative ideas are trying to communicate an urgent message to you. However, it becomes harmful if you dwell on it and feel defeated by it. When you have a negative thought, try to focus on the solution instead of the problem.
An example of negative thinking is, “I don’t have a job and can’t provide for my family.” However, you can turn this into a positive by thinking, “I don’t have a job. What can I do to change my situation? I can focus on getting healthy, staying sober, and learning job skills.”
Most painful thoughts are about the past or future. When you practice mindfulness, you stay focused on the moment right now. The present is the only thing you can control. You choose what you do right now to further your recovery efforts to heal your body and mind through better nutrition, fitness, and getting the mental health treatment that you need to thrive.
Get Professional Support
If you’re currently in an outpatient or aftercare program, be sure you keep those appointments. Regularly meeting with your therapist can help you work through negative thoughts and find more constructive ways to deal with the things you’re thinking.
Some other types of programs that address negative patterns include:
- Trauma therapy program: Identify underlying traumas leading to current negative thinking and work toward healing them.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): Learn to replace negative beliefs and habits with more constructive ones systematically.
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT): Learn to stay more present-focused and manage challenging emotions in real-time.
- Life skills training – Develop skills you can use to navigate relationships, work, cravings, and stress more effectively, so you have fewer things to feel negative about.
- Mental health treatment – Negative patterns can also be the result of a mental health disorder. Getting it treated can help the brain and mind begin to heal.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with negativity in addiction recovery, it’s time to learn a new way. Call us at 855.478.3650 to learn more about recovery services.