How to Beat Negative Thinking in Addiction Recovery
Updated: Nov 10
The sobriety journey is never easy and you may experience dark days here and there. Negative thoughts will crawl in and sometimes get defeated by them. The way to combat this is to understand how you think, and properly strategize on how to change these thoughts or be less affected by them. Here are some ways on how to beat negative thinking:
Acknowledge and Reflect on it
The negative thoughts that we constantly think about may have some meaning behind them. In fighting against our negative thoughts, we need to recognize this toxic thinking. Becoming more aware of these could help us know why it affects our mood. There are a few ways on how to reflect on it. Write it down. Journaling our thoughts could help us more than we could imagine. It is a way of putting it out there and acknowledging that it is real and it is happening in our life. Talk to a trusted person, like a therapist or a friend. Sometimes our ownn perspective is not enough to analyze the situation. Talk to someone who is not biased and would want the best for you. Someone who is honest and gentle at the same time.
Recognizing it could help us combat it the next time it happens again. Reflect on how these toxic thoughts affect your growth and sobriety. If it triggers you to the point of a lapse or worse--a relapse, consult a professional immediately.
Interrupt Your Bad Thoughts
Have you ever tried to stop and notice the thoughts that you keep repeating in your head? These bad thoughts could eventually affect how we think long term. It will creep into our subconscious and our minds start acting on it in the long run. However, we could always interrupt these and analyze what is really going on. Interrupt your thoughts with "what if" and good thoughts. For example, "What if it works out?" "What if it is gonna be okay in the end?"
Our minds will shift immediately to thinking that everything is okay. You have to believe it. Distract yourself and do something that entertains you to keep your mind off the bad things.
Change Your Surroundings
Our environment is a big factor in our happiness. Living in a place where it does not bring you comfort and happiness will always trigger your negative thoughts. Sometimes things will never work out the way we wan them to be and by then, we have difficult decisions to make. To change our comfort zone in order to grow into the person we're supposed to be. You can't keep the people who destroy your life. You can't be friends with the high school buddy who sells you drugs and pushes you to do it with them. You can't keep tolerating your boss who never appreciated and considered you because it triggers you to drink your problems away. This also goes for the things we do too. Everything that is not good for us, we need to let it go.
Hit The Pause
As much as we want to solve our problems right away, sometimes we need to step back, take a break and come back stronger than before. Our thoughts can be overwhelming and at the moment we cannot solve or fight them. It is best to walk aw
ay from these first, do something healthy and entertaining that would keep you occupied. But you HAVE to get back to it after you feel refreshed and gathered yourself. You need to face these negative thoughts eventually or else they will pile up until you break.
In order to avoid a relapse, we have to build a strong coping mechanism that works for us. If you struggle with handling negative thinking patters and it's affecting your life badly, reach out to a mental health professional.