Recovery is a process. It may not always be easy, and it’s not uncommon to feel discouraged if you begin to struggle. In early recovery, there may be many challenges to face in order to move forward in your life. Keeping a positive attitude can help you stay on the right path, so you do not risk a relapse whenever you are faced with a challenge.
Five Ways to Stay Positive in Recovery
When moving towards a new life free from substances, it is important to have a positive attitude when confronted with stressful situations. Here are some ways to combat negative thinking patterns:
- Keep a gratitude journal. Being grateful for everything you have in your life – including your sobriety – lets you focus on the positive rather than what may be negative or difficult. In your gratitude journal, describe the positive things that happened during the day or week, such as having a delicious dinner, listening to music, getting a new job, talking to a friend, or trying something new. There is so much to be grateful for, and now that you are sober, you will discover a whole new world filled with many wonderful things you may not have noticed while in your addiction.
- Practice being mindful. Mindfulness allows you to live in the present moment, which is essential in recovery. When you learn to stay in the present, you can let go of past regrets or future worries and move towards an appreciation of the moment. Daily chores or routines can become rich with sensation as you direct all your attention toward them. Meditating daily is a helpful way to cultivate mindfulness. Tuning into your breath and detaching from thoughts for a few minutes every day builds a strong foundation for lasting calm.
- Attend 12-step meetings. Having somewhere to go where you can feel accepted by others who understand your struggles can help boost your motivation to stay positive. A variety of support group meetings will give you the opportunity to hear others speak about how they get through difficult times. You’ll develop empathy and connection even as you take courage to overcome obstacles in your own recovery as well.
- Volunteer. Taking time to volunteer in your community, whether through an organization or on your own, is a great way to keep a positive attitude. When you help others in need, you’ll get perspective on your own needs. You may come to appreciate what you have, and you’ll start to feel connected to those around you. Knowing that you’re helping others can nurture a feeling of calm and happiness. You’ll be reminded, too, that it’s okay to need and ask for help.
- Practice self-care. You may have neglected yourself while in your addiction, so now is the time to take care of yourself. Practicing self-care will boost your confidence and self-esteem. Self-care includes healthy practices such as eating whole foods, getting enough sleep, exercising daily, grooming, cleaning the house, etc. It also includes taking the time you need to relax, maybe by reading a good book, taking a short nap, or listening to a recovery podcast. If you begin to feel discouraged, do something nice for yourself.
- Work regularly with a therapist or mentor. Everyone has negative thoughts sometimes, and it’s easy to get caught up in anxiety or sadness or anger, especially when trauma or a mental health disorder is part of the picture. If you’re feeling like you can’t get out of your negative thinking patterns, reach out for professional help. A therapist can help you learn what motivates your thoughts and emotions and develop strategies for healing.
We Are Here to Help
If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder, Mountain Laurel Recovery Center is here to help. We can help you find the right treatment options to put you on the path to a lasting recovery. We offer a holistic approach utilizing a variety of services, including residential treatment, medically monitored detox, family program, and extended care and transitional living services. To find out more about what programs and services are available in our Pennsylvania recovery center, please contact us today.