Recovery is a lifelong pursuit. Because of this, you are likely to face many challenges along the way. The current situation in our world could be one of the biggest challenges threatening your sobriety thus far, no matter what stage of recovery you are in.
As the news continues to be relentlessly negative, it might be difficult for you to maintain any sense of optimism or positivity. This lack of motivation or hope for the future could be causing you a great deal of stress and anxiety, which often promotes negative thoughts and behaviors.
You are not alone — people around the world are experiencing the exact same feelings. If a negative outlook has gotten the best of your emotions, then it’s time for some positive thinking.
The Power of Positivity in Recovery
Positivity increases your chances of maintaining sobriety because it opens up your mind to pursue other options. Trying new practices during this time could be just what you need to generate the momentum to get going in the right direction. This kind of openness builds on itself over time, which in turn creates emotional resiliency. Positive thinking will also help you recover from stress faster, leading to better sleep, more energy, and greater motivation.
Recovery is a day-to-day-effort. You will have good days and bad days, and this is normal. Sometimes, when life gets hard, you might find yourself defaulting to negative thoughts and habits. Remember that you are not the same person you were during the height of your addiction.
Recovery has taught you many practices that you can apply when these negative thoughts occur — although sometimes it may seem as if the triggers and urges are too much for you to deal with. This is all part of the process. Remind yourself of the positivity and inspiration that exists within you and around you.
Tangible Ways to Create Positivity
Negative thoughts attract other negative thoughts — thankfully, the same goes for positive thoughts. Research has found that spending just 17 seconds with a positive thought will attract another positive thought. But perhaps you are finding it too difficult to focus on positive thoughts right now. Try to influence positivity by creating a positive environment for yourself.
Having the news on all day as they talk in loops about the current situation is not a constructive way to encourage positivity. Instead, change the channel to put on inspirational music or listen to an interview from someone you admire — their positivity and inspiration may even rub off on you.
There are many other places to mine for positivity. For example, if you post your schedule on the fridge (including the things you need to get done or the bills you need to pay), this can create a feeling of anxiety that causes your mind to wander into negative thinking.
You already know that these responsibilities are important. Instead of beating yourself over the head with them, post some of the fun things that you are planning to do that week — baking on Wednesday, pizza on Friday, or a Saturday movie matinee on the couch. These acts reflect a pleasurable experience, which creates a motivational environment.
Take a Break
If negative thoughts still occur, try to separate yourself from them. Take a few minutes to sit with a negative thought and try to figure out why you’re having it. Be sure to use rational thinking during this time. After five minutes, accept the thought, and move on to something else. This practice helps separate any negative thoughts, creating a more structured approach to thinking.
This is because when you place a time limit on your thoughts, you are creating boundaries and rules for your brain to follow. It might sound silly but these boundaries will put you in a regimented frame of mind, making it easier to transition away from negative thoughts.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
It’s especially important during this time of sheltering-in-place that you stay connected with friends and family — especially your friends and family who have a positive outlook. While the current situation is unavoidable, you don’t want to spend the precious time you have with your friends and family stressing about it. Instead, talk to people who you know will not lead the conversations back around to what is happening.
If need be, create boundaries for the conversation — recognize the situation by briefly mentioning how your health is and how you are maintaining safe protocol, then move on to talking about movies, music, books, your hobbies, or whatever else interests you.
Continuously harping on something doesn’t change it. Instead, you just carry it around like you are waiting for something bad to come your way — and it often will. Not because you are right, but because this kind of logic conditions your mind to think negatively, which causes you to behave negatively. Positive thinking does the exact opposite. Today may be a tricky time to remain positive, but there’s a lot of untapped positivity all around you.
If you cannot find a way to transition yourself out of negative thinking, then it’s time to get help. True Recovery believes in the power of alternative care and we are determined to find the right care to meet your needs. Don’t threaten your recovery any longer. We’ll show you how to live a happy, positive life in sobriety. To learn more, call us today at (866) 399-6528.