You are Your Greatest Strength: How to Stay Focused and Optimistic While Recovering from Addiction
If you are one of millions of people recovering from addiction to alcohol or drugs, you should be proud. That may sound confusing, but you have already accomplished something that most people can’t: you admitted you have a problem and decided to make some crucial changes in your life. Still, it may be challenging to stay in this positive frame of mind throughout your recovery. Here are some words of advice on taking the focus off of your faults while you heal your mind and body.
Let Go of Shame
Guilt and shame have a peculiar role in addiction recovery. For many in recovery, these feelings compelled them to take the first steps to addressing their addiction. However, at some point in your recovery, you will learn to replace these negative sentiments with more positive, productive expressions of emotions. You can take measures to mute guilt and exchange self-defeating thoughts with affirmations of self-worth.
To really let go of shame and guilt, you will need to fully understand your addiction. As Swift River notes, “Getting to the root of your addiction will be a confusing and emotional experience, but understanding your substance abusecompletely is an important step in conquering it and reclaiming your health. Additionally, marriage and/or family counseling can help facilitate healthy conversations with your loved ones and pave the way for stronger relationships.” By taking control of your own feelings, you can take more control of your recovery.
Have Compassion...for Yourself
Changing your mindset while in recovery is tough, but one trick to ditching self-doubt is to treat yourself like your best friend. We tend to have more compassion and patience for our friends. They make mistakes just like we do, but we rarely stay focused on those mistakes. Start practicing that same level of kindness with yourself. Know that you are just as human as your friends and it’s okay to make mistakes. We all do, so accept your faults and give yourself a break when you slip up, even on the road to recovery.
Self-Care is Essential
Understanding and battling an addiction can be mentally and physically exhausting, so it’s important to take time to practice self-care. Clean up your diet and get at least 20 minutes of exercise three to four times a week, to ensure you have the energy you need. Starting a yoga and/or meditation practice can be extremely helpful as well. Many studies show that yoga can alleviate guilt and bring solace to worried minds. You can start by dropping into a class near you to learn the basic moves. Prefer practicing downward dog in privacy? There are plenty of free online classes with step-by-step instructions to help you out.
Stay Positive, Stay Focused
This is tough, but your recovery depends on you staying positive on this journey. Life may not always go according to plan, so be prepared for times when things seem to be falling apart. Know that you can get through the lows, and you should be proud of all that you’ve overcome so far. Keep your mind steady and on track by staying armed with positive affirmations for those tough days. Have faith and trust in yourself and your ability to face obstacles in your life and be patient. This is a process that has to be learned and it takes time and practice to perfect. Staying positive can help you overcome your addiction and serve you in all aspects of life to come.
Believe in yourself
You’ve already taken the first and hardest step in healing addiction. You can’t go back and change the past, but you absolutely can take steps to create new endings. By admitting you have an addiction and starting your recovery, you’re already on this path of renewal, so keep the tips above in mind to help propel you to your goals and a fresh, happier life in the process.