A man trys to avoid Negative thinking in addiction recovery.
In the journey of addiction recovery, the battle often lies not just in physical abstinence but also in conquering the mind’s negative patterns. Negative thinking in addiction recovery can significantly hinder progress, leading to discouragement and, potentially, relapse. Conversely, fostering positive thinking in recovery can pave the way for more hopeful and successful outcomes.

The Dangers of Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts and feelings can spiral into negative outcomes, a pattern all too common in addiction recovery. This often influences the trajectory of recovery and can precipitate a relapse if not addressed. Recognizing and avoiding negative self-talk is critical, as it is often linked to low self-esteem and addiction.

While it takes time to embed positive thinking into your daily routine, identifying and steering clear of certain detrimental thoughts can make embracing positive thinking in addiction recovery much easier.

Types of Negative Thoughts to Avoid
A man begins Negative thinking in addiction recovery.

1. All-or-Nothing Thinking

This type of thinking frames things in extremes, with no middle ground, which is a common issue in negative thinking in addiction recovery. Examples: If I’m not the best, it’s worthless. If this job doesn’t work out, I am a failure.

2. Over-Generalizing

You might draw a broad conclusion from a single event. Therefore, letting past negative experiences color your expectations for the future. Examples: My previous relapse means I can’t stay sober. People return to drinking after attending AA meetings, so it won’t work for me.

3. Filtering

This involves focusing solely on the negative aspects while ignoring the positive. This is a typical example of negative thinking in addiction recovery. Examples: I can’t forget past disappointments. Others seem miserable without alcohol.

4. Converting Positives into Negatives

Even when positive events occur, you might dismiss them, insisting they are flukes rather than true achievements. Thus, perpetuating negative self-talk. Examples: Compliments feel insincere. My sobriety was just due to low pressure.

5. Jumping to Negative Conclusions

With little evidence, you expect the worst outcomes. A mindset that can lead to self-fulfilling prophecies in addiction recovery. Examples: I’m a boring person because someone interrupted me. They won’t like me, so why try?

6. Catastrophizing

This involves exaggerating potential problems to the extent that they seem catastrophic, often linked with low self-esteem and addiction. Examples: A craving will inevitably lead to relapse. I can’t manage stress without drugs.

7. Mistaking Feelings for Facts

Feelings, no matter how intense, are not facts, yet it’s easy to believe they are, especially when feelings of worthlessness are involved. Examples: I feel like a failure, so I must be one. My worthlessness is a fact because of my addiction.

8. Personalizing

When something goes wrong, you might take it personally, assuming you are the cause, which is a common trap in avoiding negative self-talk. Examples: Bad moods or canceled plans are because of me.

9. Self Put-Down

Continually putting yourself down can lead to a reinforced cycle of negative thinking in addiction recovery. Examples: I don’t deserve better. I’m weak and unintelligent.

10. Using “Should” Statements

These statements create unnecessary pressure on yourself and others, leading to guilt and frustration.  Examples: I shouldn’t feel angry. Others must always meet my expectations.

11. Magnifying and Minimizing

Disproportionately amplifying negatives and diminishing positives can skew the perception of self and situations. Examples: One mediocre review means I’m inadequate. High marks don’t make me smart.

A group learns to avoid Negative thinking in addiction recovery.

Get Addiction Treatment at Spirit Mountain Recovery

It is very important to recognize and avoid negative thinking in addiction recovery. If you or your loved one is battling addiction, Spirit Mountain Recovery offers a nurturing environment conducive to recovery. Situated in the serene settings of Northern Utah, our facility combines expert clinical care with engaging activities. We are committed to helping clients embrace positive thinking in addiction recovery.

Contact us today to speak with an admissions counselor and learn more about how we can help.

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