Looking on the bright side. Viewing the glass half full instead of half empty. Mind over matter. We’ve all heard these sayings before and know the point is to be positive.
But as someone who has had a first-row seat to addiction, you know positivity is easier said than done. Your loved one’s struggle with addiction and possibly a dual diagnosis disorder has left you feeling exhausted and defeated. And while treatment can help your son or husband heal from addiction and bring back that hope you had lost, it’s still not always easy to look on the upside of life.
Luckily, there are some strategies you can practice to help you avoid falling into a negative mindset. And when your loved one comes out on the other side of addiction treatment, you both can help each other practice these strategies together to maintain a happy, fulfilling life without drugs or alcohol!
Positive Thinking Strategies to Follow
Addiction can make you feel like everything is a disaster and the world is falling down around you. Addiction itself can be a catastrophe. The goal of this strategy is to actively try not to overreact to events or situations. Ask yourself these questions: What is the worst that can happen? How likely is it that the worst will happen? What can I do even if the worst happens? Take each situation for what it is, realize it isn’t the end of the world, and focus on solutions and moving forward.
2. Use Hopeful Statements
It’s true that you are your own worst enemy; you are your own biggest critic. But when you are trying to heal from your loved one’s addiction, it’s important to be kind and encourage yourself. Pessimism (always thinking the worst) can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Tell yourself: Even though it is tough, I can handle this situation. I can adjust and adapt. I can get through this.
3. Forgive Yourself
Everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect. You may think your loved one’s addiction is your fault or that you should have done more to prevent it, but that just isn’t the case. Address feelings of shame or guilt directly, then move on from them and realize your loved one’s addiction isn’t a permanent reflection on you. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you think you made in your loved one’s addiction and focus on creating a healthier environment for you and your son or husband.
4. Stay on Present Task
There’s no good in dwelling on the past and wondering about what you could have done differently. Instead, focus on the present moment and the tasks right in front of you. Being proactive and taking action will help you feel valuable and purposeful while your loved one is getting treatment.
5. Avoid “Should” and “Must”
If you find that your automatic thoughts are full of these words, then you are probably setting unreasonable demands on yourself and your loved one. Removing these words from your thoughts allows you more freedom to be yourself and to be realistic in your expectations of others, including your loved one who needs all your love and support to maintain his sobriety after treatment.
6. Focus on Progress
Focus on the positive changes in your life. For example, what has gone well recently? What do you like about yourself? What personal skills have helped you cope with challenging situations in the past? Thinking about what you’ve been able to get through and what has made you stronger over time can help you continue moving forward. Reminding your son or husband about how far they’ve come and the progress they’re making can help them stay positive, too!
Find Support at Spirit Mountain Recovery Center
One of the things that is truly unique about Spirit Mountain Recovery is our remarkable recovery program and the fun we bring to recovery. Our non-conventional and balanced approach to addiction and dual diagnosis recovery is focused on helping your loved one develop positive thinking skills and realize how fulfilling life can be without drugs or alcohol.
Contact us today to speak to an admissions counselor or to schedule a tour.