What you think influences who you are. It can be challenging to tackle huge parts of yourself when you have all the tools; when your toolbox is empty; however, it can seem impossible. If you are struggling with negative thoughts, you probably also are dealing with low self-esteem, which isn’t something you want in your life when you are working on your recovery. People with depression, anxiety, or addictions often have negative self-talk patterns. A crucial step in recovery is shifting how you talk to yourself. Changing your thoughts and improving your self-esteem make all the difference in the world when you are trying to recover. So, what can you do to change your thoughts and improve your self-esteem?
Focus on What You Want in Your Life
When you think of what you want in your life, focus on what you already have. The healthy existing relationships and habits you have in your life are essential and should be nurtured since they improve your experience.
Avoid All-Or-Nothing Thinking
This cognitive distortion is not the place where you want to be. Recovery is never black or white, all-or-nothing. Try to find the gray areas — the areas in between — and focus on those. Remove terms like never, always, nothing, or every from your vocabulary.
Ask Yourself, “Would I talk to an 8-year-old self in this way?”
If the answer is no, you shouldn’t be talking to your present self in that way either. Think of your friends or family members that love you. How would they talk to you in the situation? Talk to yourself in that way.
You Don’t Have to Always Be Happy, but You Can Always Be Grateful
Small things can make a world of difference. Don’t wait until the very end of something to appreciate it. Focus on the little things that you’ve achieved and give yourself the credit you deserve. You’ve come so far.
Pause and Breathe
When you are feeling overwhelmed, try to take a moment and pause. Think of everything that you’re thankful for in the moment. Another way to practice gratitude is to keep a journal. Write down as many things you can think of that you’re grateful for before bedtime. Jotting down little notes of why is also something you can do.
Improve the Moment
Do something today for which your future self will thank you. Improve your moment now and in the future. If you’re having negative thoughts, try to do something that interrupts those thoughts.
Short-Term Things to Do Daily:
Drink Enough Water
Keeping yourself hydrated is an important thing. Everyone would benefit from drinking more water. If you tend to drink a lot of coffee, try to have a glass of water in between each cup of coffee. Keeping yourself hydrated is an essential building block to living a healthy life in recovery.
Exercise Your Mind and Body
Keeping your mind sharp and your body limber is another necessary tool you need in recovery. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins in your brain. Exercising should be a tool that you use every day in your recovery. You can also do brain-teasers to keep your mind sharp. That’s important, too.
Get Back Up
Everyone has struggles, makes mistakes, and fails at things in their life. If you’ve failed at something, get up and try again. No one is perfect. You cannot expect perfection. That’s an unhealthy and unrealistic expectation.
Give Yourself Little Rewards
To motivate yourself and keep you going throughout the day, make sure to give yourself short breaks and rewards. Take a break from work for fifteen minutes or reward yourself with your favorite snack. Small rewards keep you pushing toward your goal.
Use Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations are sayings that you repeat to yourself, such as “I am doing my best” or “I believe in myself.” These mantras can help remove some of the negative self-talk you may have during your recovery. Talk to yourself compassionately. You deserve that.
Avoiding your triggers can be a difficult thing to do daily. Some days will be relatively easy, while others will be much more difficult. To avoid triggers, you might have to avoid certain people, places, or things that will trigger your substance use or memories. You must find something else to replace the triggers with. Try to get enough sleep and keep busy by doing a puzzle, listening to music, or exercising.
For more information about how Enlightened Solutions can help you or a loved one learn new skills for a happy, joyous, and free life, call us today at 833-801-LIVE.