Life comes at you in all different ways, that’s for sure. No matter what you do or don’t do, at times you’re looking at having to face challenging things. As part of that, change is something that we all have to contend with.
Recovery from alcoholism or addiction requires change. There’s no getting around that. But the good news is that you can learn to use positivity as a tool to help embrace personal growth and sobriety.
Think of a time when you had to go through a significant change. Maybe it was a new job or a new relationship. You may have felt some anxiety because it was all new, but eventually, you got more familiar with the newness and settled in.
Recovery is a lot like that. In the beginning, you’re not quite sure how to go about it. The uncertainty may cause you to feel anxious or skeptical. Having to change your attitudes, belief patterns, behaviors, etc. may not be easy breezy.
However, as you keep going, keep doing your inner healing work, you start to settle into the positive change. Life starts making more sense.
Positive thinking can be powerful, as your thoughts influence your emotions and your emotions influence your behavior.
As you progress in your recovery from addiction, commit to learning how to be a positive person. Aim to be an optimist no matter what you’re facing. Look for the silver lining, no matter how small it may be.
It’ll make a difference in you and those around you.
To help you out, here are 5 helpful tips for staying positive during recovery and beyond:
Old routines that led you to indulge in addictive behavior have got to go. It’s time to create new, healthier, and happier routines that point you in the direction of positivity. This means limiting time with those that may influence you to use alcohol or drugs. It also means steering clear of places where you used to party.
Think about your daily routine. Are there things you’re doing that ultimately cause you negative thoughts or feelings? If so, do what you can to change them. Are you facing triggers? Do your best to remove them. If you’re saying yes when you want to say no, learn more about boundary setting. If you’re driving by your favorite bar on the way home, see if there is an alternate route you can take.
Take time to create a daily routine that helps you feel happier and more positive.
Along with the idea of hobbies is the idea of relaxation. Stress can lead to feeling a host of negative emotions. Therefore, do your best to create a stress-free environment. Take time each day to just sit in silence and breathe. Relax your entire body.
For some, meditation works wonders for their emotional life. For others, it’s sitting in nature and just enjoying Mother Earth’s presence. Whatever helps you relax in a healthy way, do more of that. It’s easy to get so busy that we forget to just be still and enjoy being. Therefore, make a conscious effort daily to relax and just be. Focus on your breath and offer gratitude for all the good in your life.
One of the best ways to become a more positive person is to hang around positive people. Granted, not everyone you have to spend time with will be happy or positive. That’s alright. But you can limit time with those that drag you down and increase time with those that lift you up.
Support groups may do wonders to help you feel inspired and more positive. If you enjoy religion, attending a church and meeting other believers may do the same. Making connections with those that are on the same wavelength as you (wanting a good, sober life) will do you good.
While it would be great if you could feel happy and positive all the time, the reality is that during recovery, cravings for your drug of choice may come. You may get triggered and the happy feelings may disappear. Feeling positive is not what you’re feeling when you are feeling intense cravings.
To combat cravings, have a game plan for dealing with them. What will you do when they come? Is there someone you can call? Will you attend a meeting? Journal your thoughts and emotions?
Talk to your sponsor? Go for a run? Read a book?
Cravings are a normal part of early recovery. Create a plan that helps you combat them, and keep your spirits up as you do.
A great way to foster positivity in your life is to engage in a hobby that you love. If you don’t have a hobby, find one. Try out various things to see what you enjoy doing.
Maybe it’s hiking in the woods or working on your vehicle. Or perhaps it’s fishing or kayaking. Make a list of things you think you’d like to do or things you quit doing over the years that you enjoyed. Take the time for yourself to engage in a hobby or two. It’ll certainly bring you more joy in life.
No matter where you’ve been or what your life has entailed, aim to be a more positive person. Remember the saying, “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional”.
No doubt life will throw things our way that are challenging or are tough to get through. But we don’t have to suffer. As you learn to become more of a positive person, you’ll feel stronger for the tough times that may come.
At the same time, allow yourself to have an off-day every now and then. Thinking negative thoughts or feeling negative emotions sometimes is part of life. But you don’t have to get stuck there. If you are, then reach out for help from a professional therapist, sponsor, clergy, etc.