Positive Affirmations to Tell Someone Navigating Recovery

Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on July 13, 2021.

Positivity is a powerful tool for anyone. Yet, for those struggling to break free from addiction, positivity can mean the difference between healing and hopelessness. Positive affirmations are simple statements that break through negative thinking and help people believe in themselves. These supportive comments can empower individuals to pursue a healthier, better tomorrow.

During recovery, a person's mental well-being is just as important as their physical health. Sadly, this time is often filled with self-doubt and guilt. Positive affirmations can stop this roller coaster of negativity and help your loved one confidently pursue their recovery journey.

The Power of Positivity

The biggest roadblock to recovery is often the addict himself. For years, they've used drugs or alcohol as a temporary fix for all their issues. The idea of actually dealing with problems or finding healthy solutions has become a foreign concept. The urge to use is ever-present. Early recovery sees people at their most vulnerable.

Engaging in positivity can combat this negative self-doubt that ultimately occurs in recovery. When your loved one is going through a rough patch, a positive attitude can reframe their negative thoughts. It changes their perspective and keeps them focused on their goals of health and sobriety. To put it simply, positivity is like a reset button for negative thinking.

Opportunities to Share Positive Affirmation

If you know someone battling addiction, sharing positive affirmations could serve as an important tool in their recovery. This person is undoubtedly facing many obstacles. There will be days when they want to give up. Your encouraging statements could be just what they need to pick themself up and keep moving forward.

There is no right time to pass along positive affirmations. However, there are moments in the recovery journey that tend to make people feel more vulnerable or scared, such as:

  • The first time they admit they need help.
  • Right before they enter treatment.
  • Going through the detoxification process.
  • Opening up to others in addiction counseling.
  • Preparing to go back into the real world.
  • Those first few days and weeks adjusting to their new normal.

It's in these moments when a few positive affirmations sent from a friend could serve to strengthen their resolve and keep them on the right track.

Do Positive Affirmations Work?

Positive affirmations create lasting, long-term changes in how you feel and think. Regular practice with affirmations is scientifically proven to improve mental strength, calm nerves and boost confidence. 

Neuroplasticity allows the brain to rewire itself. Proven studies with MRIs show how self-affirmation activates parts of the brain like the ventromedial prefrontal cortex for self-processing.

Considering your strengths as valuable triggers signals self-identity and rewards inside your brain. Research confirms that imagination — such as created affirmations — appears as a neurological reality and your brain begins to believe what you tell it. 

Repeating and believing in your affirmations can help with addiction recovery. Positive thinking does the following:

  • Shift subconscious thoughts toward future actions.
  • Turn negative thoughts into positive beliefs.
  • Change how you feel in the present moment.
  • Remind you that you are worthy and capable.

Self-Care Activities to Pair With Positive Affirmations

Pairing affirmations with activities helps with navigating recovery. Achieve long-lasting positive mental health by setting aside a scheduled time for these tasks to build regular consistency. Choose an affirmation of the day when you begin your morning. Repeat the phrase throughout different parts of your daily schedule or during some self-care methods: 

  • Mediation: Achieve eased thinking with meditation practices. Listen, acknowledge and focus your breath. Tune out environmental factors during this practice. Repeat positive phrases in your mind for a relaxed and confident mentality.
  • Exercise: Moving your body for at least 30 minutes a day improves mental health. Select an activity that fits into your lifestyle. Choosing an enjoyable exercise increases your likelihood of repeating it weekly or monthly. Some options include yoga, walking, running, swimming, tennis and more. 
  • Art therapy: Focus on visually expressing yourself. Art therapy provides a healthy way to communicate feelings, self-image and life experiences. Diamond House Detox offers art therapy sessions with paints, clay, canvas, paper, crayons and colored pencils. Therapists correlate how symbols in your images relate to meanings in your life. 
  • Addiction therapy: Various addiction therapy methods at Diamond House Detox provide coping mechanisms to help you improve your health and relationships. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy combines eye movements with discussions and can identify underlying addiction causes. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on building a positive mindset and replacing negative thoughts. Trauma therapy can help you heal addiction by overcoming past situations. 
  • Healthy eating: Improve your mental health by incorporating complex carbohydrates, lean proteins and fatty acids into your diet. Starchy vegetables and brown rice provide you with more energy. Good protein sources like eggs, chicken, fish, meat, nuts, soybeans and seeds allow your brain to think and react quickly. Eggs, nuts, flaxseeds, fish and meat enhance proper functioning of your nervous system and brain. 

How to Choose the Right Affirmation

A positive affirmation best suits your needs when it targets a specific behavior, belief or area where you'd like to see improvement. Create your affirmation statement with these steps:

  1. Brainstorm areas of your life where there's room for growth: Think about how you could improve your life, relationships, career, hobbies and health. Identify a specific area where you'd like a transformation. 
  2. Make your affirmation achievable: Set goals with realistic and achievable steps. Your timeline should offer specific deadlines for each task. 
  3. Transform negatives into positives: Recognize thoughts that don't feel positive. Replace them with encouraging and uplifting beliefs. 
  4. Write your affirmation in the present tense: Think and speak as if your affirmation is already happening. Doing this makes the statement feel true. 
  5. Say it with feeling: Emotional layers make affirmations more meaningful. Repeat phrases that mean something to you.

Where to Find Inspiration for a Positive Affirmation

The people and things around us impact our mindset. There are various sources for positive affirmations. Draw inspiration from these places:

  • Books: Underline or highlight impactful dialogue or descriptions while reading. 
  • Movies: Repeat positive quotes said by actors in scenes. 
  • Songs: Listen for encouraging and uplifting lyrics by your favorite artists. 
  • Celebrities: Research inspiring quotes by famous people you admire. 
  • A coach or teacher: Recall when a role model taught you something important.
  • Family or friends: Think of when someone special in your life gave you good advice. 
  • Newsletters or subscriptions: Many services provide healing affirmations for others. 
  • Blogs: Read about motivating stories or learn about helpful tips from blog posts. 

Positive Affirmations for Those Struggling With Addiction

Positive affirmations are usually written in the present tense and are statements that someone struggling with addiction can repeat several times a day as a source of strength. If you want to send affirmations to support a loved one's recovery journey, try to identify specific ideas that you know will encourage them.

Here are some simple positive affirmations to tell someone:

  • Progress over perfection.
  • Every day, in every way, you are getting better.
  • You will be a better you.
  • You are worthy of great things.
  • You can, and you will.
  • The past has no power over you anymore.
  • All of your problems have a solution.
  • You have many strengths.
  • You are loved.
  • You are in charge of your life story.

Read More About Addiction Recovery

If you are looking for more ways to encourage someone in your life struggling with addiction, we invite you to explore our blog. As Sacramento's trusted drug rehab center, Diamond House Detox is proud to serve as a source of encouragement and strength to those seeking a life of healing in recovery. Feel free to contact us to learn more.