Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on October 12, 2022.
Positivity is a powerful tool for anyone. Yet, positivity can mean the difference between healing and hopelessness for those struggling to break free from addiction. 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.
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The biggest roadblock to recovery is often the struggling individual themself. 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. A positive attitude can reframe negative thoughts when your loved one is going through a rough patch. 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.
Positive affirmations can psychologically change our brains. This concept is called neuroplasticity — the brain's ability to adapt to new thinking patterns. When someone repeats a positive phrase daily, it can wholly shape their mindset.
Even though the brain is an extremely complex structure, it can easily get mixed up on the difference between reality and imagination. Picture a goal you can see yourself achieving, and train your brain to understand that this goal can be a reality through positive thinking and affirmations.
This knowledge is just the beginning of why affirmations are important in addiction recovery as you or a loved one works through a challenging time in life.
Specifically, when looking at addiction recovery, words can change how we perceive a certain reality. Sometimes, even if you can't find the motivation within yourself to believe the phrase, you may start believing it if it is said enough times. Tell yourself or your loved one that recovery is possible and well-deserved. You are worthy of a rewarding life.
Affirmations are more than wishful thinking about the world around you. Instead, they are powerful statements that drive a change. Addiction can bring up many negative emotions within someone, from anxiety to guilt and regret. These emotions can overwhelm someone and push them to begin using again, as they see no better result to overcome such feelings. They may feel like it's too difficult to stop using substances or that the substances help them deal with distressing emotions and thoughts.
Just as negative thoughts can bring you down, positive thoughts can bring you or your loved one back up. Not to say that this is always easy — practicing positive affirmations will come with challenges, but telling yourself you can do it is a significant first step in the right direction.
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:
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.
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.
As previously mentioned, neuroplasticity allows the brain to rewire itself. Proven studies with MRIs show how self-affirmation centered on future-based objectives activates parts of the brain — like the ventromedial prefrontal cortex — for self-processing. Research like this makes a great case for creating a list of positive affirmations that center on your future sobriety.
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:
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:
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:
The people and things around us impact our mindset. There are various sources for positive affirmations. Draw inspiration from these places:
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:
If you are looking for more ways to encourage someone in your life struggling with addiction, we invite you to explore our detox 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.