The way we think affects how we experience situations in life, and conversely, the experiences we have had in the past affects how and what we think.
It is very common for addicts and alcoholics to have negative thinking, so when we come into recovery, we still harbor self-destructive thoughts about ourselves and the world around us. This “stinking thinking” can lead the way to relapse if we don’t change the way we view ourselves.
It is important that we develop a belief in our ability to achieve whatever goals we set for ourselves when we get sober. Positive thinking can improve both our mental and physical well-being – we have fewer bouts of depression, we handle stress better, and we have the energy needed to create our new life.
We also have to learn that positive thinking doesn’t fix everything, especially if our expectations are unrealistic, or we become over-confident. It is not a replacement for taking action.
I have found that when my thoughts become negative, it is better for me to focus on what is positive in my life and what I am grateful for. I also try to make whatever goals I have small so that I don’t overwhelm myself – from my experience, I know it will only lead to failure.
Whatever tools we use to begin to think positively, we have to nurture it. I know that the way I think about myself affects my attitude and also my physical demeanor. This has always been a challenge for me – but if I keep working at it, I know that the automatic negative thoughts will diminish in time and will be replaced with more positive, healthy thoughts.