Overcoming A Negative Mindset in Recovery

A negative mindset can be toxic to anyone’s mental health. It can prevent you from achieving goals and lower your overall happiness. A negative mindset can be toxic especially to those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction because it can be a driving force for relapse.

In today’s world, it is very easy to get trapped in a negative pattern of thinking. When we do, we tend to have difficulty seeing things from a positive perspective. It is possible to turn negative thinking patterns into positive. It just takes practice. Once you do, it becomes a lot easier to control your emotions and improve your mental state. Changing your negative thinking patterns can greatly improve your life and mental health. It is also valuable while trying to sustain sobriety.

We all face obstacles and problems in life. A lot of us who are recovering from drugs and alcohol have a tendency to dwell on our past mistakes and failures. We beat ourselves up over our poor decisions. It is very easy to live in constant fear and anxiety. Problems in any aspect of life can easily affect your mental state. Finding employment, financial debt, failed relationships and familial issues can create harmful stress and negative thoughts. You may even be struggling with cravings for drugs and alcohol. You might be telling yourself that you cannot maintain sobriety. Negative thought patterns for people in recovery can be dangerous but there are things you can do to overcome them and improve your mental well-being.

Catch Yourself

It is important to identify when you are beginning to have negative thoughts. The sooner you catch it, the better. A lot of people struggle with racing thoughts and are unable to stop negative thought processes. I suggest catching your negative thoughts and writing them down. Writing can be a good outlet and seeing your thoughts on paper may give you a different perspective.

Let Go of Shame and Guilt

Do not dwell on your past failures and mistakes. It is easy to beat ourselves up. Instead, try to use the power of acceptance. Once you learn to accept a person, place, thing or situation as is, the easier it is to move forward with your life. Shame and guilt can easily play a role in negative thinking. Mindful meditation is a common practice for those in recovery. It emphasizes relaxation and living in the present moment.

Find Support

We are only human. Negative thoughts are going to occur no matter what. How you handle and control them can make a difference. It is important to stay away from potentially toxic people. Surround yourself with positive people. Having a strong support network is vital in recovery. Do not be afraid to seek professional help. A therapist can be beneficial to you.

Be Grateful

Practicing gratitude can be vital to living a happier life. When you get caught up in a negative train of thought, consider making a list of things you are grateful for. Focus on what you do have rather than what you do not. Remember that things can always be worse.

Help Others

The greatest gift of recovery is being able to help others. Helping others can help you. Being of service to others is rewarding and makes a positive impact. It allows you to shift your focus and energy in a positive way which can help remove any negativity in your life. You also feel a sense of purpose and a heightened sense of self-worth.


Scott Denton is a freelance writer in recovery who writes for websites such as https://www.ohioarc.com. He works closely with others in his local recovery community, spreading hope and encouragement.