Part of dealing with mental health disorders and addiction involves thinking about your situation, problems, upcoming events, past mistakes, and a host of other things. Too often, the pattern of thoughts is overwhelmingly negative in nature. You devote a lot of time to stuff like regret related to past decisions or anxiety about getting through an upcoming situation that is uncomfortable for you. The inside of your head feels like a dark storm. Still, you are so used to it that it doesn’t occur to you that rewiring your thoughts to include more positivity is possible.
When a person learns the art of thinking positively, it can truly impact their day-to-day life and the way they manage mental health disorders and sobriety. The old adage about whether a person sees the glass as half full or half empty holds a lot of truth. If you’re unsure which way you lean when it comes to how you view and approach life, ask the people who know you best. A partner, parent, or close friend can clue you in on your thought patterns. If you realize that you need more positivity in your life, there are multiple approaches to add it in.
Engage in Positive Self-Talk
Set a goal of becoming aware of how you think of yourself and how you judge yourself. When you catch yourself thinking something harsh, visualize yourself holding up a stop sign and say, “Stop!” out loud. Take a moment to reframe the thought into something positive. For example, if your negative thought was, “I screwed that up,” replace that with “That approach did not work, but I will do better next time.” If you chastise yourself for not accomplishing a goal fast enough, tell yourself, “I am moving at the pace that is right for me.”
Start a Gratitude Journal
At the end of each day, write down something positive that happened that day. It can be something big, like getting through an appointment you were dreading or receiving a present from a loved one that gave you joy. Either way, you can train yourself to see the smaller things as worth noting, too. Maybe it was a co-worker sharing their delicious sandwich with you or receiving the package you ordered online a day early. Even on a day that held some difficult moments, you can often find at least one thing for which you can be grateful. When you end your day having noticed all the positive things, you train your mind to become more naturally optimistic.
Seek Out Positive Types of Entertainment
Too often, when a person is feeling lost in their negative thoughts, they find it easy to sink into escapism. We often lean towards music, books, movies, or TV shows focused on depressing or pessimistic subjects, often with no happy resolutions. While there is room for various subject matters, there are times when concentrating on more life-affirming and uplifting topics helps with incorporating more positivity into your life. Make a playlist of songs that makes you feel energized. Select comedy films and shows to enjoy, or search for books that inspire you to see yourself in a positive light.
Take Inventory of People in Your Life
Sometimes when you want to complain about what is wrong in your life, you just want a person to hear you and validate how terrible things are. They often will join in and vent about how miserable they are, too. While it’s fair to engage in this type of conversation sometimes, it becomes problematic when it develops into a habit.
Make a list of the people with whom you spend the most time, including friends, family, a partner, and co-workers. Divvy them up into categories according to if they are generally more positive or more cynical about life. People committed to seeing the glass as half empty often want someone who feels the same way. Misery does love company. It’s important to ask yourself if these people are toxic to your ability to let positivity manifest in your life.
Start Each Day On a Positive Note
Many people who begin their day with meditation feel it sets the tone for being more open to the next twenty-four hours’ positives. You can also make a positive statement before you head out in the morning or otherwise start your day. Try something like, “I will be gentle with myself today” or “I am open to changes in what I expect to happen today because I can handle anything.” The more you practice the art of positive self-thinking, the more quickly it becomes a natural part of who you are.
Negativity often consumes the thoughts of a person who is dealing with managing a mental health disorder or addiction. Negative thoughts can do a lot of damage in terms of how a person sees themselves, approaches their treatment, and plans for their future. Learning to embrace positive self-talk makes a huge difference in so many ways and is part of our approach to treating our clients. Silver Lining offers various treatment options to help manage difficult mental health conditions, including multiple types of therapy. We offer an overview of approaches that allows you to optimize your health, living conditions, income, and relationships, as well as sort out any trauma-related issues. No matter how mired in negativity you may feel now, our treatment team can help elevate you into a positive future. Call us today and find out about our day and evening appointments in our beautiful Huntington Beach location in California. (866) 448-4563