How Does Positive Talk Create Positive Thinking?

How Does Positive Talk Create Positive Thinking?

The voice in your head has a great deal of power when it comes to creating a positive outlook on life

Although it may seem small, the voice in your head has a great deal of power when it comes to creating a positive outlook on life. Regular, positive self-talk can mean the difference between living in defeat or hope, especially in addiction recovery. For instance, people who cultivate positive self-talk can create patterns of positive thinking to protect themselves and their loved ones from the negative influences of drugs and alcohol. In other words, if you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, then you can hone a powerful force for change in your fight against addiction.

How Self-Talk Works

According to the Mayo Clinic, positive thinking means you approach life from a mostly positive frame of mind. Think of this mindset as seeing the glass as half full rather than half empty. Positive thinking usually begins with positive self-talk; the voice that speaks to you about yourself and how you see yourself in the world. Some of your self-talk comes from logic, so a simple comparison might be to realize that you deserve vacation because you work hard rather than thinking you do not deserve to relax because you are lazy. Each set of words is part of your decision-making process, and how you perceive yourself will determine whether you take that vacation or stay home feeling defeated. In other words, you may really need a break, but your mindset will affect whether or not you value yourself enough to take one.

The Power of Self-Talk

The power of self-talk is not limited to decision making nor your overall state-of-mind; in fact, studies show that positive self-talk has significant health benefits. Although researchers continue to explore this area of mental and physical health, the Mayo Clinic lists the following health benefits of positive self-talk:

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Increased psychological and physical well-being
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardship and times of stress

Cultivating a positive state of mind can protect yourself and your loved ones from the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, and it can increase the likelihood of a successful recovery.

Positive Self-Talk and Recovery

Positive self-talk can be a powerful tool in the fight against addiction. Psychotherapists and counselors help those in treatment change the negative messages they tell themselves into positive ones. By learning to identify negative thoughts, people in recovery can change negative patterns before they become harmful. Some common forms of negative thought patterns include the following list:

  • Filtering—People who filter their thoughts can eliminate all positive aspects of a situation and focus only on potential negative outcomes. For example, you may have had a great day at work and completed all of your tasks, but all you can see is the mountain of work before tomorrow, which means you focus on your inability to get jobs done.
  • Personalizing—When something bad happens, someone who personalizes automatically blames himself for the negative outcome
  • Catastrophizing—People who catastrophize situations always assumes the worst will happen. For example, when something negative occurs early in the day, someone may automatically think the rest of the day is ruined, but this mindset will only make her see the negative sides of problems rather than the positive side.
  • Polarizing—Someone who polarizes has no gray areas in his life. He sees things as either good or bad and is unable to find any middle ground. In response, anything less than perfection is unacceptable to this person.

Changing negative thought patterns into positive ones helps recovering addicts make better choices when it comes to using a substance. When someone filters out all positive aspects of a situation, it may seem easier to turn to a substance of choice to deal with any negative feelings. However, cravings are a part of every recovering drug addict’s journey, so, when the cravings are strong, every negative thought or voice can be a step down the wrong path. If someone replaces those negative thoughts with reasons why she deserves to be happy, healthy and have a good life, then she may cultivate the strength to continue saying no to the temptation to use drugs. Look for the good in situations rather than succumbing to looking for the bad to reframe your mind. By doing so, you make room for the positive self-talk to believe that you deserve more out of life than being addicted to drugs and alcohol.

Find Help for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Positive thought patterns are powerful tools in the arsenal against drug and alcohol drug and alcohol addiction, and rehab can teach you this skill. If you are ready to find professional addiction treatment, then know that we are here for you. Call our toll-free helpline 24 hours a day to speak to an admissions coordinator about available treatment options.