“I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.” – Rita Mae Brown
The healing process of sobriety and getting clean begins with loving yourself first. For a person to break the addiction cycle, he or she has to stop destructive behaviors. The addict has to want to break the cycle too – because no one else can do it. Self love in sobriety is the most important part of the whole healing process. After all, trying to navigate through recovery with a negative mindset will ultimately lead to failure – and possibly relapse. Bottom line: hate is not the answer. The addict must love him or herself enough to stop. If your loved one makes the choice to begin the road to recovery, be sure to surround him or her with positivity and support. It is a huge step to make the choice to be free from addiction.
Self Love in Sobriety
Here are some ways to encourage self love for yourself or for anyone else:
#1. Overcome negative self beliefs
A lot of people have trouble letting go of negativity – especially when it comes to themselves. These negative thoughts often come from others’ opinions – usually loved ones or from those whom the person seeks acceptance. Instead of negative thoughts, incorporate positive thoughts. Just this small change, will make a big difference.
#2. Avoid “perfect”
Obviously, no one will ever be perfect. When a person finally realizes this, it will be a big accomplishment. If an addict is pursuing perfectionism and feeling negatively about him or herself, he or she should take three simple steps: Stop what he or she is currently of thinking, focus on the effort that will be required to work towards a goal, then apply that effort. It’s as simple as that!
#3. Do not assume the worst
Avoid this entirely. If people try to be optimistic, they will have a more stress-free mindset, and they will be happier. Of course it can be easy to fall in to a trap of assuming the worst possible outcome, but people should stop that. Changing inner thoughts to the real truths instead of exaggeration or paranoia can help a person escape those negative thoughts.
#4. List positive attributes
When a person does this, they should reflect on the attributes daily. The key to this task is to make the list very specific. List specific actions and goals instead of generalities. Going over this list everyday will help create a positive mindset and will help a person remember his or her best qualities.
#5. Reward yourself
This is the fun part! When an addict has an accomplishment, it should be celebrated! Finding reasons to reward yourself or others with nice things will also encourage a positive mindset. Doing things that a person actually wants to do – whether it be read a good book, go out to a nice meal, go to a movie, etc. – these things make life happy.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.