Updated: Oct 14, 2020
Do you see the glass half empty or half full? According to the Mayo Clinic, positive thinking helps with stress management, can improve your health and increase your life span. The simple and obvious fact is that if you cultivate a positive attitude in life you might live longer, but even if you don’t, you’re life will be more joyful and will contain far less anxiety, stress and fear. Most importantly, you are far less likely to relapse if you practice positive thinking every day. Easier said than done, I know. But nothing is more likely to send you scurrying back to the bottle (or needle or pipe) than constant negativity and pessimism about life.
Positivity has been proven to benefit you in many ways including:
· Lowers distress
· Reduces fear
· Reduces anxiety
· Reduces depression
· Improves cardiovascular health
· Improves overall physical health
· Increased life span
· Improves our interaction with other people
· Improves friendships and family relationships
· Helps with addiction recovery
You don’t have to be a genius to realize that positive, upbeat people are more pleasant and enjoyable to be around, and generally have more friends than your average angry drunk. One of the many challenges that recovering alcoholics and addicts face is their inability or, more often, unwillingness to let go of resentment and anger for the perceived injustices they have suffered. Woe-is-me-ism is a real and far too common mental ailment that plagues many addicts in the early stages of recovery. The idea that we’ve been dealt a bad hand in life too often follows people into early sobriety and often results in relapse. Don’t let this happen to you!
Here’s the bottom line: You have to knock that shit off! Negativity gets you nowhere fast. Negativity and pessimism are part of the reason so many of us end up broken and defeated from our addictions in the first place. So why carry it into our sobriety and possibly destroy or effort to recover?
Resentment, the worst form of negativity, is one of the most lethal and toxic poisons we can swallow (we’ll discuss resentment in the next section). And we’ve been ingesting a lot of poison over the years, so there’s no reason to continue.
It’s important to develop a positive attitude and outlook on life. There are a few simple things we can do to brighten up our day and, more importantly, improve someone else’s day. The first thing we need to do is recognize when we’re being sullen, angry, spiteful or vengeful in any way. All of these negative emotions are easy to detect because they feel bad, much like a hangover. When you’re feeling less-than-positive, check yourself and try to adjust your attitude toward a more positive way of thinking.
Like our spiritual health, our mental health has a huge impact on our life in recovery. So it’s crucial that you begin to notice any negativity you’re carrying around and learn how to replace it with the power of positive thinking.
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