Going through addiction rehabilitation can be a challenging experience if the person doesn’t know what to expect. The person may have been dealing with substance abuse or addiction for several months, years or even decades, and beginning the recovery process often changes a lot of things in a person’s life that they have grown accustomed to. In order for a person to successfully go through the rehabilitation and recovery process, it’s helpful for him to engage in positive thinking. This state of mind will help him in rehabilitation as well as in long-term recovery.
How Does Addiction Affect the Mind?
The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as “a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry,” and explains that “dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations.” Addiction affects many different aspects of a person’s life, so in order to fully recover from this condition, a person must look at the specific ways that it is affecting each part of his life.
While several different parts of a person’s life are affected by addiction, one of the most significant changes appears in the person’s mind. Substance abuse and addiction in particular can lead to severe mental health issues. Additionally, many people who struggle with mental health conditions begin abusing substances in an attempt to self-medicate, which can in turn worsen the symptoms of the original condition. The National Institute on Drug Abuse lists several possible complications that can develop from or become intensified by substance abuse and addiction, including:
- Memory loss
- Mood disturbances
Using Positive Thinking to Manage Addiction
Since addiction, especially substance addiction, can lead to many serious mental health conditions, it’s essential for a person in rehabilitation to address and deal with all the psychological effects his addiction has had on him. Moreover, since addiction often negatively affects the way that a person thinks, learning to change the focus and patterns of a person’s thoughts can help with the rehabilitation and recovery process. One way to do this is through positive thinking, a process in which a person focuses on the good things about his life and circumstances in order to improve his overall outlook and state of mind. Jane Framingham gives several examples of ways to engage in positive thinking:
- Recognize that the current situation is only part of a bigger picture that includes elements of meaning, pleasure and success
- Try to see the positive in the negative by using the experience for good
- See the event as an opportunity to begin something new and positive
Deepak Chopra also explains the benefits of positive thinking, but clarifies that sometimes continuous positive thinking can be exhausting. In place of positive thinking, he suggests that a person focus on achieving a calm and peaceful mind.
Ways to Develop Positive Thinking Habits
Some common ways that a person can develop positive thinking habits and a calm mind include:
- Talking to a therapist or counselor
- Participating in an activity, such as yoga, that focuses on the well-being of both the mind and the body
- Attending support groups
Get More Information about Positive Thinking and Addiction Rehabilitation
Positive thinking is a skill that doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Many people, including those recovering from addiction, have to learn how to think positively and calm their mind. Rehab is a great place to begin the process of learning positive thinking. It can not only improve the person’s outlook on life, but can also increase their chances of successfully completing rehab, and of maintaining recovery long-term. If you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction, give us a call at 615-490-9376.