When we experience that inevitable “bad day” it is not a bunch of random negative situations that present themselves, but often times a result of what is happening with our thoughts that particular day. Having bad thoughts or a negative mindset in addiction treatment is a very common battle. Years of substance use has made life feel like one bad day after the next. If what we are continuously focusing on is discouraging or negative, it impacts our day in an unproductive way. The cycle must be broken with positivity and forgiveness.
When the cycle of negativity begins, unless addressed immediately, it can shape and influence how we handle other challenging aspects moving forward. If we decide early on to label our day a “bad day”, we will surely receive it. Spending our time completely focused on negativity, we miss out on the beauty of life and opportunities of positivity that are right in front of us. If we can keep an open mind and be sure to highlight the good in a situation, our mood will improve immensely, which will lead to responding to the days challenges with a clear and open mind. Bad thoughts can be corrected with some hard work and effort.
Learning this thought process is crucial to proper addiction treatment and recovery for our patients. When in treatment, emotions run high. It is easy for small inconveniences to turn into a negative downslide, which ultimately distracts a person from focusing on treatment.
The Bible tells us in Proverbs 23:7 NKJV “As a man think is his heart so is he” Solomon the writer of Proverbs (who was known Biblically as the wisest man to ever live) is trying to convey to us that whatever we are spending the most time on in our hearts is what we ultimately become. If we are spending the most time with discouraging thoughts, we more than likely will become discouraged.
Another profound verse comes from Jesus recorded in Matthew 12:34 NKJV “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”. The abundance of the heart and overflow of thoughts, feelings, emotions that are held inside only eventually come out not expressed in the most pleasant of ways.
During the addiction treatment process, expressing feelings incorrectly is often seen. Patients are so accustomed to reacting in a negative fashion, that it becomes instinct to do so. Being defensive and negative becomes a form of self-preservation.
So how do we avoid this trap of our thoughts controlling us rather than us taking control of our thoughts? Consider interrupting the unhealthy thought process rather than feeding them. Feeding thoughts is rehearsing, highlighting and becoming consumed by them. Instead of entertaining bad thoughts redirect your focus by journaling, reading, or speaking with a trusted friend. Whatever we feed grows! It won’t be easy at first, but the more we practice this the better you will become at taking your bad thoughts captive.
“Learning this thought process is crucial to proper addiction treatment and recovery for our patients. When in treatment, emotions run high. It is easy for small inconveniences to turn into a negative downslide, which ultimately distracts a person from focusing on treatment."