Don’t let a familiar pattern of toxic and negative thoughts dictate your actions and happiness. Often when we are stuck mentally, it can be difficult to imagine ourselves on the other side, even when we have people rooting for our success. Fixed thinking patterns don’t help us, even if they feel comfortable. Achieving goals and moving forward means we have to be willing to change. Change means challenging the rigid thoughts preventing us from moving beyond where we are now. When you find yourself stuck, use these counter-strategies. If you are working in a group setting, role play and discussion might also be helpful.
Myths and Truths
Below are a few examples of the lies we tell ourselves. Depending on your situation, you might be able to think of one or two others.
I’ll always be alone.
Why are you saying this? What makes you think you are always going to be alone? Look at your situation right now and ask yourself if you are lonely. There’s a difference between being by yourself and being lonely. If we live our lives afraid of being alone, we’re more likely to accept any type of relationship, even toxic ones, just so we have somebody to be with.
Instead of thinking that you’ll always be by yourself, tell yourself that you will meet the right person at the right time. Focus on becoming a healthy, whole person. Being well and liking yourself is incredibly important. Be a friend to yourself and learn to enjoy your company. Recognize that anybody you bring into your inner circle will be privileged to share that space with you.
Also, think about what you already have. How about your parents, your siblings? You might have nieces and nephews that you can spend time with. You might have great friends. Take a careful look and you’ll see that you’re never truly alone. We need to get out of that negative mindset, so we don’t throw ourselves a pity party and risk relapsing into destructive behaviors.
I hate my body.
Compared to what? Airbrushed magazine covers? If you compare yourself at 40 to a 20-year-old on the cover of a magazine, then, of course, you hate yourself! It’s not realistic. If you’re 50 and comparing yourself to a famous 50-something actor with an entourage of chefs and personal assistants, you won’t be doing yourself any favors.
We live in a culture where we always compare ourselves to others. Somebody will always have a larger house, a newer car, or more money. It’s no wonder we live half our lives undervaluing who we are and what we have. Instead, focus on your health. If you are not happy with your energy, the way you feel, and how you feel within your body, ask yourself what changes you might need to make. By focusing on ourselves, without comparing ourselves to somebody else or something unattainable, we can focus on making the best of who we are today.
The best of who you are right now probably involves maintaining sobriety, remaining free from substance misuse, and incorporating healthy eating into your daily life. Work with your support counselor and medical professional to address any health-related issues that you need to tackle.
In the meantime, ask what you do like about your body. Think about how your body is a gift and it provides you with the ability to live. Notice what you do like about yourself. A blanket statement about hating yourself in any form doesn’t tell you anything. Next time you say how much you hate your body, immediately bypass it by looking for things you do like about yourself.
Give yourself a little kindness too. In some cultures, we look at ourselves differently. We see the body that has given birth to children, the legs that have carried us on a journey, or the lines around our eyes seeing a lot of life. By reframing what we hate about ourselves into what our body has done for us, we can challenge the self-defeating and harmful looping.
I’m not worthy. I’ll never be good enough.
This can be a very complicated pit to fall into because it’s often rooted in many years of emotional put-downs, ridicule, and comparison to others. When you find yourself thinking these thoughts, decide you will celebrate every milestone of your sobriety and substance abuse management. When you get into a rut, make a list of at least five things you have accomplished in the last year or two. Just the act of doing that will help stem the tide of negative thinking.
Talk to others. You are likely not the only one to experience these rigid thinking patterns. Speaking to peers or a professional can give you insight into how to cope when these moments happen.
Don’t allow negative thought patterns to dictate your wellness outcomes. Often, when we are mentally stuck, it can be difficult to imagine ourselves on the other side, even when we have people rooting for our success. Fixed thinking patterns deprive us of realizing our potential. Often, these thought patterns feel comfortable because we continually give into the same negative thoughts, time and time again. However, success means moving forward and being willing to change, and that change means challenging the rigid thinking patterns derailing our move beyond where we are now. Surrounded by the Rocky Mountains’ inspiring landscape, the Detox Center of Colorado offers a solution-based transitional residence program that meets long-term and sustainable recovery needs. No matter how far you’ve come on your journey to substance abuse or mental health recovery, we look forward to helping you explore the best supportive treatment and aftercare options available to you. Call the Detox Center of Colorado at (303) 952-5035. It may be the best thing you do for yourself today.