While addiction recovery is all about treatment, repairing relationships, and learning to live a life of sobriety, none of these things are possible without first changing your mindset. You must open your mind to the possibility of recovery and growth otherwise the principles will never stick and you are at risk of falling back into addiction. Making the transition from a closed mindset to one that is open to growth and recovery can be difficult at first, but gradually becomes easier over time.
The Difference an Open Mindset Makes
Not being open to recovery and making lifestyle changes can be extremely harmful to your recovery. It leaves you vulnerable to relapsing and falling back into substance abuse.
The Closed Mindset
Having a closed mindset keeps you from progressing forward in recovery. It locks you into your addiction because you make excuses as to why you cannot engage in the process of recovery. Most of the individuals with this mindset believe that others who are successful in recovery simply have more willpower and are more readily able to handle the issues life throws at them.
This is incredibly harmful to recovery, as it causes you to believe you simply were not made to be sober. Learning to have an open mindset to recovery is incredibly important. If you continue making justifications as to why you cannot begin recovery or progress in it, you will remain stuck in the same place or even fall backward.
The Open Mindset
Having an open mindset toward recovery is all about changing your perspective. Rather than feeling stuck and as if you were not made for healing, you begin to realize that growth is possible by learning new techniques to overcome difficult situations in life. An open mindset allows you to look at the big picture and find new ways to solve your problems rather than staying stuck. This is crucial for recovery because in this way you can progress forward in your journey toward sobriety.
Recovery is all about being open to the process and what it can do to change your life for the better. You must be willing to do the work and realize that you may not be successful on the first try, but you must keep going. In this way, you are helping yourself in ways your addiction never could.
How Do You Transition into Having an Open Mindset?
Changing your perspective doesn’t have to be as difficult as you may currently believe. The best way to start is to become aware and monitor your thoughts, specifically about your addiction and recovery. Try to change any negative thoughts you may have toward recovery into positive ones. Instead of saying, “This is impossible.
I’ll never be able to do the work necessary to recover,” tell yourself “Recovery is difficult and at times I will stumble, but I must keep trying to see results.” This shift in perspective can be incredibly powerful.
Another way to move toward having an open mindset about recovery is to take inventory of your past problems that you were able to overcome. Keep in mind that up to this point, you have survived all of your bad days. Therefore, remember that you are capable of overcoming the challenges ahead in order to conquer addiction.
A great way to begin conquering addiction and moving forward in recovery is setting short-term goals that you can see yourself achieving. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and motivate you to keep going as you continue reaching your goals.
The Open Mindset in Recovery
Once you have successfully decided to have an open mindset and put in the work to overcome addiction, you must learn how to do so. Obviously the way you have been living life has not been totally working, so it is probably best to use this new perspective to learn new tools and coping mechanisms to heal yourself and change your life for the better.
A good starting point is to recognize the triggers that continually pull you back into the world of addiction. These vary depending on the person, but becoming aware of them will help you realize the specific things that need the most work. From here, you can begin talking to mental health professionals or a support group, or you can simply research how others overcame the triggers you are dealing with.
Chances are, someone has gone through the very thing you are struggling with and successfully overcame it. By learning what techniques worked for them, you can begin applying them to your own life and seeing how it changes.
An Open Mindset Does Not Mean Ignoring Addiction
While you are learning new techniques to overcome addiction, it is important to remember that you should not ignore the demons that bring you right back to addiction. Ignoring cravings and triggers will only keep you returning to the source of the problem. The key is to address these issues and learn how to overcome them.
Allow your brain to think about alcohol and drugs, but instead of falling back into old cravings and running back to them, begin thinking about the harm they have caused you. Associate them with negative ways they impact your life, the lives of your loved ones, and the future.
In this way, you will be working to prevent relapse. Recovery is all about confronting those thoughts and conquering them rather than ignoring them, which will only cause them to grow stronger.
Changing your perspective towards recovery when you are in the midst of addiction can be extremely difficult. Many remain in the mindset of being stuck and thinking they do not possess the skills to conquer addiction and move toward a life of sobriety. This is a false perspective often felt by those in the beginning stages of thinking about recovery. Once they are able to move into an open mindset of welcoming the process of recovery into their lives, it then becomes about being able to apply the mindset. For more information on how to do this and start your journey to sobriety, contact Northstar Transitions at (303) 558-6400.