Words are the tools used by the human brain to express thoughts, ideas, and feelings in ways others can understand. Words help when we consciously talk to ourselves as a way of organizing our thoughts or solving problems. Words reinforce ideas, express emotions, and build community. Words can hurt, and words can heal.
Our sense of self is often shaped by the words of others. Negative statements about us can hurt for years, and often influence our behaviors and attitudes. The impact of positive words can last just as long.
We are all vulnerable to our own self-talk — tell yourself something enough times and you’ll eventually believe it. This aspect of our consciousness can be used to our advantage during recovery. Consciously repeating positive thoughts and affirmations is a very effective tool.
Affirmations are positive statements you repeat to yourself for support and encouragement as you try to form new healthy habits, break unhealthy ones, and build a more healthy mindset. They help you take control of your life as you break the habit of negative thinking.
Using Positive Affirmations in Addiction Recovery
Very few addictions can be beaten by positive thoughts alone. Affirmations can and should be a part of any recovery program, along with detox, therapy, and support. They help the patient avoid negative thoughts that lead to relapse or further abuse.
There are many positive statements that can become your affirmations. Everyone is unique, so yours needs to mean something to you personally. One of the most effective is “I am strong enough.” Let it remind you of the inner strength and courage you found to enter rehab initially, and your resolve to see it through.
Here are some simple phrases that you can use.
- I can do this.
- I matter.
- I am not my addiction.
- I am loved.
- I am valuable.
- I like the person I’m becoming.
- I can do anything I put my mind to.
- I forgive myself for my past mistakes.
- I’m proud of the changes I’ve made.
- I deserve to be happy.
- I respect myself.
- I am stronger than I give myself credit for.
- I have all I need for happiness within myself.
- I am brave enough to face my problems.
Benefits of Positive Recovery Affirmations
Affirmations have many positive benefits for those in recovery.
They are daily reminders of what you are trying to accomplish, why it is important, and how it will benefit you and those around you.
Affirmations can help you continue abstinence. They keep you focused on your future, and remind you that there is always another way to get through the day. Many feel that their affirmations are a good coping mechanism to help deal with any challenges that arise. You can use them for motivation, and as a source of support, strength, and energy.
Affirmations can distract you from any negative feelings that may develop as you face the harsh realities of the damage your addiction has caused.
Affirmations remind you of the effort you are making to change. You found the strength to start the process and can find the strength to continue. Affirming this gives you an anchor and helps you to deal with the issues caused by your behavior.
Your affirmations can inspire people around you, whether close family, friends or those in your support groups.
How to Make Positive Affirmations
Make your affirmations personal. Use “I” and “me” instead of “you” or “they,” and “I can” rather than “I can’t.” These are YOUR affirmations, and you need to take responsibility for your own journey to recovery.
Keep them simple — short phrases are easy to remember and repeat.
Say them out loud and often. Embed them into your mind by repeating them. Look in a mirror while saying them to reinforce the message.
Meditate on them when it is quiet and peaceful.
Write them down and hang them up in your home. Repetition reinforces.
Repeat them when you encounter temptations or urges to use.
Have someone close repeat them back to you. You say “I can do this,” they say “You can do this.” Reinforcement from an outside source strengthens the message.
No matter your choice, make sure your affirmations are motivating, reassuring, and inspiring.
By repeating these simple affirmations daily, you are actually training yourself to think and speak positively, changing how you see yourself, and boosting your self-esteem and sense of self-worth.
Aspirations can be found almost everywhere in popular media.
- “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – J.K. Rowling (Dumbledore to Harry Potter)
- “Change your thoughts and change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale
- “Where the focus goes, energy flows.” – Tony Robbins
- “The things that make me different are the things that make me me.” – Winnie The Pooh
- “In this world we’re livin’ in, we have our share of sorrow. Answer now is don’t give in, aim for a new tomorrow.” – Judas Priest, “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’”
- “I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.” – Muhammad Ali
We’ve all heard the phrase “the power of positive thinking.” As trite as it may sound, it is the first step on your journey. Your thoughts and beliefs affect how you see yourself and the world. Recovery affirmations can shift your mindset and remind you that you are strong enough to beat your addiction.
Bridges of Hope is a Joint Commission-accredited dual-diagnosis adult substance abuse treatment program. Our program is designed to achieve long-term recovery. We are licensed by the State of Indiana Department of Mental Health & Addiction.
Our treatment philosophy is based on a comprehensive and integrated approach to addressing all issues related to substance use and mental health disorders. We leave nothing to guesswork as we utilize therapeutically proven, evidence-based clinical practices. We place superior patient care as our highest priority and offer them all-inclusive treatment services.
Mission Statement: We provide hope and healing for anyone with alcohol and substance abuse disorders.
We connect everyone to their own personal journey, bridging the gaps previously unmet.