incredible-marketing Arrow

5 Tips for Self-Acceptance In Recovery

It’s easy to think that you have to be perfect. However, accepting your flaws and past mistakes can provide you with a sense of freedom during your recovery. Self-acceptance is essential in recovery and helps you cultivate a new sense of personal awareness and inner peace. The idea of self-acceptance for past choices can make many people cringe. After all, how can you accept past bad choices?

Self-acceptance means loving yourself from the inside out, no matter what choices you have made. You cannot go back and rewrite history. However, you can accept what happened and continue moving forward. This article offers five helpful tips to help you cultivate self-acceptance within your recovery.

What Is Self-Acceptance?

Self-acceptance is the act of accepting yourself as you are. To fully accept yourself, you must accept all of your positive and negative aspects. You can recognize that your value goes beyond your physical self, your mental attributes, or your actions.

Beginning to learn about and practice self-acceptance is an immense accomplishment. To explore this more fully, you must acknowledge the aspects of yourself that you view as undesirable or negative. Understanding these aspects can lead to accepting others for who they are and acknowledging what keeps you locked in a variety of unpleasant emotions.

Often, you may be unaware of low self-esteem or criticism that you engage in within yourself. This can lead to continual low-self-worth issues. Self-acceptance leads you to a better version of yourself within your life. When you can accept all things about your life, then you can move forward and be your best self.

What Is the Connection Between Substance Abuse and Self-Acceptance?

If you have experienced low self-worth, you know how painful it can sometimes feel. One way to help alleviate a painful sense of being less-than is to engage in an activity that makes you feel good. Sometimes this search for a feel-good activity leads to substance abuse. However, the truth is that illicit substances are a temporary band-aid for a problem. When the substances wear off, you are right back where you started or even in a worse position. The problem intensifies and the cycle continues.

As you practice self-acceptance, you can begin to understand where you are within your life and accept the things that are out of your control. You can begin to more strongly believe in your values and make decisions that reflect those values within your life.

Through self-acceptance, you can begin to eliminate shame and blame in your life. You can take responsibility for your actions and thoughts and stop shaming yourself or anyone else. As a result, you will start to feel more comfortable and free to be you.

How Can You Accept Your Past Self?

There is no easy way to accept yourself and the circumstances within your life. The path to self-acceptance does not happen overnight but instead happens by being consistent in your efforts. Putting time and effort into daily practice will help you reach your self-acceptance potential.

These five tips can help you to practice self-acceptance daily and grow within your recovery:

  1. Practice Gratitude: Every day, think of at least four things you are grateful for. Practicing gratitude every day will help your brain begin to look for the positives.
  2. Journal: Write your feelings and emotions down. Take several minutes each week to reflect on your thinking and review how your thoughts have changed.
  3. Reframe negative thoughts: Everyone has negative thoughts. However, the thoughts that you give meaning to will overtake your life. For example, if you reflect on your past self who made bad choices, you can either engage in being upset at yourself or reframe to think about the positive things that you learned in the process.
  4. Talk about it: Individual therapy is the oldest form of therapy, known as “talk therapy.” Engaging in this with a trustworthy and skilled therapist can help you process your thoughts and feelings, leading to better self-acceptance.
  5. Just Breathe: Focus on the moment and allow yourself to relax. Notice that everything is okay right now. Breathe in and out. Focus on the things that are around you and think about how far you have come and all of your accomplishments.

Forgive Yourself

To accept yourself, forgiveness has to be present. According to the journal PLoS One, self-forgiveness requires a cognitive reframing of your views of yourself. The article states that forgiving yourself is an adaptive mechanism in humans that leads to a more positive outlook, greater self-esteem, and less depression and anxiety.

As mentioned above, it is crucial to reframe negative thought processes to start the process of self-forgiveness. Once you have reframed the negative thoughts into more positive interpretations, you will see that you don’t deserve to be punished anymore. Forgiveness allows you to recognize you are human and everyone makes mistakes and is imperfect.

You also can learn how to move on to create change within yourself. For example, think of a situation or action that you want to forgive yourself for. Identify any negative thoughts about your view of yourself at that moment. Next, forgive yourself for that belief and reframe the thought into something positive. Think about how a friend may speak to you about that action. Treat yourself with the same kindness that a friend would.

Celebrate Self-Acceptance in Recovery

To accept yourself where you are in life is to step into your power. When self-acceptance is present, you no longer need to seek validation from others. You become aware of who you are and what you need to be the best version of yourself. There is no time like now to celebrate how far you have come.

Accepting yourself for who you are in this very moment may cause you to have emotions. Identifying your strengths and weaknesses can cultivate feelings you didn’t know existed. You are learning the keys to strengthening your recovery and how to help yourself in challenging moments. Self-acceptance teaches you to accept all parts of yourself and acknowledge awareness of yourself within your recovery. At The Guest House, we value your self-awareness and want to explore how empowering it can be to accept yourself unconditionally. We believe that connection is key to recovery and want to provide an unconditional space for you to grow. If you or someone you know is struggling with self-acceptance, give us a call at (855) 483-7800 today.