Spring Cleaning for the Mind: Decluttering Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts can easily cause a person in addiction recovery to spiral into sadness, self-loathing, and despair. However, it is possible to declutter these negative thoughts from the mind. When you cultivate a more positive mindset, your recovery journey will become a lot easier.

How the Mind Affects Recovery

When the mind wanders off into negativity, this can create obstacles that prevent you from moving forward in recovery. Those experiencing substance use disorder (SUD) may be all too familiar with negative thinking. In fact, the very nature of SUD is negative.

Addiction can have dangerous and even deadly consequences. It negatively affects your health and it can even get in the way of your career, relationships, or education. Many people with SUD get stuck in a cycle of negativity. In order to break the cycle, it’s important to learn how to declutter negative thoughts and create a more positive mindset.

Relapse Prevention

Changing negative thinking has been studied extensively in relation to relapse prevention. According to the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, the “main tools of relapse prevention are cognitive therapy and mind-body relaxation, which change negative thinking and develop healthy coping skills.”

When you’re spiraling out into negativity, it can be really hard to stay focused on recovery. Feelings of anxiety, guilt, shame, and depression are all common for those experiencing SUD. Many people even turn to substances as a way to avoid feeling the pain that accompanies negative feelings. This can be a disastrous recipe for relapse.

Developing a More Positive Mindset

When you begin to develop a more positive mindset, you will have a better outlook on life and more hope for recovery. Thinking positively means you’ll be able to see the big picture and allow yourself to feel excited about a new life away from substances.

A positive mindset can help you focus on your goals. This type of mindset will also help you celebrate every small victory along the way. The more you train your mind to think positively, the easier it will be to overcome triggers and move forward in your recovery journey.

How to Declutter Negative Thoughts From the Mind

Overcoming negativity in recovery isn’t just about ignoring your thoughts and feelings so you can think positively. The truth is that when you ignore negative thoughts and feelings, they linger in both your subconscious and conscious mind.

Have you ever heard that saying, “The only way out is through?” Well, the only way to break free from negative thoughts is to move through them. You need to identify them, sit with them, and then learn healthy skills to help you pivot to a more positive mindset.

Identifying Negative Thoughts and Feelings

Of course, it is impossible to completely clear your mind of negative thinking. What is possible, however, is to identify your negative thoughts so you can process them and then pivot to something better.

According to Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, negative thinking “will always occupy a chamber of our minds.” You have the choice to give these thoughts power or, as the journal suggests, you can “recognize them for what they truly are – distortions conceived in emotional pain.”

Next time you feel yourself spiraling into negativity, take out your journal and make a list of the thoughts, feelings, or memories that are coming up. Putting these things onto paper will show you that they are just thoughts. In truth, they have no real power over you and you can change them.

You Have to Feel It to Heal It

As mentioned previously, ignoring negative thoughts will only push them further down in your mind. In order to truly release them, you’re going to have to face them head-on.

According to the aforementioned publication by Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, once you’re able to consciously recognize your negative thoughts and emotions, “[T]here is a binary choice: Resist or accept the negative thinking.” The journal even references psychologist Carl Jung, who famously said, “What you resist not only persists but will grow in size.”

When you accept your negative thoughts, you will have the ability to disarm them. This will also empower you to become more self-led. After a long time in active addiction, learning how to deal with negative thoughts can help you trust yourself and your decision-making once again.

Pivoting From Negative to Positive Thinking

Once you accept your negative thoughts, it’s now time to pivot to better thoughts and feelings. You may want to create positive affirmations or new beliefs as replacements.

You can also incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine. Mindfulness allows you to focus on the present moment and gently observe your thoughts without judgment.

The more consistent you are with these practices, the easier it will become to start viewing life through a positive lens.

Healing the Mind, Body, and Spirit at The Guest House

Addiction recovery is not a one-size-fits-all solution. At The Guest House, our cutting-edge blend of holistic and traditional therapies allows you to not only heal addiction but also reframe any negativity that’s occupying your mind.

We offer mind-body therapies like yoga, meditation, and conscious-connected breathwork to help you become more mindful, accepting, and positive. Through these practices, you can learn how to sit through negative thoughts and feelings so you can create more positivity in your life.

Decluttering negative thoughts from the mind is one of the best tools for addiction recovery. A negative outlook can cause you to spiral and even end up in relapse. At The Guest House, positive thinking is possible. We give you the tools necessary to help you gain control over your negativity thoughts so you can heal and release them in an effective way. We offer mind-body practices like meditation and yoga to help you sit with your negative thoughts and observe them without judgment so you can release them for good. Our cutting-edge blend of traditional and holistic therapy will allow you to discover a new, positive mindset. Call us today at (855) 483-7800.