What are Examples of Addictive/Problematic Thinking Patterns?

Recovery is a lifestyle change that involves a revamping of your body and mind. Recovery is more than putting down a negative habit and picking up a healthier one. Successful recovery means changing the way that you think.

Negative thinking patterns can be dangerous for a person in recovery. Relapses and slips happen well before a substance is ever picked up. Relapse begins with problematic thinking patterns.

All or nothing thinking is when you think in black and white terms. With all or nothing thinking there are no gray areas. Your thoughts may include words like always and never. You may be too hard on yourself because you feel that you always fail or can never recover. All or nothing thinking leaves little room for the natural process of change-which has ups and downs. To combat this type of thinking, start to dissect situations. Try to recognize that you are recovering and it is a process. Be easy on yourself!

Over- generalizing is when you base a conclusion of a situation on one incident. Over-generalizing can be detrimental to recovery because it will keep you in fear and unable to take chances. Believing that you are an unlikeable person because one person wronged you is an example of overgeneralization. It may be helpful to consider that one person or situation does not determine your present and future.

Feelings vs. fact thinking is easy to do. Feelings are not always factual but they may feel that way. For example, you feel that you can only cope by smoking a cigarette or drinking alcohol. You might find that thinking through your feelings is a positive way to recognize feelings vs. facts. Your feelings may say that you are stressed and need to cope. Thinking through your feelings will allow you to acknowledge that you are stressed, but can use your coping tools to get through this tough time.

Negative self-talk is a common type of problematic thinking pattern. Negative self-talk happens when you only see bad in yourself.  “I thought about using, I am a failure” is an example of negative self-talk. This type of thinking pattern produces insecurities and does not build you up. A good way to reverse this type of thinking is by using positive affirmations. Instead of thinking bad thoughts about self, lift yourself up by your words!

Changing problematic thinking patterns is a process. Be patient with yourself and try to take it slow. Allow yourself to have imperfect moments. As long as you recognize when faulty thinking starts, you can reach out to your support network and incorporate some of the tips above to get through it.

Lasting recovery is more attainable than ever. Serving the greater Los Angeles area, Infinity Treatment Centers offers the highest luxury and privacy in residential treatment, along with a continuum of care options. Lasting recovery starts with infinite change.

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