The way a person thinks about the self has a powerful influence on attitude and the decision making process. Many factors influence the way a person thinks about oneself but self talk is probably the most important. Excessive negative self talk is a common problem with people who have alcohol or drug addiction. Changing the negative self talk into positive self talk is an important challenge in recovery. Find out how to make the switch and begin healing the mind and body after addiction using the power of positive thinking.


Self Sabotage

Negative self talk is dangerous because it is a particularly nasty form of self sabotage. It is meant to tear a person down, little by little, piece by piece. Thoughts can be a person’s worst enemy. It is defeating self talk which brings a person in recovery back into addiction through relapse more than anything else. Once the pattern is established, it is hard to break the cycle of negativity. Failures and mishaps on the journey of recovery and send a person reeling mentally into a state of self sabotage very quickly.


Listen Up

Take a moment to listen to what is in the mind. Pause and contemplate the thoughts. Write down what is whirling around the mind. Without going into every aspect of negative self talk, find a way to combat the negative thoughts with positive ones on paper by doing the following:

  • Write down what comes to mind
  • Create two columns, one for positive and one for negative thoughts
  • Repeat the positive thoughts as affirmations to oneself using “I” statements
  • Encourage behavior that will create positive thinking
  • Stay away from negative influences and people who may also be self-sabotaging


Find an Affirmation

Once awareness is raised about one’s own thinking process, a person can begin to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Many people recite affirmations in the morning or evening, sometimes at noon to break up the middle of the day. Use the same ones or try different ones to create a pattern of positive thinking.


Memory Devices

When negative self talk is noticed, it can help to try a physical act to stop it. Squeeze the thumb and forefinger together and state an affirmation. Make a discipline of continuing this behavior to build a positive pattern. This retrains the mind to think of positive things when the action is done. Other things can be used such as snapping a rubber band on the wrist, pinching oneself or some other action that, when used consistently, will result in building tools for the recovery journey which are simple, easy and effective to use anywhere.


Individuals with addiction need to use all available tools at one’s disposal to overcome the addiction. Keeping a strong support network, exercising and focusing on mindfulness will help keep the brain focused on what is good about recovery and build positive energy for the long haul.


Recovery is challenging, but positive thinking and a support network of people who understand help. Call Hired Power to find out how we can support your recovery journey.