Addiction Recovery Needs Focus
When you enter treatment for your addiction, you must learn to focus on the things that are important. Set goals for recovery that place the focus on the steps you should take in achieving sobriety; don’t focus on things to avoid relapse.
Do those sound the same to you? They aren’t. The difference is subtle. The first focuses on positive outcomes and the second focuses on avoiding failure.
Sound like the same thing? It isn’t. The first outlook focuses on a positive outcome. The second focuses on failure, and how to avoid it. When you choose to emphasize focusing on the positive rather than negative, you will make a choice that significantly impacts your recovery.
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Positive Focus, Positive Results
Motivational research from Lench and Levine proves that setting goals directed towards positive outcomes will pave the best road to success. On the other hand, if you focus on avoidance of failure, you could miss the road signs along the way. Being success-driven allows you to recognize when you’re about to take an action that leads you off course.
Below are some examples of positive goals you could set for yourself in recovery:
- Earn my one year coin
- Get back the respect of my family or loved ones
- Find a great job
Now, look at examples of the opposite–negative goals:
- Do not fall off the wagon
- Don’t chill out with my old crowd
- Get even with the people that screwed me over
Stress Hinders Your Goals For Recovery
Constant worry can cause failure because it prolongs high stress levels. It can also make you feel negative emotions like sadness, anxiety, or anger. These feelings trigger relapses. When you’re under stress, you will have a harder time thinking clearly and making good decisions. You will put yourself in the path of temptation and risk relapse when under excessive stress.
Goals for recovery can help keep you motivated, and ultimately, motivation is key to defeating the stress that builds up over time.
Don’t Get Tunnel Vision
You’ll get tunnel vision if you only focus on the avoidance of failure. Because you become so driven to avoid a negative outcome, you could fail to find the paths to positive results. For example, you might avoid parties because they can a trigger relapse. However, you could miss out on other chances to socialize and make new friends. You inadvertently isolate yourself.
Embrace a healthier outlook by directing your energy into focusing on positive outcomes.
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