It can be tough to beat negative self-talk during early recovery. Whether you’re experiencing shame, fear or anger about the changes happening in your life, it’s important to take control of your thoughts, feelings and actions as you start the road to recovery.
But how do you do that?
One way is to try daily affirmations, or the habit of reinforcing positive thoughts.
According to one 2016 study, self-affirmations were found to help people stay grounded in positive thoughts, while reinforcing core values in the face of negative thoughts and emotions. Meaning, when you can remind yourself of positive truths, it will have a positive effect on you.
So if you’re ready to take up your own daily practice and need a place to start, here are a few simple daily affirmations to give you a boost during early recovery:
- “I’m safe.”
Whether you’re in treatment, living in a halfway house, or are onto your next sober adventure, it can be helpful to stay grounded in this simple fact. “I’m safe,” reminds you that you’re out of the chaos of addiction and in something new, stable and calm.
- “I’m valued.”
It can be hard to overcome feelings of doubt and worthlessness, but this daily affirmation can remind you that you are valued in the recovery community. Your story, your presence and your contributions matter, whether if they’re shared at a meeting, in treatment, or just helping someone individually. Because the recovery community is just that – a community.
- “I’m doing the right thing.”
When self-doubt creeps in, remind yourself of this simple truth. Walking the road of recovery is the right thing to do, even if you’re feeling influenced by the pressure or comments of friends, family and peers in active addiction. You won’t regret bettering yourself, especially when that results in a clear mind, positive actions and the reconciliation of your core values. So today, keep doing the right thing.
- “I’m growing.”
This one’s important, particularly on tough days. There will be days in recovery that are not easy. You’ll notice old thoughts, behaviors and actions creeping up on you, and may feel tempted to go back to a different version of yourself. When this happens, and when you catch it happening, note the progress. Nod to yourself a simple, “I’m growing,” or “I’m in a season of growth,” to remind yourself that small setbacks are a part of the process and that if it wasn’t hard, it wouldn’t be worth it. The process of growth is hard — but so worth it.
- “I’m going somewhere.”
Living by the mantra “one day at a time,” a common principle in recovery, can be difficult some days, especially if you want to make sure those days count for something and will lead somewhere. But remember, small actions, steps and days stacked together with positive actions will lead to something fruitful. Whether it’s a job, a family, a hobby or a newfound sense of purpose has yet to be seen, but when you arrive, you’ll know it was all worth it. So today, even if it’s ambiguous, rest in the fact that what you do today matters because it’s leading you to your next destination.
What are some of your daily affirmations?
The list doesn’t stop here. These 5 affirmations are just a place to start, but you can add your own and make a list with whatever helpful truths work for you and your recovery.