Developing negative and irrational thoughts toward yourself and certain situations throughout addiction treatment is a common problem. As you work to overcome a series of problems, the ability to think irrationally and feel negative emotions often increases.
Irrational thoughts can be hard to recognize. However, there are techniques you can implement to help you overcome these thoughts.
What Are Irrational Thoughts?
Irrational thoughts are patterns of thinking that do not logically make sense within reality. These unrealistic expectations of your surroundings often can lead to negative emotional reactions toward your surrounding environment. Irrational thoughts can cause various obstacles when trying to maintain a healthy mental state through the recovery process.
Understand the Situation
To observe your thought processes and determine if your response is healthy and rational, you need to understand the situation at hand. As you view the situation, try to think of a healthy response for the situation.
Compare this viewpoint with your natural reaction.
If you are struggling with irrational thoughts, your reaction will likely seem to be extreme for any given situation. While some individuals can separate their natural viewpoints from a healthy viewpoint and observe the difference, that can be a difficult mindset when struggling with addiction. To help differentiate these thoughts, try to look at an external situation when you are in a calm state of emotion and look at the situation with a clear mindset.
If you are struggling to understand the appropriate response for a situation, reach out to someone in your support group and ask for advice on how to handle the situation properly. Hearing viewpoints from others can help you understand if you are thinking about the situation irrationally.
Know What’s in Your Control
It is easy to develop a sense of irrational fear or emotions toward situations that are out of your control. If you are unable to alter the effects of something in treatment, it can be easy to develop irrational feelings toward them. For example, if you are experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms when in treatment to recover from an addiction, you may jump towards the thoughts that you have no control over yourself and you will never get past these cravings.
It is easy to assume the worst when undergoing addiction treatment, as you have many new obstacles to overcome. Being mindful of the actions you can take and aspects of the situation you control can help you think rationally about the treatment process. You can avoid falling down the hole of irrational thoughts by simply understanding what is within your control.
Alter Your Response
One of the most efficient ways to overcome negative thought processes from taking over is to redirect these thoughts as soon as they arise. As you become more aware of the negative thoughts, you can immediately rephrase the thought in your mind in a positive light. This example can help show you how to redirect your thoughts healthily:
- Irrational thought: “I have tried to change and do not see any progress. I am right back where I am at with no success. I’m a complete failure.”
- Redirected thought: “I have tried to change, and the progress is not as prominent as I would have hoped, but regardless, I have learned more about myself and what doesn’t work. I will keep trying and know I will succeed eventually.”
By altering your way of thinking, you can still address potential issues that are at hand without dwelling on the negatives. As you continue to do this with any negative thoughts you catch yourself having, you will begin to naturally think more positively and rationally.
Use Your Coping Skills
When high levels of irrational thoughts arise, your emotions can be incredibly difficult to manage. When you find this happening, it is a great opportunity to put your coping skills to use. Throughout drug rehab, you will gain various skills to help you cope with different situations and emotions. The following coping skills can potentially be applied to help you calm your emotional response and think rationally about the situation at hand:
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Deep breathing
- Socratic questioning
Socratic questioning is a great skill to use when dealing with irrational thoughts.
This coping skill encourages you to ask philosophical questions about your natural responses. Thinking of how someone else would view the same issues (the root factors of your issue), if they are based upon fact, and the probability of the situation you fear occurring can help you to view the thought rationally. You may be surprised to find out how often these irrational thoughts occur.
Recovering in a sober living house can also help keep negative thoughts at bay.
Sober Living Homes Heal in Mind & Body. Find Yours Today with SoberLivingNearYou.com!
A sober living home is an ideal place to recover, especially if you’re trying to manage your irrational thoughts during treatment. In a sober home, you’re surrounded by people on the same life journey as you. Your roommates are likely dealing with the same thoughts and internal struggles as you, and they can give you advice on how to power through them.
Plus, sober homes are staffed with house managers, who are veterans of treatment and can give you excellent advice on how to keep negative thoughts and emotions at bay.
Sober living is the best environment possible for recovery. Finding a sober home can be difficult, however.
We developed SoberLivingNearYou.com to take the sting out of the search for a sober home. You’ll be able to find a sober home for you as easy as hitting search. Keep your recovery strong with SoberLivingNearYou.com!