We can’t be happy all the time. We can, however, allow ourselves to maintain a positive outlook by making an effort to let go of negativity. It’s easy to get caught up in bad feelings, especially in early sobriety when our emotions tend to be heightened. When we break the cycle of pessimism and stay positive, we find that positive things seem to continue to occur in our lives. Thomas Jefferson once said, “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” Jefferson was right—our attitude will determine our ability to continue on the path toward success. In our case, this is the path of recovery. When we give into pessimism, we are prone to throwing in the towel and thinking it is all too much for us to handle. Our negativity breeds defeatism and we may find ourselves retreating back to the fleeting relief of drugs or alcohol. When we maintain a positive mental attitude, however, nothing will seem insurmountable. One of the best ways to maintain positivity is to immediately rid ourselves of negative thoughts as soon as they crop up. The 10th Step of Alcoholics Anonymous states: “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.” Though this comes directly from 12-Step recovery, it can be beneficial to everyone. As we go about our day, we keep an eye out for situations that cause us to feel selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. When these occur, which they undoubtedly will throughout the day, we engage in a four-part process to rid ourselves of these negative feelings: “we ask God at once to remove them. We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone. Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help.” Maintaining a spirit of love and tolerance is important if we are to progress in a positive and sober life, so we take these negative situations and turn them into an opportunity to get outside of own heads and help someone else who is suffering. Through the process, we find that we are rid of negativity and maintain a positive outlook on life by being of service to others whenever possible.
Addiction doesn’t have to keep dragging you down the spiral of negativity. You can change your story and life by making the decision to seek help now. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in beautiful Laguna Beach, is staffed with experienced addiction professionals dedicated to providing you all the tools necessary to make a full recovery from addiction and alcoholism and build a brighter future. For more information about treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777