Even when you spend time thinking about recovery and about the past, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will have anxious thoughts. It can come from many different things, including medication changes, recovery from drugs or alcohol, and just adjusting to life without being able to numb out. Cognitive distortions, or filters of the world around you, can make you feel more anxious. Learn how to develop more healthy patterns of thinking that will help you be less anxious.
The brain can play tricks on you in recovery. There are many ways the brain can lie, even if you have anxiety, it can feel monumental to overcome the little ways the brain deceives you. Many things are just habitual from doing them over and over.
- Polar opposites: people with this type of thinking often focus on one extreme or the other. There is no black or white or grey area. People who are highly ambitious and have perfectionistic tendencies may feel the stress and burnout while looking at a situation as ‘all or nothing’ and need to have some support in being released of the obligations they put on themselves
- Disaster arising: also known as ‘catastrophizing,’ this happens to people who see the potential for things to go wrong (very wrong) and focus on the worst-case scenario. People may seem ‘over-dramatic,’ but it can be a pattern of thinking for highly anxious people to develop a certain way of seeing their circumstances which causes more stress
- Emotional thinking: truth and reality are not based on feelings. Intuition can be helpful, but it is rarely the whole picture. Just because you feel something deeply, doesn’t make it true. Thinking emotionally can breed anxiety. Spotting this takes time but can help to not just invalidate personal feelings, but remind yourself of the objective truth around the feelings
Thought distortions take away from the reality of your recovery. They can trick you into thinking things that aren’t necessarily true and are based on pure emotion. Humans have a way of processing things so they can understand them better and putting things in perspective. This doesn’t mean they’re right or even that they are skewed. It simply means some people deal differently with life events than others, and those with high anxiety struggle a bit more until they get support to deal with it. The best way to cope is to find a therapist, counselor, and support groups who call you out when you are thinking of things in a way that is neither healthy nor helpful. When you finally realize you are not thinking things through properly, you begin to understand how to navigate life in a better frame of mind.
Changing your mindset does not happen overnight. Anxiety is not just thoughts, it is also biology and medications and other things all wrapped into one. When you are anxious, you are driven by more emotion than reality. Oceanfront is here to help you find better coping tools and resources. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295