When you’re feeling defeated, down, or overwhelmed do you reach out to someone who has a way of making you feel worse, or making you feeling better?
Most of us reach out to the people who make us feel that, eventually, everything is going to be okay. We seek out the ones who put things into perspective and make us realize that we are stronger than we think, more capable than we give ourselves credit for, and more deserving than we feel. We solicit support from those who are able to show us that all is not lost.
We do this because their attitude inspires our own. Their support helps us to drag our current feelings, or situation, out of the dark and hold it up to a new light. They show us a new perspective. They give us hope.
It's funny. Surrounding yourself with positive, supportive people can change your whole outlook on life. The opposite is also true.
Who we choose to surround ourselves with has an affect on us, as does what we surround ourselves with.
Though we find comfort in things that reassure us that we are not alone, we need to be sure that we create balance with resources that inspire us to take action, to believe in ourselves, and to move forward when we may least feel like it. Creating an inventory of positive, motivating, and encouraging influences is one way of doing just that and is vital to recovery.
5 ways to create more positive influences in recovery:
1. Your inner and outer voice: What you think and what you say about yourself has a deep impact on your subconscious and on outcome. They can derail efforts or bolster them. The choice is yours.
Replace negativity with positivity. Repetitiveness is key. Positivity grows stronger the more you make it a part of your daily life, a part of yourself. It takes a conscious effort to replace the old voices of doubt, shame, and inadequacy but every time that you do you create possibility and hope. You forge a new path.
2. Ditch the negative support/encouragement: If it's an encouragement to continue what you're looking to change, or it triggers emotions and behaviors that are dangerous to your wellbeing, then it's not a healthy resource for recovery. Take an honest account of what you’re surrounding yourself with and let go of what does not benefit you or your recovery. (see also: Is What You're Holding On To Holding You Back?)
3. Increase Positive Resources: Seek out both online and offline resources that are supportive, loving, and encouraging for you in your recovery. These can include, but are not limited to, recovery sites, online and offline mentoring, counseling, supportive family and friends, recovery books, support groups, affirmations... (see also: Finding Support)
4. Positivity Journal: Journaling is an excellent tool for recovery. Create a positivity journal. Each day write down what has inspired you and what you appreciate about yourself and your day (no matter how small). Find a quote, affirmation, or song lyric to serve as the theme of the day and write it down. Repeat it to yourself throughout the day. Fill the journal with things that inspire you. Absolutely NO negativity is allowed in this journal. NONE. Fill the pages with what makes you happy. Write in it EVERY day. Read it often. (see also: Self-Love Jar)
5. Meditate, Visualize, Self-Soothe: These are great ways to distress, refocus, create feelings of calmness, and rejuvenate each day. They are each a great way to bolster positivity and recovery. Give them a try.
Be patient with yourself. Allow for mistakes, let go of them, and move forward. You are capable and worthy of recovery.