Negative thinking is something many people wrestle with every day. Difficult life circumstances, work stress, and other situations pop up that are hard to deal with. The more negative an experience, the more a person is likely to ruminate on it. There is trauma which can impact the brain, as well, and keep you stuck in a loop of negative thinking. Addiction can continue so long as the person is not willing to deal with how they see things in the world and stay stuck in their negative thinking patterns. Learn more about the dangers of staying in this cycle of thinking in recovery and how to break the cycle.
Pain is Familiar
The problem with pain is that it becomes a companion for the journey. Sometimes we become so used to having pain or painful thoughts, we do not think anything else is possible. We do not pay attention to how we feel. Our mind takes control and steers the ship in a familiar pattern. Over and over again, the mind reframes the contents of our pain to avoid feeling it. The mind chooses thinking about pain over experiencing it directly. We continually think about what hurts help us feel and we ruminate on our suffering like it is a good thing. In this way, it becomes part of our identity as a person. We remind ourselves the pain is a way of keeping our personal story alive. It is a form of attachment to our stories to suffer.
Returning to Suffering
The cycle of suffering in our own minds comes from experiences we had, past trauma, and issues have with letting go. The mind feels like it is always spinning, churling, and whirling, tracking those negative thoughts and feelings, getting them trapped in a loop. This can build on itself and bring anxiety and depression to the forefront of our minds. Rumination feels safer than letting it go to find healing. If we stopped remembering these things, who would we then become is the bigger question. What happens when the brain stops reminding itself of these things that feel safe and, instead, think on things that have light and joy. Going deeper into this in therapy and with the help of addiction specialists can help you process this and find some inner peace.
The best way to find hope and healing on the other side of negative thinking is to build a toolkit in your brain that supports thinking more positively. It is hard to see people you love get stuck in negative patterns. It is also hard to break your own mental jail and cycle of pain. Here are some tips for breaking out of that mental prison:
- Build a better habit: if you notice patterns are swirling towards negativity, choose instead to revisit this pain. Know when you tend to do this and notice how it happens. Learn to release and let it go by being aware and letting it go by without attaching to it
- Acknowledge you are caught: the rabbit hole is not a fun place to go, but yet we go there time and time again. If you are stuck, notice it. Feel it, taste it, and see it for what it is. Stop and offer yourself kindness in the moment. Recognize you are not stuck, you can get out if you want to release yourself of the powerlessness you keep yourself attached to
The final way to get out of your own head is to shift your thinking. Don’t think about the problem, try to feel it instead. Sense where and how in your body you are feeling this sensation. You can find healing if you are willing to recognize your suffering for what it is. Don’t let it take over your life. Find a way through the healing and into the light. It will become a beacon of hope for you. If you are still struggling, speak to a therapist and psychiatrist if you are on medication. If you are not, it may be a good time to have a discussion and seek wise counsel on how to kick the negative thought loop for good.
A Step in the Right Direction helps you focus your mind on recovery and get out of the negative thoughts keeping you stuck in addictive thinking. Our recovery program is staffed by people who understand the power of addiction. For more information sober living programs for men and women as well as recovery programs, call (877) 377-3702.