The Active Role of Positive Psychology in Overcoming Addiction at First Steps Recovery

The Active Role of Positive Psychology in Overcoming Addiction at First Steps Recovery

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Navigating the recovery journey can be overwhelming, and clients often feel hopeless during the process. With the right guidance, though, recovery can become uplifting and rewarding. Recovery starts with a mindset, and redirecting one’s mindset to be more positive fosters progress in recovery. While it is difficult to attain this mindset on one’s own, there are a number of ways to bring more positivity into one’s life. One way to do this is to use the principles of positive psychology.

At First Steps Recovery, the staff guides clients to cultivate a positive mindset, which fosters resiliency. This mindset is achieved through numerous holistic services offered at the facility that promote whole-person healing. By engaging with the right therapies, clients can experience improvement in their mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Redirecting one’s outlook on life and the recovery process helps create a sustainable healthy life.

The Importance of a Positive Mindset in Addiction Recovery

Learning how to apply a positive mindset to one’s life is crucial for one’s mental health during substance abuse recovery. Positive thinking allows clients to bring hope into their lives. Often clients struggling with substance use disorder (SUD) or an alcohol use disorder (AUD) perceive their lives, in some way, as hopeless. This mindset can shroud their perspective on their future, their work, their home life, and their social life, to name a few. A lack of hope and seeing the world through a negative lens encourages self-destructive behaviors such as substance abuse.

When in recovery from SUD, shifting one’s mindset and allowing in hope opens many doors for clients. This is because the negative perspective on the world and oneself prevents one from exploring life in new ways. Often clients feel stuck and lost in life, and their addiction keeps them constrained. Through learning, practice, and integration, a positive mindset allows clients to recognize that their addiction does not define them. Rather, they realize that they can cultivate a healthy, positive, and fulfilling life through their own efforts.

What Is Positive Psychology?

Human flourishing is at the root of positive psychology. Through a positive mindset, people can live happily instead of simply getting by. People develop positive mental habits through practice and repetition. For example, after defining goals and values in the recovery journey, the client identifies paths forward and practices positive habits that reinforce success along the journey.

While many clinical approaches to recovery are vital to improvement, a number of factors are often ignored. Some of these important factors include:

  • Self-actualization
  • Pleasure
  • Wholeness and purpose
  • Health
  • Adaptation and growth
  • Resiliency
  • Spirituality
  • Thriving

These factors are directly addressed in positive psychology practices. Often, positive psychology interventions are incorporated into treatment plans to promote optimal wholeness, resiliency, and thriving. For instance, visualization practices help clients “see” the present day as well as the future in a positive light. Practicing visualization techniques helps bring positivity into one’s life in all aspects and contributes to positive change.

The Importance of Gratitude in Positive Psychology

Another example of positive psychology practices is gratitude interventions. Gratitude interventions are done by reflecting on the positive elements in one’s life. This can be done using the “three good things” method where the client writes down three positive aspects of their life, sharing gratitude for these positives and inviting a more grateful perspective on life.

How Does First Steps Recovery Implement Positive Psychology Into Its Programs?

First Steps Recovery promotes and implements positive psychology into clients’ treatment plans as an expression of the facility’s core values. Compassion, connection, collaboration, community, and clinical excellence are the five core values that are prioritized at the facility. By creating a compassionate, communal environment, clients can expedite their recovery. First Steps Recovery works to create a safe environment for healing that allows clients to explore different routes of recovery, try new services, and engage with life in a new, positive way.

Awareness is the key factor that First Steps Recovery relies on when incorporating positive psychology into clients’ treatment plans. In individual and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), clients focus on the present moment, how they want their lives to be, and how to restructure thinking and behavior. These talk therapies can also act as interventions in which the client recognizes positive elements of their life and how to invite more positivity. Also, holistic therapies cultivate greater awareness and help people formulate positive thoughts and behaviors.

The Whole-Person Approach Through Holistic Care

First Steps Recovery also emphasizes the importance of a whole-person approach, encapsulating the purpose of positive psychology. At the facility, this is done through offering numerous holistic services. Holistic care offered at First Steps Recovery includes art, equine, mindfulness, music, physical, recreation, wilderness, and yoga therapies.

Mindfulness therapy, which often involves meditation, requires clients to identify and evaluate themselves and the world around them in different ways. Clients become more aware of their thoughts, feelings, emotions, surroundings, and life situations. This improved awareness helps clients as they become more able to recognize and readjust their negative thoughts and behaviors. Through this therapy, clients learn to bring themselves back to the present moment and resist destructive thoughts and behaviors.

Yoga therapy is another therapy that combines the mind, body, and spirit into one service. Healing is complex, and targeting different areas of oneself in therapy is a crucial element of positive psychology. Yoga therapy offers structure, discipline, and focus while using breathwork to control thoughts, emotions, and the physical body. Peace in both mind and body is achieved through consistent yoga practice, which is something not all therapies can facilitate.

First Steps Recovery works to implement positive psychology into clients’ treatment plans by encouraging engagement in holistic care. Holistic care opens doors to whole-person healing, where the mind, body, and spirit are supported. Positive psychology is defined as encouraging human flourishing, and for clients coping with substance abuse, flourishing is a worthy goal to work toward. Elements like health, resiliency, and adaptation are key to positive psychology. The holistic resources offered by First Steps Recovery encapsulate these elements. For instance, yoga and mindfulness therapy are two holistic services that create inner and outer peace and as well as a positive perspective on the world. To learn more, please call us at (844) 489-0836.

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