Everything You Need to Know: Positivity, Mindfulness, Substance Abuse & Depression

seated woman smiling up

When it comes to recovery, substance abuse and depression work side by side. A person may rely on substances initially to deal with the depression, or they may experience depression as they experience further conflict in their life related to their substance abuse. Furthermore, depression may initially occur in recovery as a person is going through detoxification, a process in which the body naturally dispels toxins that were acquired when the person was using. No matter the circumstance, depression and substance abuse certainly work together at times.

Recovery can be challenging because it requires that we change the way we think and behave – patterns that have become embedded into our way of living must be altered as we learn to live a healthier life. This is where positivity and mindfulness come in; where substance abuse and depression take us out of the present moment, positivity and mindfulness reel us back in. They ground us, even on days we don’t think it’s possible. As you work hard in your recovery, consider applying more positivity and mindfulness into your life.

A 2015 study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology sought to explore how the practice of positivity and mindfulness influenced personality variables that made someone more vulnerable to depression. Seven hundred and forty-one participants were recruited and divided into either positivity, mindfulness, or typical treatment exercises. Participants then completed several questionnaires and follow-up procedures.

The results from the study indicated that by engaging in positive exercises, participants in this group experienced heightened meaning, engagement, satisfaction and pleasure in life for two months following the study. Thus, positive emotions such as joy, love, gratitude, and more can truly help make a difference regarding a person’s happiness. Meditation exercises were shown to have a significant and long-lasting impact on the decrease of depression and increase of life satisfaction. What does this mean for you?

Whether you’re in recovery or not, depression can creep into our lives ever so easily if we allow it to. We may try to dodge it by using substances to self-medicate, but this only brings further harm. The only way that we can negate the effects of depression and substance abuse is to seek treatment and begin incorporating more of the good aspects of life – joy, love, gratitude, hope, meditation – so that we can make more informed decisions as to what we need to live a happier, healthier life.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.