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What Recovery Should Focus On: Positives Over Hardships


man with child on shoulders

The American Psychological Association (APA) identifies resilience as “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress.” Resilience is a key component of recovery, because much of addiction and mental illness is accompanied by adversity, tragedy, trauma, and more. Recovery and treatment is meant to help individuals build their resilience by helping them develop the tools they need to take care of several things:

  • Set realistic plans and follow through with them
  • Maintain a positive view of oneself and build on one’s strengths and capabilities
  • Improve communication and problem-solving skills
  • Build a stronger capacity to manage strong feelings and impulses

In a reputable treatment center, healthcare is provided to assist clients in moving towards their goals, making decisive decisions, looking for opportunities of self-discovery, accepting that change is a part of life, and much more. Rather than addressing addiction and mental illness as a slew of hardships that must be overcome, positivity should be embraced as clients build their resilience to life’s challenges. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology sought to understand resilience by conducting three different experiments in which undergraduates from a university were told to complete a task that was deemed as challenging. This was to create a negative emotion; the researchers then administered surveys to assess participants’ psychological resilience, mood, thought process, and cardiovascular measures such as finger pulse and heart rate.

Results from the studies led the researchers to create a multi-method model for building resilience against stressful events; participants who employed positive emotions seemed to withstand the pressure of tasks given. These individuals did recognize the stress of the event, but they stayed positive despite it. These positive emotions even seemed to positively affect their immune system; for example, participants who used humor to cope and reported a daily positive mood were shown to have stronger immune system defenses. How does this connect to recovery?

Whether you’re in a treatment program or working in one, positivity is important for recovery. We should focus on the positives of improving our health and well-being, rather than focusing on the challenges that we must overcome. Perception goes a long way and can yield many benefits in other areas of life – such as one’s health – as well.

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.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3132556/

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/road-resilience.aspx