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One of our biggest challenges when it comes to addictions and mental health issues is our tendency to think the very worst – about the events and situations in our lives, about our relationships, about ourselves and our lives in general. We see things through a lens of negativity. This can lead not only to a pessimistic outlook on things, but to a loss of hope, direction and faith. We stop believing in ourselves and our abilities, in the goodness in the world, in the hopeful possibilities of life.

Let’s work to change our perspective in order to be able to reframe things in a more positive light. As we practice, we allow this to become our default way of thinking, causing us to feel happier and to be better able to cope with our challenges. We develop an emotional resilience that helps us immeasurably in our recovery.

What are the lessons?

We can learn something from anything and everything, and especially from our most painful experiences. Start to practice looking for the lessons in anything you might have considered negative. What can you learn? How can you use this information in your healing process? How can you help other people with what you’ve learned?

How does this serve my growth?

Lessons bring about growth and expansion. Our emotional, mental and spiritual personal development grows in leaps and bounds when we’re able to take the lessons we’ve learned and apply them directly to our growth process. We don’t just think about the lessons, we apply them consciously and mindfully in our daily lives moving forward. When we are able to focus on how something can serve us in our progress, we focus less on how difficult or negative it may have been. It becomes a gift, a tool in helping us to move forward, a blessing in disguise that ultimately adds to our happiness and healing.

Where can I find gratitude in this?

Our first instinct in dealing with something negative is not to be thankful for it, but learning how to find gratitude in the difficult, painful things is a transformative, powerful way of shifting our thinking and redirecting our energy more positively. We can be grateful for the toughest things for giving us strength. We can thank our fears for making us brave. We can thank our challenges for teaching us to be more patient, more resilient, more compassionate, more present, more mindful.

Many of us at Riverside are in recovery ourselves. We have a lot to share with you, and a lot to learn from you. Call (800) 871-5440.