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Think Positive for Comprehensive Mental Health

Addiction Warning Signs for an Adult Child of an Alcoholic - The Bergand Group

It’s undeniable that fighting with yourself in your own mind can be one of the most difficult things you’ll ever have to do.  The common expression “you are your own worst enemy” rings true, especially when dealing with mental health.  In order to combat some of the most common and troubling habits that make your life more arduous, “the best way to start feeling better about yourself is to notice the automatic mental and emotional habits that don’t serve you well and find more self-compassionate, life-affirming ways to think and behave.”  Once you begin down that road, you’ll find it easier and easier to keep your mind in check.

Be Kind to Yourself and Feel the Results

Instead of falling back on old and unhealthy ways of thinking, make the effort to be kind to yourself and to avoid some of these major mental hurdles.  One of the most common is falling into guilt, placing the blame for issues on yourself that aren’t in your control.  It can often be instilled in childhood, causing that squirming, uncomfortable feeling in a number of situations that wouldn’t (shouldn’t) normally cause guilt.  A lot of this can stem from a feeling of having not done enough for someone or in some endeavor, though the feeling is usually baseless and only serves to aggravate internalized negativity.  Other misplaced senses of guilt can include “guilt about having more money or better relationships than friends or family members, or… guilt about thoughts that you don’t actually act on, like feeling jealous of a friend who just had a baby.”

Another mental roadblock is assuming failure before the attempt or even after succeeding.  It seems irrational, and though you may recognize it as such, that doesn’t make it any easier to be positive about your achievements and to accept accomplishment without being overly critical.  Thinking negatively about the things you attempt is like a self-fulfilling (defeating) prophecy; how can you be expected do succeed if you start out believing that you’ll fail?  Take the time to assess the opportunity beforehand to have as thorough an understanding of it as you can.  It also helps to recognize that each attempt is a chance for you to accept positivity and to change your outlook.

Whatever you do, recognize that everyone experiences both success and failure.  You may achieve your real goal only to nitpick the details and fret over the minutiae.  Allow yourself some leeway; an accomplishment is an accomplishment even if you’re being especially critical of yourself.  Keep in mind that each case is different and so the amount of effort that’s required in one may not be the same in another and that you should adjust your standards accordingly.  This kind of thinking will keep you unhappy and exhausted as it drains away your energy and is counterintuitive to your improvement.  Keep from “catastrophizing” by crediting yourself for all the work you’ve done so far.

Along the same lines, regret can impact your mental health by weighing you down with a negative focus on the past.  In some ways, regret can help to shape your future by laying out a better direction based on previous choices, but it’s more harmful than not, particularly when it comes to addiction.  Honing on the memory of a former disappointment can be responsible for the release of a lot of stress and, obviously, that isn’t conductive to making progress in moving ahead.  Dwelling on the haves and have-nots of others is problematic as it results in almost-guaranteed unhappiness and prevents gratitude in one’s own life.  Something to consider is that you rarely know the underlying currents of someone else’s life: “when you compare, you are comparing your insides to everybody else’s outsides.”

A final, exhausting habit is to work to be a people-pleaser without much consideration for yourself.  Putting everyone first can seem selfless, perhaps, but ultimately has a negative impact on your energy levels.  It can also drop your self-esteem; after all, how can you be expected to value yourself if you never put your own needs first?

For more information on comprehensive mental health in Baltimore, get in touch with The Bergand Group. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center, and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues.

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About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehabilitation and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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