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Moving on From Negative Experiences

No matter how strong we are in our recovery, we are bound to experience situations that bring up negative feelings. Our sobriety will not protect us from having such experiences, but will help us in our reactions to them and how easily we can move forward afterwards. Rather than allowing a negative experience cause us to feel resentful, angry, or depressed, we can focus on letting go of our negative feelings and moving forward.

Letting go of negative emotions can be difficult. Erika Krull, in a PsychCentral article entitled Depression and Letting Go of Negative Thoughts, explains, “When negative thoughts hit your brain, it’s tempting to struggle with them and try to shove a more positive thought in there. In the day-to-day reality of someone’s thinking, this doesn’t really work. Your emotions have a tough grip on these negative thoughts, so you’ll have the best results if you imagine yourself emotionally ‘letting go’ of them.” Rather than attempting to push these thoughts away, we can let them go through acceptance.

It may seem counterintuitive, but accepting a situation is the best way to let go of the negative feelings attached to it. Dr. Mark Banschick, in a 2015 Psychology Today article entitled Regret—8 Ways to Move On, suggests that accepting our own fallibility as humans can help us move on: “You will make mistakes – some big, some small. Your regret demonstrates that you care. This is a good thing. Prolonged regret however, can interfere with all areas of your life – relationships, career, health, etc. Find your mantra.  Believe in it. It might sound something like this, ‘I am a fallible human. I make mistakes. Nevertheless, I am loving and lovable.” When we accept that we have made a mistake, we are then able to move forward. Banschick further explains, “Regret and resentment keep you a prisoner of negative thoughts and emotions. Allow yourself the freedom to accept your imperfections, mistakes, and lapses of better judgment. Apologize to those affected and trust that you will be a stronger, wiser person going forward.” Holding onto resentments of ourselves and others can be dangerous in addiction recovery. Our negative feelings can grow until we feel overwhelmed and seek relief in drugs and alcohol. By letting go, however, and accepting the situation, we can move forward with our sense of serenity and peace of mind intact.

Your life can become one of happiness, joyousness, and freedom in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help today and embark upon the rewarding journey of recovery. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, brings together behavioral and addiction specialists, spiritual guides, and holistic experts to help you develop all the tools needed to achieve and maintain lasting sobriety. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431