Recovering from an addiction is a long emotional journey that can require a lot of personal growth to get back on track. Addicts most often suffer from issues of low self-esteem because their substance abuse has taken its toll on them psychologically.
As they begin the path to fighting problems with depression and anxiety, rebuilding self-esteem can be one of the key ways to improve their overall well-being. If you are going into recovery for an addiction to drugs or alcohol you will need to consider the circumstances that led to your problems with self-esteem and take positive steps to feel better about yourself and your life.
These are some important tips on how to rebuild self-esteem while in recovery.
1. Use Positive Affirmations
A great way to build self-esteem is by using positive statements about yourself that you can reaffirm any time you are depressed or having negative thoughts. If you have trouble finding your positive qualities then you can ask a close friend that you trust who can provide honest statements about what they like best about you.
Write some positive statements on a card and tape it to your mirror. Try to remember and repeat them to yourself in times of stress.
2. Find Time to Yourself and Keep a Journal
Quiet time and self-reflection can be helpful tools in reducing stressful thoughts that are directed at yourself in a negative way. In a quiet moment you can ease some of the brain chatter that might affect your self-esteem and shut your mind down to enjoy the present moment.
Meditating or keeping a journal can be helpful tools in rebuilding self-esteem for addicts. A journal can provide a way to externalize your thoughts whether they are good or bad and review or analyze them in a way that can change your point of view.
3. Talk to a Support Network and a Mentor
Close friendships and counselors can be crucial to rebuilding your self-esteem. When you have someone that you can talk to in times of stress you will be better able to handle difficult situations without letting them get you down. A mentor can be helpful in reaffirm your positive traits and encouraging you to challenge yourself so that you can keep growing as an individual.
You should keep in contact with someone you respect and look up to like your AA sponsor as well as friends or peers in your support group. A support network can make you feel more connected and less inclined to think negatively about yourself.
4. Give Yourself Credit
For someone with low self-esteem it can be hard to feel proud of their accomplishments. Instead of focusing on your failures, celebrate your successes in life no matter how big or small they may be. Addicts can have a tendency to develop a distorted view of themselves that does not match up with reality.
Rebuilding self-esteem is about developing a more accurate self-image that incorporates all the positive aspects of your personality.
5. Set Goals and Dreams for Yourself
The best way to build your self-esteem is to reach goals that you set out for yourself. These should be small achievable goals that are something you wish to accomplish.
Whenever you achieve a small goal you can reward yourself and feel good about the progress you are making every day. Dream about something that you want and come up with a list of baby steps that can allow you make that dream a reality.
Crossing goals off your list will help you remain positive and realize that you are capable of accomplishing anything you want to achieve.