Alcoholism, or alcohol addiction, is a serious condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a chronic disease characterized by the inability to control alcohol consumption despite negative consequences.
For those who struggle with alcohol addiction, recovery can be a long and challenging journey. However, cultivating a positive mindset and attitude can be a powerful tool in achieving lasting sobriety.
In this article, we’ll briefly discuss some of the red flags of alcohol addiction, and how the role of a positive mindset might support lasting sobriety.
Understanding Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction, also known as alcoholism, is a condition in which an individual becomes dependent on alcohol. This dependency can lead to negative consequences, such as health problems, financial difficulties, and strained relationships (NIAAA, n.d.).
Alcohol addiction is a chronic disease, and like other chronic diseases, it requires ongoing management and treatment.
Symptoms of alcohol addiction include:
- Drinking alone or in secret
- Neglecting responsibilities at home, work, or school due to drinking
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop drinking
- Consumes your energy or focus
Learn more about the Hallmarks of Addiction here.
It is important to seek professional help if you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction. Treatment options may include therapy, medication (such as Antabuse), support groups, or a combination of these approaches.
The Role of Mindset in Recovery
Recovery from alcohol addiction is a long and challenging journey. However, having a positive mindset and attitude can be a powerful tool in achieving lasting sobriety (Seligman et al., 2018). A positive mindset can help you stay motivated, focused, and resilient throughout your recovery journey.
While there’s an endless list of ways to cultivate a positive mindset, here are a few examples that you can use to promote positivity for lasting sobriety:
A Positive Mindset Means Staying Present & Embracing Failure
One of the keys to cultivating a positive mindset in recovery is to focus on the present moment. Rather than dwelling on past mistakes or worrying about the future, focus on the here and now. Take each day as it comes, and celebrate each small victory along the way.
This is why I talk about The Importance of Failure in Long-term Sobriety, because in every circumstance, situation or event, failure is the cornerstone towards success.
By embracing failure and focusing on the present moment, you can begin to cultivate a positive mindset much easier, avoid overwhelm and stay motivated (and committed) to getting sober.
Practising gratitude can be a powerful tool in cultivating a positive mindset to support sobriety (Krentzman et al., 2019). Take time each day to reflect on the things in your life that you are grateful for, no matter how small they may seem.
Being kind and grateful is actually one of the 5 Simple Habits You Should Be Doing to Sustain Long-term Sobriety.
Being grateful helps us shift a narrow focus on negative thoughts towards other more positive aspects of our life.
Surround Yourself with Positivity
Some people say you’re the average of the 5 people you hang out with, and if those people create negative vibes, you’re likely to do the same. Surrounding yourself with positive people and environments can also be helpful in cultivating a positive mindset.
Seek out friends and loved ones who support your sobriety and can offer encouragement and motivation when you need it. This is why when we look at getting sober, accountability is often top of the totem pole. If you’re not sure why, I encourage you to read my article on Burning the bridges.
On top of people, surrounding yourself in activities that promote positivity, such as exercise or an outdoor sport, can also be a good way to promote a positive mindset.
Positive Mindset through Nutrition
Most people don’t know, but having a balanced diet with key nutrients can be crucial in maintaining a positive mindset through sobriety.
Zinc is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in brain function and has been linked to improved mood. Magnesium is another mineral that is important for brain health and has been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety.
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in foods such as salmon and flaxseeds, have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and may help improve mood and cognitive function. Incorporating these nutrients into your diet can help support a positive mindset and improve overall health.
Interestingly, Chronic alcohol intake can cause nutrient deficiencies, making looking after your nutrition even more important – Learn more here.
Cultivating a positive mindset in recovery is vital for achieving long-term sobriety. By focusing on the present moment, embracing failure, and practising gratitude, individuals can maintain motivation and commitment to their sobriety. Surrounding oneself with positive people and environments and engaging in activities that promote positivity can further enhance this mindset.
Additionally, paying attention to one’s nutrition and incorporating key nutrients such as zinc, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids can significantly improve mood and cognitive function. Overall, developing a positive mindset is a crucial component of a successful recovery journey.
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- Krentzman, A. R., Farkas, K. J., Townsend, M. L., & West, J. (2019). Gratitude, Abstinence, and Alcohol Cravings: A Pilot Study. Journal of Addiction Medicine, 13(1), 30-36.
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (n.d.). Alcohol use disorder. Retrieved from https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-use-disorders
- Seligman, L. D., Ollendick, T. H., Langley, A. K., & Baldacci, H. B. (2018). The Role of Positive Attitudes Toward Treatment in the Process of Change Among Substance-Dependent Patients. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 84, 37-45.
Former drinker, Nutritionist, Biohacking enthusiast, self-experimenter, research fanatic, and self-taught writer, Stephen immerses himself deep into the literature of human optimisation and better understand the nature of addiction. His goal is to help people take control of their addiction, reset their cravings, unscramble their broken brain circuitry and use actionable strategies that work ten times better than anything else.