Do you tend to fill your head with negative ideas? Thoughts are powerful, and they can shape your actions and beliefs. Therapy can help you overcome negative thinking.

When a person becomes trapped in addiction, there is a good chance that he or she has become preoccupied with negative thoughts and behaviors. To change behavior, an addict needs to not only recognize the destructiveness of negative thinking but also find a way to turn the tide to focus on more positive thoughts and behaviors in recovery.

How Negative Self-Talk Impacts Addiction and Recovery

Most humans have a running self-commentary going on in their heads throughout the day. That internal voice interprets your life experiences and assigns judgments, such as “good” or “bad,” which impact how you react and interact with the world. People who abuse drugs and alcohol have a natural tendency toward excessive negative thoughts about themselves and the world around them. Some of the negative self-talk that is typically seen with substance abuse include:

  • Resenting other people
  • Bitterness and regrets about the past
  • Overly critical of self
  • Pessimism about the future
  • Views the world in black and white
  • Unwilling to forgive self or others
  • Suspicious of other actions and motives

Ways to Curb the Tendency For Negative Self-Talk

Negative self-talk is dangerous because it can sabotage recovery. There is truth to the idea that your thoughts can be your own worst enemy. The good news is that this something you can change with some practice and a bit of help. You can combat negative self-talk with four types of challenging questions:

  • Is it real? Instead of jumping straight to a negative conclusion, pause and review factual data or evidence and then re-assess your feelings.
  • Are there alternative views? Are there other ways to view the situation? Take the high road and consider it from a positive point of view.
  • Can I put it in perspective? See if you can find something good about a situation or even if what you are thinking about really matters in the grand scheme.
  • How does this serve me? Does negative thinking about a situation help you solve a problem or achieve a goal? If not, let it go or see if there is something you can learn from the experience.

How Drug and Alcohol Rehab Can Help

Breaking free from addiction is not something that most people can accomplish in isolation. Most people who deal with the effects of negative self-talk also spend a significant amount of time either alone or isolated with their thoughts. The best way to recover from addiction and learn new thought processes is with the help of a reputable drug and alcohol rehab.

Long-term recovery from substance abuse requires that you overcome negative self-talk. When you attend drug and alcohol rehab at The Recovery Village, you will have the opportunity to engage in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is designed to both point out errors in thinking as well as prevent relapse. Contact us to learn about admissions and begin your life free from the bonds of drugs, alcohol, and negative thinking.


Martin, B. (2018, October 8). Challenging Negative Self-Talk. Retrieved May 28, 2020, from

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.