25 Powerful Affirmations to Combat Depression and Anxiety in Your Fight for Recovery
Anxiety and depression may be present as you battle sex addiction. Therefore, working with a therapist who can address and treat co-occurring issues is crucial to your success. Likewise, an important part of recovery will be identifying a variety of tools you can easily turn to. Of course the goal is to equip you with tools to withstand symptoms of depression and anxiety rather than turning back to your addiction.
Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are common among those with addiction. Yet symptoms can drive you back to addictive behaviors in an attempt to escape your emotions. Therefore, an important part of your treatment plan will be discovering tools to help you when you're feeling triggered. For example, practicing positive affirmations every day can be both simple and powerful.
Saying positive affirmations aloud can be a valuable tool to help you in your recovery. Feelings such as depression, anxiety, shame, guilt, and hopelessness may hold you captive in your addiction. However, daily affirmations can help you begin to connect aspirations to reality. Likewise, they can help improve your self-esteem, and help you remember why you're fighting for your recovery.
25 Affirmations to Combat Depression and Anxiety as You Fight For Recovery
You may not know what to say to yourself in moments following a trigger. Suppose you're feeling overwhelmed by depression or anxiety. In that case, you may feel a strong desire to run back to your addiction. However, affirmations may help you overcome the symptoms that often fuel compulsive reactions.
Below you may find some of these affirmations strike a chord within that empowers you. Saying these aloud may help calm your mind and quiet your thoughts in a moment of discontentment. See what you think:
I am of infinite value and worth.
My past does not define who I am today.
I am worthy of love and respect.
I'm choosing to move forward with integrity.
I love myself and can also give and receive love.
I am letting go of shame because it only holds me back.
Happiness is a choice, and I choose happiness.
I am grateful for all that life offers me.
I am safe and loved.
I am at peace with my past.
I forgive myself.
I forgive others.
I am learning and growing stronger every day.
I respect and honor the boundaries my loved ones have set.
This moment will pass.
I have compassion for others and myself.
There is no shame in reaching out for help.
Talking about my thoughts and feelings is healthy.
My mistakes are not failures, rather opportunities for growth.
I am capable of change.
Today I am choosing recovery.
I'm choosing healthy relationships and connections over my addiction.
I deserve sobriety.
I am capable of finding a healthy solution to every problem.
I can trust myself, my progress, and my path to recovery.
Facing Depression and Anxiety and an Addiction, Oh My!
It's no secret that overcoming addiction, especially sex addiction, is a lifelong process. While there is no cure, the longer you maintain recovery, the stronger you become. As a result, triggers and compulsions to respond may drastically reduce or diminish altogether. If you're living with depression or anxiety, the internal struggle to stay present can be overwhelming.
Finding hope in the journey is critical and positive affirmations are one of many tools you may turn to. Depression and anxiety can leave you wanting to run back to the very behaviors you're fighting to avoid. Therefore, we work with you to identify any and all underlying issues, to help set you up for success.
At Paradise Creek Recovery Center, we treat those with addictions and co-occurring disorders such as anxiety or depression. We would love to talk to you and see how we can help you reach and maintain your recovery.
Contact us today.
How Does Mindfulness Affect Addiction Treatment?
Mindfulness As An Addiction Treatment
Mindfulness is an addiction therapy that is proving to be successful at preventing relapse, and that can be integrated into other treatment programs. It is something that can learned and performed anywhere. One of the reasons mindfulness may contribute to sobriety is that it provides a healthy way to deal with and reduce stress1 and can increase self-acceptance2.
What is it? One definition describes it as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally”3. Essentially, it is consciously being aware of how and who and what you are right now, and doing so without judging yourself. Other ways of describing or thinking about mindfulness are “objectivity”, “neutralness”, “observing without judgment”, and “self-observing”. In mindfulness, you become an objective observer or scientist, consciously becoming aware of yourself, your experience, and your surroundings.
The idea of what we now call “mindfulness” is not new. Hundreds of years ago, Leonardo da Vinci stated, “An average human looks without seeing, listens without hearing, touches without feeling, eats without tasting, moves without physical awareness, inhales without awareness of odour or fragrance, and talks without thinking.” In other words, the average human is not mindful. When we become mindful--when we become aware of what we are doing and experiencing--our human experience becomes richer and more meaningful.
While there are multiple elements of mindfulness--including observing, savoring, meditating and breathing--conscious, non-judgmental observation is its core. Whether you are at a party, at work, out with friends, or at home, you can choose to intentionally notice the sensations you are experiencing and the thoughts you are thinking. How does your food taste? What do your fingers feel as they move around the keyboard clicking keys? What is it like being with your friend? What emotions are you feeling? Simply be aware of what is going on, without passing judgment.
You can use mindfulness to examine how your own addiction works or relapse occurs, and to stop them. In an article in The Fix, Jenifer Talley says, “The process of becoming nonjudgmentally aware of the components of a compulsion weakens its power. That’s why increasing numbers of clinicians are eagerly incorporating mindfulness into the treatment of substance use disorders, eating disorders, sex addiction and other compulsive behaviors.”4
Observe Instead of React
One of the ways this works is by helping the person become aware of what is going on, and instead of reacting, to continue observing. Since cravings are temporary, by watching, one can become aware of what triggers the craving, of the craving itself, and then of the craving’s abatement without actually giving in to the craving.
Judson Brewer M.D. Ph.D. puts it this way, “mindfulness helps individuals pay careful attention to their cravings, such that they can see what they are made up of – thoughts and body sensations. Importantly, with this awareness, they can notice cravings as they arise, see how they change from moment to moment (instead of lasting “forever” as some of my patients have described), and as a result, stay with them and ride them out instead of acting on them.”5
You can practice mindfulness throughout the day by asking yourself intentional questions such as: What emotions am I feeling? What sensations is my body experiencing presently? What am I thinking? As you observe your thoughts, you can intentionally decide whether or not to believe them.
Mindfulness is one of the therapies that Paradise Creek teaches at its recovery center for sexual addiction. Call (855) 442-1912 to learn more.
Are You Using These Free Therapies For Sex Addiction Treatment?
Free Therapies: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion
Sex addiction is a complex issue. Effective treatment can require a variety of techniques and therapies. Practicing self-compassion and mindfulness are two therapies that can help you in your recovery. They are free, and you can start practicing them right away.
Focus on Breathing:
In mindful breathing, you simply become aware of your breathing. You don’t try to slow it down or speed it up. You don’t try to breathe deeper or more shallowly. You simply focus on breathing.
Kelly McGonigal, PhD suggests three ways to practice mindful breathing. First, is to repetitively think “inhale” or “exhale” as you breathe in and out. Second, is be aware of the sensations breathing creates, such as the movement of your belly or the feel of the air in your nostrils. Third is to count each exhalation until you reach the number ten, then start over. With all three suggestions, when your thoughts drift to something other than your breath, that’s okay, just refocus on your breathing1.
Rather than dreaming about the past or longing (or worrying) about the future, savor the present moment. Whether you are eating a meal, spending time with a friend, walking, working, exercising, playing, talking or typing, become aware of what you are doing and delight in it. Notice the sensations you are experiencing. How does your food taste? What do your fingers feel as they move around the keyboard clicking keys? What is it like being with your friend? What emotions are you feeling?
Savor the sunset right now--the vivid pink and orange and purple colors changing shade and brightness as the clouds move and the sun sinks deeper behind the mountains. Savor being with someone you love. Savor the food you are eating. Savor the feel of the breeze, or the heat or the cold. Savor the feel of your feet hitting hard ground as you walk, or the supporting cushion of your shoes.
You can do guided or self-guided meditation, and the meditation can take different forms. Focusing on different sensations: the earth, your feet, what you hear, your skin. It can include imagination, such as imagining a healing energy flowing through you. You can use music or not. Kelly McGonigal, even shares the idea of walking while you meditate.2
Pause and Observe:
Simply stop and notice. What are your surroundings? How are you standing or sitting? What do you smell or hear? How are you reacting to your thoughts and feelings? Do not pass judgment, just observe and become aware. This “Pause and Observe” exercise can help ground you in the present so that you are not worrying about the future nor feeling shame for the past.
Become Your Best Friend:
If your best friend made some mistakes, wouldn’t you give him the benefit of the doubt, encourage him, support him, and focus on his good qualities? Treat yourself the same way. Find the good in your situation and in yourself. Focus on the positive. This is not to say that you should ignore what needs to be changed, but rather that you love yourself and accept yourself as you are, even as you strive to change.
To learn more about overcoming sex addiction using mindfulness and compassion, please contact Paradise Creek Recovery Center at (855) 442-1912.
"I’m ok": How being mindful and compassionate helps to overcome shame and unworthiness
(Post share from the IRATAD Blog)
What keeps many of us from being healthy psychologically, socially, spiritually, and even physically, is a profound sense that we are not ok, that we are flawed and broken in some way, that we are different than others. When things go wrong, it isn’t that we have problems, it’s that we are a problem, we don’t make mistakes, we are a mistake. This feeling of profound unworthiness is often rooted in childhood experiences, and is perpetuated by our western culture that places great value on outward appearances and material wealth which in turn breeds separation and shame. We are constantly bombarded with messages that we cannot be content, that we need to have more, to do more, to be more.
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