How Learned Positivity Can Help Combat Addiction

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According to the United States Department of Labor, “PMA, or Positive Mental Attitude, is one’s ability to maintain the belief that he or she can transform or change a tough situation into something better.” This practice has helped many individuals find better situations for themselves and live happier lives, and it may possibly have a place in your addiction recovery.

Can Learned Positivity Treat Addiction?

Not enough studies have been conducted to qualify learned positivity as an evidence-based treatment for addiction, and because the issue itself causes individuals to struggle with controlling their substance abuse or dangerous behavior, it should not be the only method you choose in order to help you during this time. However, it could be a part of your overall recovery plan because PMA and the learning of positive emotions have been found to be helpful for many individuals in certain situations that often are similar to or coincide with addiction.

What Role Can Learned Positivity Play in My Recovery?

Learning to feel positive emotions can help you in many ways, especially during addiction treatment and recovery. Because this time in a person’s life can be very difficult, it can help to look for the positives by actively seeking out these emotions. According to a study from American Psychology, the “take-home message” of their research on the role of positive emotions in psychology is that these “emotions are worth cultivating, not just as end states in themselves but also as a means of achieving psychological growth and improved well-being over time.”

As stated by the US Department of Health and Human Services, “Staying positive” is one way to maintain positive mental health, but sometimes this behavior has to be learned from therapeutic treatments, time spent with doctors or in healthcare facilities, and through the example of others. But there is no doubt that a positive attitude, when possible, can help a person combat certain mental health issues, be they related to addiction or otherwise. And, in addition, many individuals who become addicted to a behavior or a drug also struggle with comorbid mental disorders (National Institute on Drug Abuse). This kind of positive thinking can be helpful for both issues.

You Supporting You

Of course you will not be able to be enthusiastic and constructive at every moment of your recovery, but when you can learn to become more positive toward your eventual outcome and to yourself, you will be able to see how important it will be to have your own support during your recovery. As stated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Positive support from family friends, and other peers” helps reinforce treatment for mental disorders as well as addiction, and you can learn and work to support yourself in a similar way.

Learning to be supportive, encouraging, and optimistic toward your own situation could be helpful to you and may allow you to make monumental changes in your life.