Category Archives: Managing Thoughts

Promoting Positive Thinking

Posted on April 25, 2016

It’s not so much what you see, but how you see it.

That’s called your perspective.

Things are not always as they seem.

My mom told me as a child “Believe nothing you hear and half what you see”

storm_smartblogYour brain will try to make sense of everything that is going on around you, and collectively organize it, compare it to your past experiences, then catalog it.

Sometimes you brain makes the wrong perspective, and your left in the aha moment, scratching your head. This is relevant to a magician’s trick.

Other things, that are in comparison to each other are put into the same category in your brain. Your brain becomes wired… negative thinking, equals negative outcomes, positive thinking equals positive outcome. Continue reading

A Message to Young People

Posted on April 18, 2016

Dr. Robert SchwebelSMART Recovery Webinar: You are Powerful: A Message to Young People from Dr. Robert Schwebel, Saturday, 4/23/2016 5:00 pm EDT

REGISTER: http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EC54D682834938

SMART Recovery® is pleased to present a talk with author and developer of The Seven Challenges® Program, Dr. Robert Schwebel. We are interested in learning how to engage youth who have problems with drugs in meaningful conversations and to support them in taking power over their lives. Dr. Schwebel’s work is designed for counseling settings, and we think you’ll find his approach highly complementary with SMART in the continuum of care. In implementing The Seven Challenges Program, many practical lessons have been learned that are helpful in thinking about how to best to serve and collaborate with youth. The conversation will focus on attitudes, strategies, and messages that engage and empower youth, and there will be plenty of time for questions and answers. Continue reading

Three Things

Posted on April 11, 2016

Part 3: Prepare and Plan for Urges

By Jim (GJBXVI) Braastad

 

StrategyScientific research shows that people who have recovered successfully (regardless of the method used) all have three things in common, those being: 

  • Commitment to sobriety; 
  • Change in lifestyle; and 
  • Prepare and plan for urges.

In prior posts, I’ve provided why I strongly believe a commitment to sobriety is so crucial in the path to recovery, and how a change in lifestyle will be needed to be made as well. In this final post in the series, we’ll talk about the last of the “Three Things”, to prepare and plan for urges. Continue reading

Grief & Loss in Recovery

Posted on February 23, 2016

At some point in life we will all experience the loss of someone we dearly love and care about. It can be through sudden death, illness, or even a breakdown of a relationship. Overwhelming feelings follow, and the unprecedented feeling of loss can sometimes trigger a return to past, addictive behavior.

For me, understanding the grieving process and the stages a person has to go through helped me understand and finally accept the unacceptable and significantly reduced my risk of relapse.

Continue reading

Skills to deal with Anxiety, Distress and Cravings

Posted on February 1, 2016

– Reposted from the Center for Motivation & Change blog

Changing your relationship with substances or any compulsive behavior pattern takes time and practice.

storm_smartblog

When you first start to reduce or abstain from the behavior you are trying the change, you will likely have lots of “craving” to return to it. These moments of craving will happen when you are triggered by external (places, people, situations) and internal (certain mood or feeling states) cues that are associated with the behavior you are trying to change.

Continue reading

When we talk to ourselves, the brain listens

Posted on December 8, 2015

Susan Murphy is a SMART Recovery meeting facilitator in Flemington, NJ, and a recovery advocate from New Hope, PA.

Words matter.  The stories we tell ourselves matter.  How we narrate matters.

Here is an embarrassing story.  I ate cookies for breakfast.  I was obsessing this morning over not getting something I really really REALLY wanted.  I found it hard to shift my focus.  (But then again, I barely tried.  I almost seemed to enjoy reveling in my mood.  What’s up with that?)  My mind started racing more.

I went to brush my teeth, and put sunscreen on my face prior to walking my dogs.  I looked in the mirror and this stupid little poem popped in my head:

Put the sunscreen on my face
You are a disgrace!

I then stopped myself cold, seeing my reflection in the mirror, and realized in a very quick moment that allowing myself to be run by this negative narrative went against my values.  I stood there, and paused for a moment.  I then consciously changed my silly poem to:

Put the sunscreen on my face
You have grace

I paused to let it in.  I saw in that moment, how the shift in words gave me a whole different feeling and direction in my body.  Yes, when we talk to ourselves, the brain listens.  A simple pause, a truth, and a shift in direction happened.  Yes, and I can chose words that move me in the direction of my values.

I leashed the dogs up and went outside.  While I walked, on this cold and beautiful day, I still had quiet echos of ruminating going on in my mind.  By capturing the word and the feeling of grace I was better able to put my attention on the present.  The ruminating (it was over my offer not being accepted for a “dream” home I wanted) changed to disappointment.  I then put my attention on recalling what I am grateful for, and setting simple goals for getting back to focus on the day, a day of possibility, in front of me.