Have you ever stopped to think about your self-talk during your recovery journey? If so, you might notice that some thoughts can be critical and even harmful at times. Negative thoughts are a common experience, but that doesn’t change the fact that they can be a challenging obstacle in recovery.
Fortunately, there are ways to change your self-talk for the better—including the use of positive affirmations.
Below, we’ll cover why affirmations are so powerful, as well as 28 recovery mantras to boost yourself throughout your journey.
How Sober Affirmations Can Make a Difference
It’s common to deal with negative thoughts in recovery from alcohol use disorder (or any addiction). In particular, you may struggle with self-stigma, uncertainty, or low self-confidence about yourself and the future. In times like these, recovery affirmations can help.
But what exactly are affirmations?
Put simply, they are words or phrases that can help you shift your thoughts to a better place. They can remind you of your self-worth, reduce your stress, and help you steady your emotions.
They can also:
- Reshape your negative beliefs into positive ones.
- Remind you that you are capable and worthy.
- Shift your subconscious thoughts, which can shift your future actions.
- Change the way you feel about your life in the present moment.
The Science of Positive Affirmations for Recovery
Affirmations might sound a little strange at first, but science shows just how powerful they can be.
One small 2016 study found that self-affirmation helped participants improve their working memory and inhibition—two abilities related to executive function.
Another 2015 meta-analysis found that positive affirmations helped people embrace health-related information, intend to change, and improve their future behavior.
One theory behind the benefits of affirmations is that they affect specific neural pathways, which can change the way we process and interact with the world around us.
Affirmations in Mental Healthcare
Although positive affirmations might sound like a new idea, challenging and changing negative self-talk has been around for a long time. In fact, it even exists in certain mental healthcare settings.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one setting where therapists help clients change their negative beliefs. The goal is to address unhelpful thought patterns (or cognitive distortions) and shift them towards thoughts that are positive, realistic, and helpful. This might be done through conversation, journaling prompts, and affirmations.
Overall, this type of therapy is helpful for a variety of mental health-related struggles, and it shows just how powerful our beliefs can be.
28 Positive Affirmations for Recovery
Here are 28 affirmations to help you shift your thoughts and stay positive in sobriety.
- I can do anything I put my mind to.
- I’m taking small steps every day to improve my life.
- I forgive myself for my past mistakes.
- I don’t need alcohol to feel happy.
- I am confident in myself and my ability to achieve my goals.
- Sobriety is helping me shape a better future for myself.
- I’m proud of the changes I’ve made.
- I trust the way my path is unfolding.
- I deserve to be happy.
- I embrace and accept mistakes because I can grow from them. They no longer knock me down.
- My struggle with addiction doesn’t define who I am.
- I respect myself and my loved ones.
- I am stronger than I give myself credit for.
- I have the courage, strength, understanding, and determination to succeed in recovery.
- I know that it’s okay to ask for help when I need it.
- I deserve acceptance and love.
- I honor my body by choosing what is healthy for me.
- The problems I face aren’t too big for me, and I’m capable of solving them.
- Peace can be found in the present moment. I don’t need to look elsewhere.
- I have all I need for happiness within myself.
- I am healing.
- I give myself the space to process my emotions with self-compassion.
- I treat myself like a friend who I really care about.
- There is beauty in being alive.
- I am brave enough to face discomfort.
- I prioritize the relationships that uplift me and support my recovery.
- I feel safe enough to connect with and open up to the people in my life.
- My recovery is giving me the chance to live the life I deserve.
The Bottom Line on Positive Affirmations for Recovery
Your thoughts and beliefs affect your feelings, actions, and the lens through which you view the world. That’s why recovery affirmations are so powerful. They can help you shift your mindset and remind yourself that you are strong—even if you don’t feel like it sometimes.
To get started, you can try some of the recovery mantras covered in this post. Or you can jot down a list of unique affirmations that resonate with you, your struggles, and what you hope to change. After practicing them for a while, you might be surprised to see the difference they can make.
More Resources in Recovery
If you’re struggling to establish new ways of thinking in recovery, online counseling is one way to get help.
At Ria Health, our weekly coaching meetings give members new tools to meet the challenges of recovery, including CBT-based strategies for shifting older thought patterns. Our coaches can also help you establish new routines, manage triggers and cravings, and set achievable goals along the way.