Long Term Mindsets to Adopt for Positive Thinking 

Long Term Mindsets to Adopt for Positive Thinking 

What you think influences who you are. It can be challenging to tackle huge parts of yourself when you have all the tools; when your toolbox is empty; however, it can seem impossible. If you are struggling with negative thoughts, you probably also are dealing with low self-esteem, which isn’t something you want in your life when you are working on your recovery. People with depression, anxiety, or addictions often have negative self-talk patterns. A crucial step in recovery is shifting how you talk to yourself. Changing your thoughts and improving your self-esteem make all the difference in the world when you are trying to recover. So, what can you do to change your thoughts and improve your self-esteem? 

Focus on What You Want in Your Life

When you think of what you want in your life, focus on what you already have. The healthy existing relationships and habits you have in your life are essential and should be nurtured since they improve your experience. 

Avoid All-Or-Nothing Thinking

This cognitive distortion is not the place where you want to be. Recovery is never black or white, all-or-nothing. Try to find the gray areas — the areas in between — and focus on those. Remove terms like never, always, nothing, or every from your vocabulary.  

Ask Yourself, “Would I talk to an 8-year-old self in this way?” 

If the answer is no, you shouldn’t be talking to your present self in that way either. Think of your friends or family members that love you. How would they talk to you in the situation? Talk to yourself in that way.

You Don't Have to Always Be Happy, but You Can Always Be Grateful 

Small things can make a world of difference. Don’t wait until the very end of something to appreciate it. Focus on the little things that you’ve achieved and give yourself the credit you deserve. You’ve come so far. 

Pause and Breathe 

When you are feeling overwhelmed, try to take a moment and pause. Think of everything that you’re thankful for in the moment. Another way to practice gratitude is to keep a journal. Write down as many things you can think of that you’re grateful for before bedtime. Jotting down little notes of why is also something you can do.

Improve the Moment

Do something today for which your future self will thank you. Improve your moment now and in the future. If you’re having negative thoughts, try to do something that interrupts those thoughts. 

Short-Term Things to Do Daily:

Drink Enough Water

Keeping yourself hydrated is an important thing. Everyone would benefit from drinking more water. If you tend to drink a lot of coffee, try to have a glass of water in between each cup of coffee. Keeping yourself hydrated is an essential building block to living a healthy life in recovery. 

Exercise Your Mind and Body

Keeping your mind sharp and your body limber is another necessary tool you need in recovery. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins in your brain. Exercising should be a tool that you use every day in your recovery. You can also do brain-teasers to keep your mind sharp. That’s important, too. 

Get Back Up

Everyone has struggles, makes mistakes, and fails at things in their life. If you’ve failed at something, get up and try again. No one is perfect. You cannot expect perfection. That’s an unhealthy and unrealistic expectation. 

Give Yourself Little Rewards

To motivate yourself and keep you going throughout the day, make sure to give yourself short breaks and rewards. Take a break from work for fifteen minutes or reward yourself with your favorite snack. Small rewards keep you pushing toward your goal. 

Use Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations are sayings that you repeat to yourself, such as “I am doing my best” or “I believe in myself.” These mantras can help remove some of the negative self-talk you may have during your recovery. Talk to yourself compassionately. You deserve that. 

Avoid Triggers

Avoiding your triggers can be a difficult thing to do daily. Some days will be relatively easy, while others will be much more difficult. To avoid triggers, you might have to avoid certain people, places, or things that will trigger your substance use or memories. You must find something else to replace the triggers with. Try to get enough sleep and keep busy by doing a puzzle, listening to music, or exercising. 

For more information about how Enlightened Solutions can help you or a loved one learn new skills for a happy, joyous, and free life, call us today at 833-801-LIVE. 


Three Key Ways Social Media Can Lower Self-Esteem, Cause Depression

Social media use is not always healthy. During the early months of recovery and addiction treatment, it is best to leave social media to itself while you focus on healing.

Comparing Your Insides To Others Outsides

It’s always newsworthy and deemed revolutionary when someone posts something real to social media. Something about the bad day they are having, the amount of hours it takes to create the perfect shot, the “reality” of their lives behind their carefully curated social media profiles. What we often see on our newsfeeds are just small chosen moments to depict the best of the best rather than the realest of the real. Spiritually, we are reminded to consider what is behind every person’s smile. It isn’t always happiness. We aren’t aware of what happens beyond a photo, in real life. When we start to make assumptions and judgments, we set ourselves up into a trap of false beliefs- not just about someone else’s life, but about our own. Comparing what we see in other people’s “outside” to what we see within ourselves and how we feel about our own lives can lower our sense of self-esteem and cause feelings of depression.

Scrolling And Posting For Dopamine

Dopamine is that tricky neurotransmitter which communicates pleasure to key areas of the brain like the reward center. Numerous brain imaging studies have found that various components of interacting with social media cause a spike in the production of dopamine. For example, scrolling through the news feed of any social media platform can cause dopamine production which mimics stimulation from cocaine. Getting a “like” or a “comment” on something we post gives us another big boost of dopamine, as well as a boost of ego. There is more to the psychology of social media than meets the eye. Some studies have even suggested that the impulsive need to check social media devices is causing dopamine production as well. Before you even start to scroll, your brain is happier. Thus, once you put it down and have to go another set of hours without social media, your brain lacks in dopamine production, which can simulate feelings of depression.

Other Negative Influences

Social media is a breeding ground for lies, judgments, bullying, and false realities. Fake news, political arguments, and offensive comments can be common. Social media is a public landscape meaning very little is private. Instead of having healthy, regulated conversations in real life with people, everyone has the opportunity to hide behind their keyboards. Losing out on human interaction, people can begin to feel isolated and alone.

Recovery is an opportunity to redefine every area of your life from mental health to substance abuse. Enlightened solutions wants to show you how. Our unique program blends proven areas of treatment together to create a meaningful, holistic partial care program. Recovery starts with you. Start your recovery with us. Call 833-801-5483 for more information.


substance abuse addiction treatment new jersey

Things Contributing To Negative Self-Thinking

Negative self-thinking is exactly as it sounds: the negative thoughts one thinks about themselves. Do you have negative self-thinking? Most people have at least one thing they hold high above their own heads, something that just isn’t...right. Whether a physical imperfection, emotional imperfection, or a work-oriented imperfection- one might think more highly of themselves, if only that one thing would change.

“Ego says: once everything falls into place, I will find peace. Spirit says: find peace and everything will fall into place.” The drive for some kind of perfection is a matter of acceptance. We often feel that we cannot be accepted and loved by others unless we achieve this expectation of perfection. It is true that there are thousands of messages being sold by the media each day to convince us of just how imperfect and unloveable we are. To absorb and consume those messages and make them into our own thoughts is a matter of ego. Our ego believes in perfection because our ego likes to think it might be achievable. Spirit, on the other hand, the spiritual soul by which we learn to live in recovery, does not need perfection. Spirit lives in acceptance, transcending the ideas of perfect or imperfect. While the ego is in constant struggle, the spirit is content with simply being.

Negative thinking is the result of beliefs and habits that form over time due to certain blockages we set up. The more we feed the ego, the more we block the spirit. One way we do that is by punishing who we are. The freckles on our face, the way we snort when we laugh, or our difficulty in certain school subjects makes us unique. Assuming and deciding that there is something defective with us is damaging to the spirit which sees everything with an unconditional love. Another way we block the spirit with ego is by refusing to forgive ourselves. Forgiveness means, by one definition, giving up all hope of a better past. Through addiction, alcoholism, eating disorders, and other harmful habits or ways of thinking, we punish ourselves for our faults. Somehow we think hurting ourselves in this way in the present will help change the way we’ve been our whole lives- the way we were meant to be. Forgiving means taking a weight off our own shoulders, being able to breathe, love, and accept who we are. Until we can forgive ourselves, we continue to have negative self thinking because, if for no other reason, we do not think we are worth being forgiven or worth living without punishment.

 

Recovery is a beautiful process of healing for mind, body, ego, and spirit. Enlightened Solutions uses the philosophy behind holistic and spiritual practice in conjunction with 12 step philosophy and evidence based practices to create a wholesome approach to treatment. Serving dual diagnosis needs of substance use disorders and mental health disorders, we welcome anyone to call for help. 833-801-5483


Size Isn’t Everything

Imagine if the whole world ran on the principle of size the way that the fashion industry forces us to do. The entirety of the world’s systems would be changed. Classrooms wouldn’t run by age but perhaps by weight and height. Job promotions would be given out not based on performance but on shoe size or length of hair. Medical treatment in an emergency room might be based on shirt size rather than urgency. It might seem silly to think about. For the millions of men and women suffering from negative body image, size matters. In fact, size is everything.

Get Over the Size Thing

An obsession with size is literally waking up and making the decision on how worthy or unworthy one is based on what clothing size they will be able to fit into that day. If there was a daily regulatory process where everyone was weighed and measured, then told how they should a) feel about themselves b) feel about others and c) be treated by the rest of the world, there would be an outcry. Due to years of pressure from the fashion industry, unfortunately, many people feel that they deserve this kind of treatment. Sadly, they are unable to recognize that the only one stamping them with their daily evaluation is themselves.

According to a recent survey by Yahoo, 71% of women surveyed (about 1,000) didn’t even know what size clothing they should be wearing. However, when women don’t fit into the size they think they should, they experience shame, guilt, and disappointment. The size on their clothes, when it doesn’t fit the ideal standard, brings on feelings of shame about oneself and one’s body.

Ignore the Shaming

It really seems quite preposterous. Yet, mainstream society has created a valuation of women based on beauty, which is in part founded by size. Where did this madness start? Multiple documentaries like America The Beautiful have investigated. What lies beneath a global obsession for thinness is the penny pinching efforts of fashion labels. In an effort to save money on expensive fabrics being used for fashion shows, designers turned to models with smaller sizes in order to make smaller close, hence less fabric. That’s it. As a result, there’s a global insecurity with size, shape, and body image.

Enlightened Solutions is a certified dual diagnosis treatment facility offering care and recovery to those suffering from substance use disorders and mental health disorders such as an eating disorder. Body image, eating disorder, and substance abuse often come hand in hand. We’re here to help you find a healthy view on yourself, love yourself, and accept yourself again. For more information, call 833-801-5483 today.


Are You Holding Your Expectations Too High?

After cleaning house with others in your life is done, you have yourself to reconcile with. Having a hard time forgiving yourself? You might be holding expectations of yourself too high.

You Feel Constantly Inadequate

You realize that everyone else seems satisfied with you, except for you. When someone pays you a compliment, you find it hard to take. If only they knew, you think to yourself, how untrue that statement was. For various reasons in life we come to stop believing in ourselves and our self-worth. We might have received harsh criticisms, experienced bullying, or found ourselves neglected from a parent’s love. Whatever the emotional trauma, the message from that experience told us to believe we weren’t good enough. Letting go of inadequacy is only possible by finding and holding on to feelings of adequacy, worthiness, deservedness, and self-worth. Recognize that you are in control of how you feel compared to others, including yourself.

 

You Think There’s Something Wrong With Your Life

Through recovery, we find our authentic selves and take actionable strides towards living authentically. Having decided who we are, who we want to be, and how we want to live, we’ve embraced that fully. Yet, at the slightest notice, we become remarkably insecure. We know that our expectations of ourselves are too high when we can’t be in acceptance of where life is at the moment. You might find that you rationalize or justify the state of your life because you don’t think it’s good enough. Remember, the grass isn’t always greener, so stop and smell the roses where you are.

 

You Are Convinced You Are A Disappointment

Expectations are, as we say in recovery, a highway to disappointments. Disappointments most dangerously lead to resentments. Having a resentment towards yourself for not meeting your own unreasonable expectations is a tormenting place to be. Self-loathing leads to self-centeredness which is, for persons in recovery, a red level warning area. Additionally, you might start to think you’re disappointing everyone else. Though it sounds self-conscious, it is more self-obsessed. To be convinced of everyone’s disappointment means to think everyone is constantly thinking about you. It is unlikely. Let yourself be where you are in all of your accomplishments, one day at a time.

 

Enlightened Solutions is committed to providing excellence in care to men and women who are seeking liberation from their abusive relationships with drugs and alcohol. Our beautiful facility offers peace and tranquility to support our integrative program. We incorporate 12 step philosophy with holistic methods of treatment. If you are concerned about your problems with drinking, drug use, and co-occurring disorders, call Enlightened Solutions today. Recovery starts with you. Start by calling us. 833-801-5483.


art therapy

Selfies: An Expose of Life

As human beings, we suffer from the disease of comfortability. Perhaps it is due to being pulled from the warm liquid beds of our mother’s wombs and thrust into the cold world. Only then to know the comforts of our parents arms and then be forced to go without them all day at school. Either way, humans are attached to comfort. Physical comfort, mental comfort, emotional comfort- we are apt to avoid discomfort. In fact, some take that quite far. People are known to stay in situations that would not be considered comfortable by another; situations that might be abusive, traumatic, violent, and unhealthy. Yet because that situation is familiar, because it has become comfortable, people stay. This can also apply to the subtle and not so subtle nuances of life. The patterns which have developed in life dictate what is comfortable. Some clothes are more comfortable than others, so that dictates a “style”. Some music is easier on the ears, so that dictates musical taste. Such patterns are perpetuated and developed over an entire lifetime, creating a habituation to what is familiar. Thus, when the unfamiliar suddenly pops up, it is shocking and unsettling. For example, when you look at your face in a selfie. Hidden within this example is a great metaphor of life and recovery.

The Exposure Effect is (). Exposure refers to what becomes normalized in your perception. Looking at the mirror everyday creates a library of images that comes to define how you perceive you look- similar to the “selfie” album on your camera roll. However, those selfies are usually a flipped version of what you are used to. Rather than rely on the basic knowledge that the camera automatically flips the image, the brain reacts in crisis. Something isn’t right, something isn’t familiar, and your idea of who you are, ensured by your idea of how you look, is no longer comfortable. Due to the programming you’ve received your whole life you label this as ugliness and imperfection.

It is not far fetched to say that there is a comfort which develops in active addiction. If we were not comfortable with drinking and using drugs all day every day it is unlikely we would do it. In fact, it is the uncomfortableness of early recovery that prevents many people from achieving long term sobriety. The chaos, pain, euphoria, and isolation of addiction becomes comfortable. One day, however, we see that flipped image of our lives. Suddenly, the world is not as we knew it and everything we thought we knew about ourselves becomes absent. Even in the comforting arms of our drugs of choice, we become uncomfortable. We wonder if everyone around us has seen this all along. Most often, the answer is yes. Beneath the guise of addiction or alcoholism was a true and authentic self begging to be seen again. What has become unfamiliar to us has always been familiar to them. With selfies, the flipped version we see which disturbs us is actually what everyone else sees from their perspective. The same is said for addiction. Though a seemingly sudden and profound realization to us is ordinary to everyone else. Addiction turns things upside down. Recovery turns them right side up.


substance abuse addiction treatment new jersey

The “Enough” Factor in the Brain

What separates an alcoholic from a normal drinker? The compulsion to drink despite negative consequences has baffled scientists, family members, spouses, and loved ones for centuries. How is it that two perfectly normal people, standing side by side, can consume alcohol and react in completely different ways? Even “normal” drinkers who drink heavily or binge drink do not experience the peculiar phenomena of craving as alcoholics do. Additionally, they have the simple ability that alcoholics do not: the ability to stop.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains that for the true alcoholic one is never enough. A common saying in recovery is that “one is too many, a thousand never enough.” The insatiable thrist for alcohol is unending in the alcoholic. Unique to addiction is the tendency to be lacking in a stopping limit, especially in consideraiton of negative consequences. It is the alcoholic who fools himself into believing he can have just one. “Cunning, baffling, powerful” is how The Big Book describes alcohol. Until now, alcoholics have been seen to be “powerless” over alcohol. While many argue this as a matter of willpower, AA sees it as a matter of spiritual malady. New research suggests that the alcoholic brain is actually deficient in a very important protein which helps with that “power”.

The “Enough” Factor in the Brain

PRDM2, according to inews, controls various nerve signals that help stop drinking. Meaning, that this protein is essential to having power over when enough is enough. The protein is located in the frontal lobes of the cortex, which is where the brain makes decisions. Specifically, PRDM2 manages how one nerve cell signals another. If there isn’t enough protein present, there will be ineffective communication about impulsivity among nerve cells.

The research found that in brains of alcoholics, PRDM2 was practically nonexistent. Not only does this impair the ability to stop drinking at any point, it also impairs the impulse to drink. Decision making about alcohol includes when and why to pick up alcohol in addition to how much. For example, active and present PRDM2 might contribute to avoiding a drink in times of stress. A better functioning frontal lobe means making more rational decisions.

Science continues to help destigmatize alcoholism and addiction. One day there might be a “cure” for the disease of addiction. Until that day, the more information gained, the greater treatment experiences we can provide.


substance abuse addiction treatment new jersey

The “Enough” Factor in the Brain

What separates an alcoholic from a normal drinker? The compulsion to drink despite negative consequences has baffled scientists, family members, spouses, and loved ones for centuries. How is it that two perfectly normal people, standing side by side, can consume alcohol and react in completely different ways? Even “normal” drinkers who drink heavily or binge drink do not experience the peculiar phenomena of craving as alcoholics do. Additionally, they have the simple ability that alcoholics do not: the ability to stop.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains that for the true alcoholic one is never enough. A common saying in recovery is that “one is too many, a thousand never enough.” The insatiable thrist for alcohol is unending in the alcoholic. Unique to addiction is the tendency to be lacking in a stopping limit, especially in consideraiton of negative consequences. It is the alcoholic who fools himself into believing he can have just one. “Cunning, baffling, powerful” is how The Big Book describes alcohol. Until now, alcoholics have been seen to be “powerless” over alcohol. While many argue this as a matter of willpower, AA sees it as a matter of spiritual malady. New research suggests that the alcoholic brain is actually deficient in a very important protein which helps with that “power”.

The “Enough” Factor in the Brain

PRDM2, according to inews, controls various nerve signals that help stop drinking. Meaning, that this protein is essential to having power over when enough is enough. The protein is located in the frontal lobes of the cortex, which is where the brain makes decisions. Specifically, PRDM2 manages how one nerve cell signals another. If there isn’t enough protein present, there will be ineffective communication about impulsivity among nerve cells.

The research found that in brains of alcoholics, PRDM2 was practically nonexistent. Not only does this impair the ability to stop drinking at any point, it also impairs the impulse to drink. Decision making about alcohol includes when and why to pick up alcohol in addition to how much. For example, active and present PRDM2 might contribute to avoiding a drink in times of stress. A better functioning frontal lobe means making more rational decisions.

Science continues to help destigmatize alcoholism and addiction. One day there might be a “cure” for the disease of addiction. Until that day, the more information gained, the greater treatment experiences we can provide.


intensive outpatient program

Fashion Industry’s Power over Beauty

The word model means “a system or thing used as an example to follow or imitate.” It is no wonder then that fashion brands have, for centuries, call the men and women showing off their clothing “models”. Fashion sells more than clothing. How a fashion brand develops their loyalty is through the development of a lifestyle. Wearing a certain type of clothing is supposed to make you feel as though you are living a certain type of life. By using “models” fashion brands use living people as examples of how life should look.

Over time, models have become thinner and thinner. Numerous documentaries and investigative reports have revealed the pressures models face to be thin. Models must meet high expectations and standards of beauty that are ever changing. Recently, major fashion centered countries like France have banned excessive thinness on the runway. Fashion models have to meet a healthy BMI in order to work.

For decades, fashion models and eating disorders have been closely affiliated. Beyond the models in fashion are the people trying to “model” themselves after fashion models. Consumers see images of these lifestyle brands and believe in the ideals of perfectionism or beauty. Convinced that they are fat, ugly, or not beautiful enough without looking like the models do, people resort to extreme measures. Though many models are already incredibly thin, fashion participates in another harmful trend which is digital alteration. Photos of models on the covers of magazines or in advertisements have been digitally altered. The beauty ideal upheld by fashion is unrealistic.

London Fashion Week is coming up in the fashion circuit. England is one of the few countries left not to regulate the BMI of fashion models. A new campaign initiative is being launched to get this sort of legislation happening in the UK. Models with a BMI below 18.5 need to be seen by medical professionals. Additionally, each collection showcased by a designer must include sizes from one end of the scale to the other. One of every sample must be a UK size 12 or above, which is usually designated as “plus size”.

The history and reasoning behind small sizes displayed on the runway have to do with saving money. Designers believe they save money for investors by using less material for their designs on the runway. Skinny models require less material. For this small reason in a multi billion dollar industry, millions of men and women around the world suffer from eating disorders.

Eating Disorders are commonly co-occurring with substance abuse issues including alcoholism and addiction to drugs like cocaine or other amphetamines. Enlightened Solutions is a certified and licensed dual-diagnosis treatment center, welcoming men and women seeking recovery for co-occurring disorders. For more information on our programs of treatment call 833-801-5483.


art therapy

Losing Yourself in Someone Else: Codependency

Codependency can be a development that takes place through hidden increments. At the foundation of codependent tendencies is a set of basic human fears:

I am not worthy

I am not whole

I am not loveable

Should our significant other discover these unconscionable truths, they may leave us. Forgetful that these fears are the fallacy of the human conditions, we adopt them as personalized convictions. Our relationships transform from mutual to one-sided, shifting from healthy to unbalanced.

Codependency is Losing Yourself in Someone Else

Healthy relationships have an open communication channel for limiting what each individual is capable and not capable of doing. Saying “no” is setting a loving boundary with just two letters. Relationships are unbalanced when saying “no” becomes a point of anxiety because saying “yes” has become obligation for one or both partners. Love and service are beautiful parts of any partnership. They are not the same as indentured enslavement. Codependency is when we lose our ability to say “no” out of fear. We might notice that when our partner needs help, we run to their aid. When we are unable to attend to them, we suffer from guilt and anxiety. Unless we are validated by our partner’s need for us in their lives, we feel lost. Our sense of being is defined by how we are needed.

Detached from our inherent strength to set boundaries is the beginning of a decline in our authentic voice. Codependency in a relationship creates fear that our opinions, thoughts, and feelings might scare the other person away. As a result, we cease expressing ourselves as we are. Instead, we speak as we think our partner would prefer us to be heard. We might mimic them entirely. We feel that our being is not as good as theirs, that we are less than them. Ultimately, we are in fear of abandonment and rejection. Allowing fear to dictate how we act as a whole being extinguishes our ability to come from love.

We not only lose sight of our personal power and our voice, we disconnect from our needs entirely. Prioritizing the identity and responsibility of our partner, we forget to focus on our own needs. Friends, family, 12-Step meetings, hobbies, and interests fall to the wayside as our world closes in around our partner.

Enlightened Solutions humbly offers a holistic design for the recovery process to heal the spirit, mind, and body. Our program is rooted in twelve step philosophy as a solution to the problem of drug and alcohol addiction. Call us today for more information on our programs of treatment for men and women seeking recovery 833-801-5483.