Recovery is an ongoing process with many ups and downs. We are never fully “recovered.” Therefore, we must continue to work to leave painful memories from our past behind. Some of us carry around the heavy burden of the person we before we decided to head onto the path towards recovery. At other times, the abuse and trauma that may have triggered substance abuse and depression can weigh heavily on the mind.
No matter where you are on this journey, there’s no need to continue being a victim. You must learn to unclutter your mind and continue to look forward. Here are some steps you can take to clear those cobwebs so you can head in the direction towards the life you want.
Sitting with your own thoughts can seem dangerous to someone in recovery. Thankfully, meditation allows you to break through those roadblocks. That’s because you’re not dwelling in your memories during meditation. You’re uncluttering the mind.
We live in a noisy world, and sometimes our brain needs to hit reboot. Meditation offers you this opportunity. It’s a moment to just be.
When you meditate, you’re not thinking about past mistakes or troublesome relationships. Instead, you focus on your breathing. Every time you inhale, think “in.” As you exhale out, think “out.” Any time your mind wanders back to visions of the past, return to your breath. By focusing on the action of breathing, you don’t give your brain the chance to dwell on other things.
Write Down Your Feelings
Many times there is so much going on in our head that we don’t know where to begin. These festering thoughts end up bubbling up into full-blown anxiety. Sometimes these thoughts just need to be released.
Get in the habit of keeping a journal. Write down anything that comes to your mind. Jot down your fears, bad memories, and goals. Just put the pen in your hand and let your subconscious go to town.
At first, this practice will seem negative. With time, you’ll notice a shift in your thoughts. You’ll begin to focus more on aspirations for the future than the black clouds of the past.
As this transformation happens, try to write less negative thoughts and more grateful ones. Write what you are thankful for and hopes you have for tomorrow. You’ll be amazed at how this practice puts your mind at ease.
Talk to Someone
While recovery is a personal journey, it’s not one that we forge on our own. There are many support systems in our lives waiting to lend a helping hand (or ear). Take them up on it.
Stay regular with meetings. Listening to people who have been where you used to be can help you put things in perspective. You’ll realize how far you’ve come, and your mind will begin to declutter.
Sometimes a meeting isn’t enough. We must get past stigmas surrounding mental health and seek professional assistance. Speak to a therapist about your past traumas. They can help you come up with coping mechanisms that will help you unclutter your mind.