Emotions are strong experiences, considerably more so during the earliest months of the recovery process. Through treatment and therapy, you can learn how to be at peace with your thoughts and feelings while living an authentic life.
Thoughts Are Just Thoughts: Thoughts are passing experiences which take place in reaction to old thoughts, thought patterns, triggers, stress, and core beliefs. In recovery, many of our thoughts are challenged. Likewise, we are often challenged to reconsider our thoughts. Separating ourselves from our thoughts is a tool we learn through treatment to be able to pause and contemplate the validity of what we’re thinking. Additionally, we can more objectively decide if we even want to have the thought we’re thinking. Thoughts, like feelings, aren’t facts. Thoughts are information for growth so we can help take care of ourselves.
Feelings Are Just Feelings: Like thoughts, feelings aren’t fact. We are mistaken when we say “I am sad” or “I am mad”. We are not our emotions. At times it certainly feels as though our feelings consume us, but they do not. We experience emotions, we do not become emotions, though we often become emotional. There is a spiritual freedom in recognizing that our emotions do not have to control us. Similarly, we do not have to control our emotions. We can become aware of our feelings and experience them in their fullness without avoiding them, ignoring them, being afraid of them, or being overtaken by them. Feelings, like thoughts, are passing and informative experiences. Our feelings help us step into our humanity and connect to the world around us.
Thoughts And Feelings Aren’t Permanent: Often, thoughts and feelings become catastrophic. When we are depressed, we think we will never see the light again. When we are manic or anxious, we aren’t sure we’ll ever come back down. Grief feels like it could break us. Anger feels like it could break us. Feelings and thoughts are energy- chemical sensations which come and go. Their cycle is unending. Remember, this too shall pass. The good, the bad, the difficult, the effortless, are all in cycle as they are meant to be at any given time.
Utilize Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the proven practice of training the brain to become more aware. In treatment, mindfulness is learned through mindfulness meditation, mindfulness practice, and mindfulness-based therapy types like mindfulness based stress reduction and mindfulness based cognitive behavioral therapy. A special emphasis on becoming mindful without judgment helps us to recognize our thoughts and feelings and notice how we let them affect us.
At Castle Craig, our patients are optimized in their mental, physical, and spiritual health. Our goal is to renew each patient’s sense of empowerment in developing a life of long-term abstinent recovery. For information on our residential treatment programmes, please call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line: 0808 256 3732. From outside the UK please call: +44 1721 788 006 (normal charges apply).
Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | July 5, 2017