Self-awareness is knowing and understanding your personality, your thoughts and feelings, your beliefs and motivations, and your strengths and weaknesses. Self-awareness is important when trying to overcome an addiction because it is much more difficult to make necessary life changes when you do not understand how you got to where you are.
How Self-Awareness Helps Recovery
In Colorado drug rehab and recovery, self-awareness is the understanding of the root causes of your problems and pain, including things in your environment or within yourself that can cause a relapse into substance abuse. It is an important part of any recovery plan, a tool that can be used to maintain sobriety and continue the recovery journey.
Being aware of the things that will trigger your cravings to relapse back into your addiction will help you know what situations to avoid or when to prepare yourself for a possible struggle. Some who are in recovery will be able to go to a party where substances may be used without being bothered, while others will realize that they are risking a relapse and avoid those situations.
Through self-awareness, you may also discover that co-occurring disorders like depression may be involved with your addiction. Self-awareness can be empowering for those who struggle with substance abuse and may allow them to set their own boundaries and feel more in control of themselves and their lives, which will help their recovery process.
There are several areas in which self-awareness can be better developed to aid in addiction and recovery. Discovering these may be an ongoing process that is part of outpatient or aftercare treatment.
- Behavior patterns—Going to certain places or being with certain people may trigger a relapse or the desire to use. Noticing those patterns will help you break negative patterns and form new ones that will be healthier for you.
- Mindfulness—Being aware of how your body feels and responds to different people, places, or situations will help you understand the emotional reactions that lead to addictive behaviors and can enable you to short circuit those reactions before they end up in relapse or substance use.
- Examining beliefs—Recognizing your beliefs and how they developed can help you understand your feelings and thought patterns, especially the ones that are negative, that cause you pain, or that lead to substance use. You can then correct negative beliefs and change thought patterns to supportive, positive ones that reflect your new reality in recovery.
- False assumptions—Some of these can lead to destructive behaviors and substance abuse, especially the assumptions that you are destined to mess up your life or relapse because you have always done so in the past.
- Redefining expectations—Having unrealistic expectations sets you up for disappointment that can lead to discouragement and sometimes, relapse. Being realistic about your feelings, other people’s reactions, and how easy or hard life in recovery will be can make it easier to keep yourself on an even keel emotionally so you can handle each day better.
Exercises like journaling, asking others for input, mindfulness meditation, reflection questions, and even creating artwork can help increase your self-awareness and improve your recovery. Learn about admissions to Recovery Village at Palmer Lake to start your journey of self-awareness and recovery today.