How powerful is hope during drug and alcohol rehab? Researchers have found that hope is crucial not only to positive recovery outcomes but even to entering rehab in the first place.
Hope begins with an optimistic viewpoint about life, but it does not end there. When you have a hopeful mindset, you are more likely to take actions that better your situation, to be able to resist cravings, and to make healthy choices for yourself.
More Than Wishful Thinking
Hope is more than wishful thinking; it is a belief and expectation that things can and will get better. Hope is a crucial motivating factor in every step of the recovery process. Wishful thinking is often ignorant about the realities of the situation, but hope realizes that there will be difficulties and obstacles, but believes these can be overcome.
“The Anatomy of Hope” author Jerry Groopman, MD, says there is “no room for delusion” in a hopeful mindset. “For my patients,” he writes, “hope, true hope, has proved as important as any medication I might prescribe or any procedure I might perform.”
According to Groopman, researchers are uncovering data that shows a hopeful mindset can change your neurochemistry, blocking pain and releasing endorphins that make you feel better physically and that lead to recovery. In drug and alcohol rehab, hope can ease painful symptoms of withdrawal and post-acute withdrawal syndrome and help you feel better than you otherwise would, which can help keep you from relapsing.
The Impact of Hope on Recovery
Hope creates a cycle of virtue. When you are hopeful, you have vision for a positive future, which leads you to work toward making that future happen, even when obstacles get in the way. You invest in the future by eating right, exercising, taking care of yourself, and following through on treatment plans.
- Some commonalities among people with hopeful mindsets are the following:
- Connecting with the community around you
- Cultivating spirituality through faith practices; having a sense of something bigger than self
- Being active in treatment by setting goals, monitoring health, and self-advocating
- Keeping a sense of identity by participating in activities and relationships you enjoy
A hopeful mindset often comes from the people around you, and is then internalized by you. If the people around you do not seem to express a hopeful mindset, you might want to explain the importance of hope to your well-being, or reach out more to those who seem to be hopeful.
A Note to Family and Friends
Family members and friends of those in drug and alcohol rehab should strive to cultivate hope in their own lives and express that hope to struggling loved ones; it could make an enormous difference in their lives and treatment outcomes.
The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake recognizes the importance of hope in recovery. Contact us for more information about our programs and how they can help you or your loved ones struggling with addiction.