Mental Recovery

Categories: Counseling

Mental recovery works in conjunction with intellectual recovery to achieve new results.  Align your mental world with your recovery goal for strong recovery.

Thoughts enhance recovery

Mental Recovery

Last week we discussed an intellectual recovery. It was stated that the problems we face cannot be solved with the same level of thinking that created them. It was about how we can improve our thinking.  This blog will focus on our mental recovery and how we can work on it.

What is the quality of your mental world?  Has it evolved to produce addiction?  Imagine a street map illustrating the framework of your mental world. Those pathways that are heavily traveled are high speed with limited off ramps designed with the purpose of producing a consistent end result very quickly. Other pathways are like a dirt road that is infrequently used and certainly functional enough without a lot of maintenance. This is not a problem until you want something you never had. The roadways built for horse and buggy cannot handle the sophistication and precision of a modern sports car. It’s time for an upgrade. Your mental recovery works in conjunction with your intellectual recovery to achieve new results.

When you decide you want recovery your mental world must be brought into alignment with this goal. Recovery cannot travel the pathways of addiction. It won’t work. They are not aligned. Intellectual recovery is about the new thoughts we need to problem solve and grow in recovery. Mental recovery is about the new pathways those thoughts travel. Strong mental recovery produces pathways of thinking that support recovery. At first these routes will be rudimentary and slow.  They will feel ineffective. In time they will become new super highways. They will become a preferred route of your life.

Questions for Recovery

* How will these new pathways be paid for?
* What roads must be closed?
* What inconveniences can be expected while construction takes place?
* How is such restructuring accomplished?
* Am I willing to pay the price for demolition and construction?

Exercises for Mental Recovery

New pathways will form with practice. The more rehearsal one invests, the more results one gets. Be prepared to invest some time in this process until it becomes automatic and efficient.  Use some mind mapping, note taking, or drawing to practice and see the restructuring take place.

Breaking Down the Tape

Take the last situation where you “traveled” the addiction pathway and break down the tape. It may have been a craving with the fantasy of how you could use and avoid the consequences. Sketch out the decision tree for this problem pattern.

Addictive Thinking

Addiction Pathway

After considering some alternatives sketch some “off ramps” from the problem pattern that take you to recovery. Rehears the recovery pattern. Talk your way through the reasoning, emotions and results. Restate why you want recovery.  Make a commitment to handle the situation better next time.

Recovery Thinking

Recovery Pathway

Daily Reading

Use a few minutes every day to read about recovery.  You might choose to start with stories of how other people overcame addiction or adversity.  Read biographies about people who built something, accomplished a life’s dream, or made a mark in history.

Prayer & Meditation

Prayer and meditation can be a powerful tool for mental recovery.  These activities rehearse words and connect with feelings that enhance recovery.  Sitting for a few minutes thinking about gratitude, what it means, how it feels, where it comes from, who it honors can really enhance your mental recovery.

Counseling & Coaching

At some point in your recovery it is recommended that you get some professional help.  A pro can help you accelerate progress, get you past common relapse obstacles, and reinforce what works.  At Leadershop Ministries we help many couples and individuals with the implementation of recovery into daily life.  The transition from highly structured programs to daily life can be a hard one and its a perfect time for counseling and coaching.

When you decide you want recovery your mental world must be brought into alignment with this goal.  Being double minded doesn’t work out.  Recovery cannot travel the pathways or use the same words as addiction.  As you build these pathways you create margin to deal with more and more of life’s challenges quickly and efficiently.  With more margin you have less chaos and a strong recovery.

Please share this with someone who is working on recovery.  It could be a simple gift of encouragement to know you are on their side and thinking about them.

Author: Todd Davis, PhD, MFT, LADC

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.