Self-Motivation: Why it Makes a Difference in Recovery and Life

why does motivation matter in recovery

This includes recognizing high-risk situations, such as being around substances or people, and making coping mechanisms to avoid or manage these triggers. Getting expert help from counselors, therapists or addiction specialists can give individualized and tailored support. They offer strategies and tools for managing cravings, triggers and keeping motivation.

why does motivation matter in recovery

What are some practical steps to cultivate positive thinking in addiction recovery?

That, plus understanding your goals and where you want to be will help you to work towards staying motivated for recovery and for building a better life for yourself. If you’re moving out of addiction treatment, you have a long road in front of you. For many, that path of recovery, where you have to spend years fighting cravings and rebuilding your life, can seem overwhelming. It’s important that you acknowledge that and build a foundation on which you can maintain continued recovery.

Practicing Positive Thinking in Addiction Recovery Programs

According to this way of thinking, the individual learns an association between drug self-administration and a desirable end state. It is this association, initially anticipated or expected and subsequently strengthened through sustained drug administration, that “pushes” the organism forward toward drug use, hence motivating self-administration. It is of interest that until recently, mainstream addiction research has greatly departed from this broad definition of addiction that can encompass any kind of behavior whatsoever. Instead, there has been a clear tendency to overidentify addiction with substance abuse (e.g., Holden, 2001) and to distinguish drug addiction in particular as a unique phenomenon, quantitatively and qualitatively distinct from behaviors and habits of everyday life. However, recent evidence in psychology, behavioral economics, and neuroscience seems to increasingly suggest that the qualitative dichotomy is unwarranted and that addiction to drugs shares essential commonalities with motivated or goal-directed behaviors in general. Our next section will review some of the traditional perspectives, as well as the recent evidence, and discuss the implications for a view of addiction as motivated behavior.

why does motivation matter in recovery

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Intrinsic motivation can be driven by curiosity, which is linked to a desire to know and motivates us to learn and explore our environment for answers (Loewenstein, 1994). Intrinsic motivation can also come from the need to actively interact and control our environment. The effectance motivation theory explains how intrinsic motivation drives us to develop competence (White, 1959). Much of contemporary research shows that intrinsic motivation is more effective more often and of more enduring value. In some circumstances, however, extrinsic motivation may be more appropriate, as in the case of uninteresting activities. Satisfying the need for autonomy, relatedness, and competence leads to engaged, passionate individuals doing high-quality work in any domain.

  • Regardless of the perspective taken and the language used, there is little debate about the importance of motivation in understanding addiction.
  • Overcoming addiction is one of the hardest but most important decisions an individual can make.
  • But helping one gain some ‘perspective’ on their situation that helps drive their motivation, is the key element in this entire equation.
  • It includes additional elements, such as confidence in your ability and an intention to maintain the desire for success over a long period.

Values can be compared to a compass whereas goals can be compared to destinations on a map. In this metaphor, values provide a sense of direction, guiding individuals on their life’s journey. They represent the deeply held beliefs and principles that define who we are and shape our priorities.

Be Realistic and Identify the Pros and Cons of Staying Clean

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing and other techniques can help.
  • Understanding and identifying our values across these various categories can help create a comprehensive and balanced foundation for making decisions and taking action in the pursuit of a meaningful life.
  • Addiction is about using alcohol and other drugs to feel good or to feel better—it is the seeking of pleasure by means of neurochemical reward and/or relief.
  • Therefore, our discussion will be mainly focused on the theoretical perspectives that emphasize motivation.
  • In addition to increasing the resource pool, the overriding effect of the substance-use goal over other concerns and consequently over one’s behavior may be reduced by decreasing the saliency and value of the consumption goal.

This also gives you the opportunity to create and maintain a sobriety journal. Keeping track of your thoughts and feelings throughout the process can be cathartic. If journaling isn’t for you, there are plenty of apps available that make tracking your process and milestones quick and easy. It may even provide an opportunity to connect to others who are progressing in their journey. Motivation is the reason a person acts or behaves in a particular way or situation, and is the driving force behind one’s action. These success stories serve as inspiration for others looking for a supportive partner in positive thinking for addiction recovery.

  • It can also help reinforce positive behaviors and provide accountability.
  • Studies have consistently shown that intrinsic motivation leads to increased persistence, greater psychological wellbeing, and enhanced performance.
  • The importance of motivation in recovery is often built by finding the internal strength to want to recover.
  • Exercise and nutrition can have a positive effect on physical and emotional health.
  • This suggests that improving working memory (through training) may “replenish” substance users’ self-regulatory resources (presumably affected by chronic use), which are necessary to control automatic substance-use urges and tendencies.

That happens because goal representations include a variety of behaviors, plans, and objects (means) that in the actor’s mind promise advancement toward one’s respective goal. According to the interconnectedness principle, when the goal becomes salient, it will automatically activate behavior representations and resultant action tendencies. For instance, Aarts et al. (2001) manipulated participants’ thirst and showed a subsequent increase in the accessibility of drinking-related objects. In this manner, a certain circumstance may become capable of activating a representation of an outcome (goal), which will in turn activate the behavior known to produce it. In their attempts to understand the etiology and maintenance of drug addiction, late 20th-century researchers focused mainly on drugs’ pharmacological properties. It has been argued that, because of their pharmacological properties, psychoactive drugs (unlike other activities) are physiologically, rather than merely psychologically, addictive (Leshner, 1997; Wise, 2002).

Are You Ready to Get Motivated?

  • This process of identity reconstruction can be empowering and liberating, as it allows individuals to break free from the constraints of their addiction and reclaim their lives.
  • In addition to being able to recognize them, it’s important to know when to seek help.
  • That means understanding that you’re not using because you have good reasons not to, you’re not using because you’re inspired to stay clean and sober, you’re not using because you don’t want to be an addict and you set those boundaries for yourself.
  • Most people who make their way into recovery have left a lot of pain and suffering in their wake.
  • Whether it’s what you read or watch, the people you talk to, or your own self-talk, try to stay positive with uplifting news, people who encourage you, and thinking that’s going to help you meet your recovery goals.

This means you may want to talk to your rehab center and your counselor to get advice on what you should do to follow up treatment. In addition, you may want to schedule checkups every 3-6 months to ensure you’re still doing okay so you can get additional treatment when and where you need it. Addiction is about using alcohol and other drugs to feel good or to feel better—it is the seeking of pleasure by means of neurochemical reward and/or relief. However, the way to genuine contentment and satisfaction isn’t through pleasurable experiences that depend on external circumstances. It comes from making choices that are healthy and helpful, and in alignment with our values. Personal values provide an internal compass that points the way to what an individual identifies as positive, healthy, beneficial, valuable, useful, desirable and constructive.

A Motivational Quote

Strategies like mindfulness, seeking support, physical and emotional well-being, hobbies, communicating challenges, volunteering, and focusing on the positives are all important for successful recovery. Cultivating a mindset that encourages growth and healing can be done through meditation and mindfulness. Being around supportive people can provide the motivation to remain recovery motivation on track. Exercise and nutrition can have a positive effect on physical and emotional health. A crucial step in the recovery process is the identification and clarification of an individual’s values. A values assessment in therapy can provide invaluable insight into what truly matters to a person, allowing them to better understand their motivations and priorities.

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