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How To Stop Negative Self-Talk In Recovery

How To Stop Negative Self-Talk In Recovery

Have negative self-talk? Let’s discuss how to quite our mind and stop that negative thinking.

For many people, negative self-talk is a persistent, undermining force that can dramatically impact one’s recovery from addiction. This destructive habit often begins with a few negative thoughts that, if left unchallenged, can spiral out of control and result in a relapse. However, the cycle of negative self-talk can be broken with intentional effort, paving the way for a more positive outlook and a healthier recovery. Here’s how to turn the tide and reclaim your inner narrative.

In a recent conversation on a YouTube episode, Haven Joe Beck, a recovery coach, shared some enlightening insights on stopping negative self-talk. This might seem challenging, but understanding and applying a few key principles can make a significant difference in your recovery journey.

Identifying the Source of Negative Self-Talk

To deal with negative self-talk, you first have to understand where it is coming from. A significant step to tackling negative self-talk is leaning into it, digging into the negative messages and identifying their sources. As Haven mentioned, some of these negative messages might be remnants of childhood memories or societal pressures.

You might have internalized statements like “I’m supposed to be thinner” or “I’m supposed to be nicer.” Often imposed on us by others, these notions can inadvertently become our belief system, fostering a toxic cycle of negative self-talk. It’s essential to question and challenge these messages, recognizing that they don’t necessarily reflect our true selves.

Replacing Negative Thoughts with Positive Affirmations

One way to combat negative self-talk is by implementing a “power of three” strategy: for every one negative thought, counter it with three positive affirmations. This technique forces us to shift our focus, acknowledging our positive qualities instead of getting caught in the negative narrative. Remember, while we might not be responsible for the first negative thought that crosses our minds, we are responsible for how we react.

Using positive affirmations is not a practice of denial; it’s about training our brains to focus on the positive aspects of our lives and ourselves. It’s about balance and restoring a healthy state of mind that prevents us from spiraling into destructive behaviors. As Haven pointed out, by training our minds to recognize the good in us and around us, we maintain an equilibrium with the world, reducing the urge to seek comfort in addictive substances or behaviors.

Reaching Out to Your Support Network

Sometimes, when we’re deep in the throes of negative self-talk, it can be challenging to generate positive affirmations on our own. That’s where your support network comes in. Reach out to the people who uplift you – they can help remind you of your strengths when you’re having difficulty seeing them yourself.’

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Continual Self-Examination and Mindfulness

The road to stopping negative self-talk requires ongoing self-examination and mindfulness. Ask yourself, “What’s really going on here?” Whenever you find yourself spiraling into a vortex of negativity, take a step back and evaluate your thoughts. Remember that our internal narratives are often not accurate reflections of reality.

Our negative self-talk can become so deeply ingrained that we may not even realize it’s happening. When you find yourself criticizing others or the world around you excessively, take it as a signal to pause and reflect on how you’re talking to yourself. Often, being critical of others is a manifestation of our own self-criticism.

The road to overcoming negative self-talk isn’t a quick or easy one, but it’s certainly achievable. By continuously practicing these principles and techniques, you’ll gradually reduce the frequency and impact of negative self-talk on your recovery.


  1. Negative self-talk can be a significant barrier to recovery. However, you can significantly reduce its impact by understanding its origins and implementing countering strategies.
  2. Lean into your negative self-talk. Identify the source of these messages and challenge their validity.
  3. For every negative thought, counter it with three positive affirmations. This strategy can help retrain your brain to focus on positive aspects instead of getting stuck in negative cycles.
  4. Reach out to your support network when you’re struggling to come up with positive affirmations. The people who care about you can remind you of your strengths and positive attributes.
  5. Regular self-examination and mindfulness can help you identify when you’re falling into negative self-talk patterns and enable you to take steps to counter them.
  6. Overcoming negative self-talk is not an overnight process, but with persistent effort, you can significantly shift your internal narrative toward a more positive and healthy one.

Remember, recovery isn’t about perfection. It’s about progress. Breaking the cycle of negative self-talk is an integral part of that journey. Embrace the challenge and take the first steps towards a more positive and empowering internal dialogue today.

Haven Jo Beck is a Certified Addiction Interventionist and Trauma-Informed Life and Happiness Coach with over 25 years of experience in the 12-step world, therapy, and numerous other approaches to recovery. She specializes in helping people struggling with disordered eating, obesity, food addiction, body image dysmorphia, and drug addiction. Haven's workshops and services are focused on food addiction and trauma, offering a compassionate and trauma-sensitive approach to healing childhood trauma while dealing with food, eating, drug, and body acceptance issues. Her tailor-made approach to coaching, supported by academic literature and personal experience, has helped thousands of people worldwide to create and maintain successful eating and recovery programs. Haven lives with her family near the beach, where she homeschools her children and enjoys an abstinent, healthy lifestyle.

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