The Importance of Self Reflection in Recovery


Recovery Is a Journey

It’s one thing to bring your substance use to an end. However, it’s another thing to completely change your life. There are many men and women who go through addiction treatment and who find the courage and the strength to end the drinking or drug use. Yet, for many people, recovery doesn’t end there. They often realize that their substance abuse was only a tip of the iceberg, a symptom of a larger problem.

With this recognition, they take the steps to fully change their life by taking responsibility for their actions, valuing their family relationships, ending their denial, and stepping more fully into their life. However, self-reflection is required in order to facilitate these sort of changes.

Healing From an Addiction

Self reflection might be defined as the act of looking inward. It is the experience of examining one’s thoughts, ideas, images, and beliefs in order to explore any harmful patterns. Typically, there are harmful thinking patterns and beliefs that contribute to the illness of addiction, which is why self-reflection can be useful when healing from addiction.

Another word to describe self-reflection is introspection, which not only implies a self-examination but a willingness to learn about oneself. It’s an openness to learn about how one might change in order to experience a healthier and happier lifestyle.

It’s important to remember that once a person has done some self-reflection and has arrived at some insights about themselves, those insights must be applied. For instance, let’s say you’ve been sober for a few months and in a support group you realize that the one thing that has been driving your substance abuse is anger. One way to apply that insight is take a deep breath every time you’re angry.

You might also learn new ways of expressing your anger in order to break the association between anger and substance use. Another step might be to take an anger management class so that you can learn a wide array of ways to manage anger effectively. You might also work with a therapist to address any unresolved issues that might have triggered your anger in the first place.

Once you have an insight about yourself from the self-reflection you’ve done, it’s important to take action on those insights.

Self Reflection Is Vital

  • It facilitates learning from mistakes.
  • A person can experience greater satisfaction in life by making better choices that are self-affirming.
  • A person can learn more about their strengths, especially those inner resources that might come in handy during challenging moments.
  • A person will likely develop better communication and relationship skills as a result of learning more about themselves.
  • A person can work to change unhealthy patterns once he or she uncovers them about themselves.
  • A person can better identify the triggers, cravings, and signs that lead to trouble – and make better choices.
  • A person will have a better idea about what they want out of life and how to get there.
  • A person might be able to access more meaning and purpose in life.

For all these reasons and more, self reflection will be necessary on the road to recovery.


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