Mental Discipline and Healthy Thinking

Mental Discipline and Healthy Thinking

No matter what public opinion might say, addiction is a disease, not the product of poor discipline, poor morals or a lack of willpower. However, when it comes to recovery, discipline and willpower matter greatly, as they help people think healthily and pursue healthier lives. Luckily, anyone can develop these skills through therapy and healthy thinking. In fact, Psychology Today emphasizes that “It’s not your fault that you have this disease, but it is your responsibility to manage the cards you’ve been dealt and to take steps to improve your life”[1]. By reaching out for professional help and social support, you can take responsibility, find mental discipline and pursue the healthy thinking patterns that encourage recovery and a rewarding life.

Mental Discipline and Motivation

Mental discipline requires motivation, which is often one of the thinking patterns for substance users to cultivate. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Research has shown that motivation-enhancing approaches are associated with greater participation in treatment and positive treatment outcomes. Such outcomes include reductions in consumption, increased abstinence rates, social adjustment, and successful referrals to treatment”[2]. In other words, people who want sobriety tend to find it, which is why quality rehab programs often begin with motivation-based therapy. Many people in early treatment are there because family, bosses or the legal system coerced them to get help, but Motivational Interviewing gives patients the interest and incentives they need to pursue recovery for themselves. People in these treatment sessions work with therapists to determine why they use drugs and why they no longer want to do so. Many people think an addict cannot get well until he hits “rock bottom,” but the motivation to get well can come at any stage of addiction or recovery if someone utilizes professional support and healthy thinking.

In short, the first lesson drug addicts must learn is that they want recovery and why. The Indiana Prevention Resource Center explains that “The myth of hitting rock bottom is the general publics’ belief that an alcoholic or drug addict cannot be helped until they hit rock bottom and want to get help. This idea is just not true. Interventionists help these people every day. Interventionists work with families and friends to put a strategy in place to help the addict before it is too late. It can be very dangerous when addicts go without receiving proper treatment”[3]. Serious consequences need not occur before recovery individuals can find the help and mental discipline they need to pursue healthy, positive lives. When people use discipline and healthy thinking, they can avoid a true rock bottom and find motivation for recovery before it is too late.

Positive Attitude and Recovery Success

Healthy thinking and addiction recovery begin with hope and positivity. SAMHSA shares that “A positive attitude toward change and a commitment to change are…associated with positive treatment outcomes.” To put it bluntly, feeling good and hopeful about recovery make it more likely to happen, and for many reasons. The University of Utah explains that “People with addictions tend to do a lot of blaming. They don’t take responsibility for their own behaviors, and they feel like the victims. Positive psychology gets people out of that and focusing on their strengths and visualizing themselves in a good way instead…Positive psychology steers away from labeling and stresses giving responsibility back to the individual with the addiction.”[4] In effect, drug addicts who know their personal strengths and that support is available for them to improve find the confidence and responsibility they need to continue pursuing recovery. Positive thinking and actions stem from this mindset to make recovery better, stronger and more enjoyable. In conclusion, when someone knows what she is capable of and has hope in a better future, that future tends to come true.

Find the Discipline for Recovery

You need not have discipline, willpower or a positive view of recovery to begin it. Therapy and rehab are designed to give you the will, energy and interest you or your loved one needs to pursue a drug-free life, so recovery is within reach no matter your personal circumstance or attitude. In fact, to begin recovery, all you need to do is reach out: call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline now to learn more about options for recovery. With help, you can attend therapy that promotes healthy thinking, and you can even find the program that matches your needs and interests. Furthermore, by talking with a professional, you can get help that aligns with your health insurance and personal schedule. Our admissions coordinators are ready right now to help you, so call today for the treatment and long-term support that will encourage a lasting recovery.


[1] “Does Willpower Play a Role in Addiction Recovery?” Psychology Today. 7 Nov 2012. Web. 5 Jan 2016.

[2] “Enhancing Motivation for Change in Substance Abuse Treatment.” The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Web. 5 Jan 2016.

[3] “The Myth of Hitting Rock Bottom: The Power of Intervention.” Indiana Prevention Resource Center. 16 Mar 2012. Web. 5 Jan 2016.

[4] “Changing Addictive Thinking with Positive Psychology.” The University of Utah. 7 Dec 2011. Web. 5 Jan 2016.