In our previous blog, we took a look at how those suffering from sexual addiction may find it difficult to overcome their addictive tendencies due to the internal stories they tell themselves. These stories, when repeated consistently over long periods of time, can cause feelings of deep shame, guilt, resentment, and anxiety that are detrimental to one’s ability to see themselves as someone with value and worth. Take self-worth and purpose out of the equation, and the possibility for healing from addiction can drift further and further away.
Once one is convinced of the negative stories and narratives that fill their days, the question becomes How can I break free of these negative self-stories? In part two of our positive psychology series, we will break down practical steps that our team of counselors and therapists at Novus Mindful Life use everyday to help clients break free of negative stories and reclaim a positive outlook on their self-worth and future.
In a practical, step by step process, you can break down the ways that negative stories are built internally, and learn how to share positive and encouraging internal stories that will give you hope for your current circumstance – as well as for your future. Let’s break down some of the steps to help you learn how positive psychology can lead you to greater freedom.
The first step in the process is to identify the current stories you internalize every day. Often, we are so used to the daily, consistent stories that we tell ourselves that we don’t even notice ourselves thinking about them! Yet deep down, we continue to berate ourselves with negative descriptions such as failure, worthless, and useless.
Want to better understand the stories you tell yourself? Sit down with a pen and paper (or computer) and think through the descriptors you use for yourself. Think of your past, your present, and your future. Consider how you view yourself in the mirror, and how you view your daily decisions. These descriptions can be the key to unlocking how you truly view yourself. Don’t be shocked if the list you make is hard to read – we are often far more negative to ourselves than we even realize!
Practice this process many times to identify the common themes that you often include in the stories you tell yourself. Once you have done this, you will have a powerful tool at your disposal to help you rewrite your personal, internal narrative.
The way you speak about yourself to yourself will likely be shocking. Can anyone truly be that mean to someone? Yet we tell ourselves these stories every day – lies rooted in insecurity and misplaced expectations.
Once you have identified the aspects of your current internal story that keeps you from experiencing the life that you desire to live, it is time to take steps to learn how to rewrite your internal story step by step.
As you begin to answer these questions, you will start to rewrite your new story as a first-person narrative that tells the truth about yourself. You will slowly begin to replace the lies you tell yourself with truths that you must come back to time and again. Write them down where you can access them quickly, as it will take time for these new stories to become second nature. Remember- you’ve had your entire life to practice the negative stories, so don’t be surprised if it takes awhile to relearn this new story!
For those suffering from addiction – especially sexual addiction – daily choices and experiences can cause you to quickly fall back into the negative stories that keep you from living your life with joy and potential. When this inevitably happens, remember to be kind to yourself.
The process of changing and rewriting the stories within you will be a slow process. The thought patterns and routines that you have spent your entire life mastering are strong habits that are hard-wired into your mind and soul. However, with time you will begin to see the fruit of your labor. As you would with any other skill or talent, take it slow and work with patience.
One of the best ways to ensure success in positive storying is to work with a mental health professional for accountability and encouragement. With the help of a therapist such as one of the talented counselors at Novus Mindful Life, you can find hope when the process gets difficult.
If you would like to learn more about how to break free from the cage of sexual addiction, contact the team of experts at Novus Mindful Life. Our caring addiction recovery experts are ready to help you find freedom from your current or potential addiction through proven methods of positivity. Contact us today to learn mo
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