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How to Accept Good with the Bad

Many inspirational quotes apply to staying positive in light of bad situations, such as “the positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.” Being positive and seeing the silver lining in problems is far more than just fluff, because learning to accept problems will shape someone’s attitude, perspective, behavior and life.

Centuries ago, Lao Tzu, ancient Chinese philosopher and poet, commented on this lesson: “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”[1] Tzu describes the powerful way that thoughts impact your entire being—how a person thinks will impact how she feels and behaves, which will become part of her character. In that light, someone who can see the good in life and has a positive attitude will insulate her life with optimism, a quality that is irreplaceable when recovering from addiction and/or a mental health condition.

Science Behind How Positive Thinking Affects Your Health

How to Accept Good with the Bad

Being able to stay positive will promote significant strides during recovery

Considerable research has explored the effects of positive thinking. For instance, a study by Barbara L. Fredrickson shows that positive thoughts and emotions generate mindfulness, self-fulfillment and social support. Ergo, individuals who think positively have better perspectives on life and are more open to possibility. As explained by the broaden-and-build theory, positive thinking allows people to learn better skills in coping, creativity, social situations and athleticism. Moreover, people who think positively are less prone to stress, mental health illness and other medical ailments[2].

During tough times, individuals who can accept the good with the bad will develop skills to overcome obstacles. In turn, this ability will lead to new successes that result in continued happiness and positivity, which means that a habitual cycle will form as a result of your thoughts. In short, positive thinking generates personal successes, which leads to continued positive thinking and then an improved quality of life. In that way, happiness is both the cause and effect of success in any form.

How to Become and Stay Positive During Recovery

Being a positive person is an extremely beneficial quality, especially for people in addiction recovery. Recovery is a lifelong process, and having to face problems is inevitable, so being able to get through these situations without relapsing will make or break recovery. If someone can develop a positive mindset, he can make it a habit and maintain recovery for the long haul. Many rehab centers and recovery groups offer treatment so people can build healthy and positive thought processes. Patients can also develop this skill in the following ways[3]:

  • Practicing meditation
  • Writing or journaling about positive experiences
  • Making time for yourself; stay involved in activities and hobbies to lift your spirit
  • Practice gratitude; find ways to be grateful every day
  • Receive Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Take care of your physical self. Work on your posture, get enough sleep, stretch, practice yoga, and exercise
  • Smile, and eventually your internal feelings may match your external appearance
  • Do something kind for someone else by giving back or volunteering. These altruistic acts often generate positive self-thoughts
  • Practice awareness. Be aware of your moods and what is going on around you to remember that you are in control[4]
  • Talk to yourself positively. Self-criticism is normal, but positive people will try to get these thoughts and negatively out of their heads. They will talk to themselves positively and encourage themselves.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. Positivity and negativity are contagious, so do not surround yourself with the negativity. Avoid people who constantly bring you down by retreating into healthy and supportive relationships.

With help, you can recover from addiction and a mental health issue.

Resources that Help Recovery

Recovery is a life-long process, and recovery professionals preach the importance of forward progression, so learn how to stay positive in recovery to see it endure. Staying focused on recovery is critical, but doing so is sometimes difficult with the everyday hustle and bustle. Thankfully, so many resources available are now available to help individuals throughout recovery, so it only makes sense to reach out for help.

Recovery services vary, but you can recover if you have the right help. If you or a loved one would like more information on how to connect with these resources, then call our toll-free helpline now. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions, address your concerns and provide as much information as you need to stay clean. With help, you can get and stay well for the long haul.


[1] 2015, March 2. How Your Thoughts Become Your Destiny. The Event Chronicle. Retrieved from

[2] Clear, James. (2013, September 8). The Science of Positive Thinking: How Positive Thoughts Build Your Skills, Boost Your Health, and Improve Your Work. HuffPost Healthy Living. Retrieved from

[3] Lantz, Gregory L., Ph.D., (2014) September 24). 6 Ways to Become More Positive Today. Psychology Today.  Retrieved from

[4] Holmes, Lindsay. (2014, September 13). 6 Tricks To Becoming A More Positive Thinker. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from