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The Benefits of Positive Affirmations for Addiction Recovery

Positive affirmations are a popular way of motivating ourselves to be better and to chase our goals. But can positive affirmations be a contributing factor for substance abuse recovery? If used properly, they can be.


Positive affirmations are feel-good phrases or statements we say to ourselves or others.

With positive affirmations, we express a desire to achieve a goal, a dream, or an experience we want to bring into our lives. Many people choose positive affirmations relevant to their goals and repeat them every day or week. Maybe even several times a day.

Practicing positive affirmations is simple: all you need to do is say them.

You don’t even need to say them loudly. Whispering to yourself works just as well. And the best part is, there are positive affirmations for anything: self-esteem, professional goals, warding off negative feelings, grief, and, yes, addiction recovery.


Personal affirmations can be beneficial for achieving the right state of mind when recovering from substance abuse. Regularly repeating positive statements about yourself can help change negative thinking patterns and behaviors.

This can lead to improved self-esteem and a more positive outlook on life, which are essential for successful recovery.

Some benefits of positive affirmations include:

  • Aligning your thoughts and beliefs with reality

  • Helping you focus on your goals rather than being weighed down by your problems

  • Reducing stress and anxiety by helping you relax

  • Helping you feel confident and empowered

Changing your thoughts about yourself and your situation can change your feelings. This will help you develop a clearer mind when making decisions and cope better with the stressors in your life.


Follow a few recommendations if you plan to incorporate positive affirmations into your life.

Whether you choose one you find online or create your own, consider this when deciding which one(s) to use:

  • It uses the present tense. Say, “I understand my feelings,” rather than, “I’ll learn to understand my feelings.”

  • It focuses on what you want to achieve rather than what you want to avoid. Instead of saying, “I’m done letting people step on my boundaries,” say, “I enforce my boundaries clearly in my relationships.”

  • It’s relevant. Say, “I create positive environments by treating everyone respectfully,” instead of something too broad, like, “I am a good person to those around me.” Affirmations should feel personal.

  • It’s purposeful. Your affirmation should have a goal. “I am capable of staying sober” establishes a clear and specific purpose.

  • It helps you visualize the goal. Every time you repeat it, imagine yourself achieving your affirmation’s goal. If an affirmation paints a clear picture in your head and is relevant, that’s a good sign.

Finally, for affirmations to contribute to achieving your goal, you must practice what you repeat to yourself for a long enough time. Only then will the positive feelings become a reality you live. Be patient.


So, what positive affirmations for addiction recovery can you say each day to yourself? Some affirmations can help you manage your cravings, stay sober, or practice forgiveness. Here are some to help you get started.

Affirmations for encouragement during hard times:

  • I am on the right path.

  • I am making progress every day.

  • Every day, I am getting closer to my goal.

Affirmation to improve self-esteem:

  • I am worthy and deserve love and respect.

  • I am capable of achieving my goals.

  • I am strong and resilient.

Affirmations to set a positive mindset:

  • I am grateful for the progress I have made in my recovery.

  • I can overcome the challenge of recovery.

  • I can go out of my comfort as part of recovery.

  • I trust myself to make the right decisions.

Affirmations to motivate you to stay sober:

  • I am committed to living a sober life.

  • I am in charge of my recovery.

  • I have control over my choices.

  • My recovery is a process, not an event.

  • I enjoy every day I stay sober.

  • I make choices that keep me safe and healthy.


The words we use can have a significant impact on our lives. When you permit yourself to speak positively to yourself and others, you can face life with a renewed sense of purpose.

Remember that positive affirmations do not make things happen alone.

They’re part of a strategy that, incorporated into treatment, family support, and all other elements of a recovery plan, provides the structure you need to overcome addiction.

- Serene (Addiction Treatment Magazine, 2023)


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