Using Reflection in Addiction Treatment
Reflection includes any inner awareness we gain as we spend time alone with the intent to understand ourselves. Personal reflection helps us unveil stressors, addictions, motivations, joys, and pains when we ask ourselves questions on how they impact us. We can be still within ourselves, as well as being candid to unlock our light.
When we take time to reflect, we are growing in new ways. We can connect to ourself or a higher power to re-create an authentic life. Reflection can include mindfulness of our behaviors, thoughts, and actions via meditation, personal honesty, or talking to trusted friends and professionals. Taking personal reflection breaks weekly also reveals commitment to putting yourself first and re-engaging with life after treatment.
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Reflective writing is a form of self-awareness practice that can both be used in treatment and continued post-treatment. This is when we use journals in order to delve deep and write about our personal likes and dislikes, as well as any other thoughts within ourselves. To gain insight on how we are or why we do the things we do, we can begin with asking ourselves some questions for growth. Examples of personal questions we can ask ourselves include:
- What are my strengths?
- What makes me unique?
- What aspects of myself should I improve?
- Am I hurting myself or others? (If so, how?)
- What makes me happy or unhappy?
- Am I pleasing myself or others?
- What are my goals?
- Where do I see myself in 5 years?
Reflective writing also opens the floodgates for descriptive writing, such as emotional expression, plans for success, and goal setting. Reflecting on ourselves creates an inspiring self-awareness and illuminates our true natures.
Self-Awareness and Reflection
Self-awareness can arise when we reflect on our strengths and weaknesses. Reflection creates self-honesty, giving us an opportunity to embrace both what we are most proud of and what we may hide. The side of ourselves that we hide is known as the shadow side and may reveal truths about our personalities that answer concerns about how we react.
By embracing our positive and negative truths, we are understanding how we function on a core level. Our shadow side can include emotions such as anger, regret, shame, jealousy, guilt, or insecurity, any of which may be part of one’s past with addiction. Seeing this part of ourselves with compassion and accepting we have grown into a healthier space is healing. Self-awareness is a pathway to transformation. Exploring our shadows along with our strengths helps us understand ourselves in a balanced perspective, better managing our being.
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Understanding Our Reactions Through Reflection
Other areas of self-awareness we can learn from include understanding our values, habits, needs, and emotional expressions. When we understand our pain and areas of trauma, we can control how we react to situations. We can practice reducing sources of stress in our lives, for instance, and feel motivated to make a change to better suit our lifestyles. This also allows us to better connect with people around us as we relate the way we are to how others behave.
Lack of Self-Reflection
A lack of self-reflection can result in both inner and external conflict. If we don’t know ourselves and are unable to accept ourselves, we may not have the ability to achieve core change. How will we know where to start? How will we understand which areas needs healing the most? When we spend too much time living an inauthentic life, trying to fit in versus embracing our uniqueness, giving too much credit to others, or not motivating ourselves to make needed changes, we remain stuck. Our relationships can suffer, and our self-esteem becomes compromised.
Self-Reflection and Getting Treated for Addiction
Do you know someone who battles with addiction and is in need of help? Do you find yourself reflecting on ways you can transform your own life into sobriety? If so, contact a treatment professional who can help you get the therapy needed to heal and create a life of wellness.
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