We have written before about the importance of reducing negative self-talk and replacing it with affirmations that can help support self-esteem, lessen stress, and support sobriety for a person in recovery from a substance use disorder.

In this entry, we want to look at some examples of affirmations and explore the larger messages behind them. Sometimes, an affirmation might seem unnatural or even silly. But if you think of your affirmations as shorthand or slogans for larger ideas, it can be easier to lean into making them part of your daily life as you work toward maintaining your sobriety.

The affirmations we will be considering here are drawn from this list of 100 affirmations for people in recovery. We will be considering just a handful, but you might take some time to look through the longer list to see what does—and what doesn’t—resonate with you. Often, the key to making affirmations work for you is finding the statement or statements that really have meaning for your own life. You want your positive self-talk to be meaningful to you rather than just a set of generic platitudes.

Examples of Affirmations and the Ideas Behind Them

I choose to live in the present.

It might seem obvious that all of us live in the present all of the time. But the reality is that many of us spend lots and lots of time ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. Replaying old mistakes or imagining potential new mistakes is not particularly healthy for anyone—and it is downright dangerous for a person in recovery from a substance use disorder. Staying present in the moment is a great way to lessen feelings of regret or anxiety that might upend your sobriety. Mindfulness practice is one great way to get more accustomed to living in the present. This affirmation is a great way to remind yourself to focus on that effort.

Today I am brave—and I have the courage to say ‘no.’

We are actually combining two affirmations from our source list for this one. Most of us don’t feel very brave most of the time. But a person in recovery from a substance use disorder has already proven they are brave by going through treatment and working each and every day to stay sober. Meanwhile, staying sober often means having the courage to say no—not just to drugs and alcohol, but to toxic relationships, high stress levels, unhealthy lifestyle choices, and more. This blended affirmation is a great way to remind yourself that you have already demonstrated bravery and that you can use that bravery to reject things and situations that threaten your sobriety.

Today is full of possibilities

It can be oh-so-easy to think of our days as an ongoing series of challenges, puzzles, and obstacles. When we think about life that way, we are likely to feel anxiety, sadness, and just plain tiredness. But if you can shift your thinking just a little bit by changing “challenges” to “possibilities,” you can reframe each day into a series of positive moments that are filled with potential. That reframing can take practice, and this affirmation can help you make and maintain that change of focus.

The world is a beautiful place.

The notion that the world is filled with beauty can be a hard thing to remember. After all, the world can also be filled with ugliness—and we hear so much about the ugliness all of the time. In fact, some people start using drugs or alcohol in the first place as a way to distract themselves from all the ugliness in the world. But as with our last affirmation, this one invites you to shift your focus from all the bad in the world to all of the good. Of course, sometimes we have to come to grips with the negative things happening in our personal world and the world at large—but that can be easier if you keep this affirmation firmly in mind and look for the beauty around you each day.

I am on a good path.

This affirmation is so important. The recovery journey is long, and it can be extremely challenging. But when your path includes sobriety, it is the right path for you. Keeping that at the forefront of your mind can make difficulties seem more manageable—and can even encourage you if you experience a relapse and need to head back into treatment. If the path is pointing you back to sobriety, you are headed in the right direction. This affirmation is like a compass you can trust to keep you on track.

Get On the Path to Wooded Glen Recovery Center

Located in Henryville, Indiana, Wooded Glen Recovery Center provides personalized treatment for substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health disorders. If you are struggling with drugs or alcohol, we can help through medically supervised detoxification, a rehabilitation program built around group and individual therapy, and a continuum of care designed to help you start your recovery journey with confidence. Long and short: When it comes to substance use disorders, we affirm that we can help.