At their core, cognitive-behavioral therapy and positive psychology theory believe in the power of individuals to change themselves.

This is not to diminish the role that environment, biology and other factors play in human behavior.

It simply emphasizes that we as humans have the unique ability to change how we think, and hopefully, how we feel and behave.

Dr. Martin Seligman developed a model that cogently explains how our thinking styles actually influence how we view negative life events. He also explored the effect that our thinking style can have on our resilience.

Through decades of research, Dr. Seligman found that “Optimistic Thinkers” experience much less depression and anxiety than “Pessimistic Thinkers.”

Being a Pessimistic Thinker doesn’t mean you’ll become depressed as you hit bumps in the road of life. It does, however, mean that you may be more prone to experiencing and remaining depressed after an adverse life event.  Pessimism is often associated with helplessness and helplessness is strongly correlated with depression.

If you think and believe that nothing you do will matter, you’re more likely to do nothing or keep doing the same thing over and over (and remember, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome is also known as insanity!).

Simply trying to remain more optimistic about your self-efficacy, your ability to change your circumstances and your ability to change can be a strong influence in your recovery from depression, anxiety or a substance use disorder.

Life is full of setbacks. It’s not the setbacks or failures that depress us, it’s what we tell ourselves about these setbacks.

Remaining optimistic that change is possible, does happen and is achievable despite obstacles goes a long way in enhancing your experience with recovery from a substance use or mood disorder and has been shown to improve your overall satisfaction with your life.

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