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Are Your Emotions Sober? Are Your Emotions Sober? Practical Ways to Improve Your Well-Being John Howard Prin, LADC Practical Ways to Improve Your Well-Being.

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Presentation on theme: "Are Your Emotions Sober? Are Your Emotions Sober? Practical Ways to Improve Your Well-Being John Howard Prin, LADC Practical Ways to Improve Your Well-Being."— Presentation transcript:

1 Are Your Emotions Sober? Are Your Emotions Sober? Practical Ways to Improve Your Well-Being John Howard Prin, LADC Practical Ways to Improve Your Well-Being John Howard Prin, LADC Minnesota Recovery Connection April 17, 2014

2 John Prin BIO Licensed Alcohol & Drug Counselor,15 years: ♦ In-Patient and Out-patient ♦ Former Hazelden counselor ♦ Current Private Practice as Educator/Speaker Author of three recovery books: ♦ Stolen Hours ♦ Secret Keeping ♦ Roadmap to Lifelong Recovery www.TrueYouRecovery.comFounder of TrueYouRecovery in Minneapolis

3 Today’s Focus The Problem The way a person in sobriety reacts to life’s challenges, difficulties, and surprises may arouse emotions that are stronger, bigger, or more intense than the situation calls for. Out-of-control emotions can lead to relapse. The Solution When a person in sobriety chooses to respond to life’s up and downs, rather than reacting, s/he gains perspective on those situations and maintains emotional equilibrium. This balance fosters healthy recovery.

4 In a Nutshell… From… Self-medicating emotions To… Self-regulating emotions From… Emotional Extremes To… Emotional Equilibrium

5 Tools I Found Effective “ Acceptance ” paragraph (p. 417 Big Book) “Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.” The Promises (p. 83-84 Big Book) “We will know a new freedom and a new happiness” “We will comprehend the word serenity and know peace” “We will see how our experience can benefit others” Gratitude Book - One thing I’m thankful for each day Earnie Larsen’s Stage II - Self Talk Exercises Emotions Anonymous - “Just For Today’s”

6 Bill W.’s Essay “THE NEXT FRONTIER: EMOTIONAL SOBRIETY” January 1958 Key points in essay: After successful sobriety from alcohol, "many oldsters" still lacked emotional sobriety. Bill included himself. Even successfully sober, and linked with the Fellowship of AA, “peace and joy may still elude us.” Emotional Sobriety’s Main Goal: “How to translate a right mental conviction into a right emotional result, into easy, happy and good living.”

7 “A right emotional result Easy, Happy, Good living ”

8 TAMING The BEAST Emotions that remain unmanageable make us – and our loved ones – miserable. Bill asked: “How shall our unconscious be brought into line with what we actually believe, know and want.”

9 BASIC FLAW “Frightful and faulty dependencies” Dependence on "prestige, security, perfectionist dreams" leads to DEPRESSION Failure to grow up, emotionally and spiritually... …is due to the "pain from demanding the impossible – adolescent urges, seeking top approval, perfectionism."

10 HOW TO CHANGE? “If we examine every disturbance we have, great or small, we will find at the root of it some unhealthy dependency and its consequent unhealthy demand.” “We can be set free to live and love if we surrender these hobbling demands.”


12 “Emotional sobriety is about finding balance and maintaining our emotional equilibrium.” We do so by improving our ability to self-regulate “Balance occurs when our thinking, feelings and behavior are congruent, when we operate in an integrated flow.” Clinically speaking… Self Regulation Clinically speaking… Self Regulation Tian Dayton, PhD

13 YOUR TURN Pairs Exercise Select a partner Take turns answering two questions: 1.Describe a person you know in recovery who regulates his/her emotions successfully. 2.Describe a person you know in recovery who regulates his/her emotions poorly.

14 My Journey from Emotional Hijacking While Addicted In Recovery Self Pity  Gratitude Rage  Forgiveness Envy  Acceptance Despair  Hope, trust GOAL: To regulate my emotions, inner and outer, appropriate to the reality of the situation

15 Insights from My 4 th Step MAJOR DISCOVERY: Behind my feelings (stronger and “bigger” when addicted) were thoughts and unexamined statements I made to myself (self-talk) that triggered unpleasant feelings I had to escape.  “Life cheats me” Anger, blame, hostility  “My hopes and dreams fail” Shame, guilt, inferiority  “Others have it better than me” Fear, distrust, aggression

16 Replacing Negative with New Negative New  “Life cheats me”  “Life blesses me”  “My hopes & dreams fail”  “I celebrate my successes”  “Others have it better  “I am worthy and equal than me” to others”

17 The Value of Repetition Hint: HABIT Once replaced, each new reasonable/ rational thought needed repeating until it took over – often daily for 3 to 6 weeks. New Thought New Feelings  “Life blesses me” Joy, gratitude, hope  “I celebrate my successes” Optimism, satisfaction  “I am worthy & equal to others” Serenity, peace, centered

18 Ways to Come into Balance Resolve early childhood wounds Learn ways to self-soothe naturally Develop a strong relationship network Maintain a healthy body with exercise, rest, nutrition, and sensual pleasure Find meaningful activities, work, hobbies, passions Process emotional ups and down as they happen Develop inner resources, quiet meditation,spiritual pursuits THANKS to Tian Dayton, PhD

19 Albert Ellis - 1950s Father of CBT Our emotions stem mainly from our beliefs, evaluations, interpretations, and reactions (“cognitions”) to life situations. These cognitions can be either rational (realistic, logical) or irrational (dysfuntional, maladaptive).

20 Emotional Disturbances People develop “emotional disturbances” and behavioral difficulties when they take their valid desires for love, approval, success and make the mistake of perceiving them as dire needs. Emotional Disturbances largely result from irrational, self-defeating thinking: * “If I don’t get my way, I will go to pieces” * “I must do better, or I’m a complete failure” * “I ought to have success, but life is never fair”

21 Basic CBT Model 1.When a person is skilled at Identifying 2.and Refuting irrational beliefs, 3. and has learned to Replace these ineffective ways of thinking with effective and rational (realistic, logical) cognitions, 4. the Result is one’s emotional reactions to situations improve.

22 Earnie Larsen’s Stage II Thoughts  Feelings  Actions  Results  Thoughts  Feelings  Actions  Results  Also POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY

23 Positive Self Talk Negative self-definition >>> (leads to) Negative behavior >>> (leads to) Negative results >>> (lead to) This Cycle is reversed when the person replaces NEG Self-Talk with POS “The better the Discovery, the better the Recovery.” - Earnie Larsen Healthy SELF TALK fuels a person’s Emotional Sobriety:

24 Replacing Self-Talk OLD Self TalkNEW Self Talk Change“Alcohol is my best friend”To“Alcohol is my worst enemy” Change“I’ll never be somebody”To“I am somebody” Change“Life is out to get me”To“Life is full of opportunities” Change“I don’t matter to anybody”To“I matter a lot / am worthy” Change“Life cheats me”To“Life blesses me” Positive Self-Talk Boosts Emotional Sobriety Positive Self-Talk Boosts Emotional Sobriety

25 Stage II Recovery (Earnie Larsen) Stage I (Get Sober)Stage II (Stay Sober) PastPresent & Future ProblemSolution Disease/CrisisHealth/Growth ConsequencesAmends Destructive BeliefsConstructive Beliefs IsolationFellowship SELFOTHERS

26 Emotions Anonymous “A 12-Step program for those seeking emotional health.” The Choice is Mine: “Just for today I will try to adjust myself to what is and not force everything to adjust to my own desires.” List of “Just for Todays”… …pick 3 that you like See SAMPLES in HANDOUTS

27 True You Recovery Services Minneapolis, MN 55439

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