Having an attitude of gratitude is important in recovery. It promotes positive thinking, changes the way we view the world, and can support addiction recovery behavior. It’s a developed mental attitude that can support future success.
There are many benefits of being grateful. People who are grateful avoid unnecessary suffering. They have positive outlooks and less stress in their lives. Getting their way isn't the most important thing anymore. When people are happy with their lives, they usually want others to be happy as well.
There are many ways to maximize feelings of gratitude in recovery. One way is to appreciate simple things. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, take time to relax and concentrate on what makes your life wonderful. It can be simple like noticing the flowers, or taking a quiet walk. Sharing a laugh with a loved one, or appreciating a hug. Noticing the little things makes sobriety worthwhile.
Shifting your mindset is also important. Instead of dwelling on anger, resentments, or things addiction has taken away, focus on the opportunities recovery has given you. You don’t have to manage your secrets or lead a double life. You don’t have to lie, cheat, or steal anymore. You can go to bed and wake up with a clean conscience.
Keeping a gratitude journal is an excellent way to become aware of the simple things that make your life enjoyable. Write them down each day, even if you don’t feel like it. It might seem strange at first, but many people find within a few weeks, they have a positive change in mindset.
I’m grateful each night for my soft sheets and bed. I’m grateful for kisses from my children, and I’m even grateful I get to be with them through the tantrums and stressful times. My addiction could have taken them away from me. My addiction could have taken my warm bed and sheets from me. I can appreciate the simple things in life now, rather than planning when and where my next drink will be, and how I can hide it.
Example Gratitude Journal
Some days may be harder than others to appreciate the small things. This is where a journal can become handy. Flip through the pages of what you wrote to remind yourself that even the small things are miracles. Dealing with stressful situations without taking a drink or hit is something to be grateful for.
Doing something for others can promote gratitude. It takes the focus off yourself and gives one a sense of purpose. It can be extremely rewarding to help others in need. Helping someone without expecting any form of repayment will boost self-esteem and positivity, which will help your own recovery.
It’s not always easy to keep an attitude of gratitude, it’s a process that takes work, but it’s rewarding and fulfilling. It’s easy to fall back into old behaviors of self-pity, negativity, and resentment. If you’re not vigilant, it can lead to isolation and relapse. Gratitude nurtures recovery, while negativity prevents it. If you are suffering from addiction, there are many reputable addiction treatment centers that can help lead you to the road of recovery. We cannot control what happens in life, we can only control our reactions.