Gratitude. It’s about acknowledging and appreciating the positive things in our lives, and it’s essential to recovery. Gratitude in recovery can help anyone stay clean and sober. Of all the tools people can learn to help them cope in life without drugs or alcohol, gratitude in recovery is one of the most important, although it can also be one of the most difficult.
Happiness in Recovery
There are many people who consider gratitude to be the key to happiness. When people are dissatisfied with the things they have, and when they focus on the things they don’t have, they are unhappy. If people are truly grateful for the positive things in their life, then they can feel truly happy. If you’re unhappy in your recovery, there is a significant chance that you’re going to relapse. Being grateful for your recovery will allow you to be happy and help you stay sober.
Besides providing a path to happiness, gratitude in recovery can also help you avoid certain pitfalls that often lead to relapse. After you’ve been sober for a period of time, it’s common to start feeling overconfident. You might begin to think that you’re “cured” or fully recovered. You might begin to think that you can handle drinking or using just a little bit. Gratitude in recovery helps you stay connected to your recovery. Being grateful for your sobriety and the positive things in your life reminds you how much better your life is now than when you were using.
Power of Positivity
Gratitude in recovery helps you be happy, and as a result gives you all the benefits and advantages of happiness. Gratitude in recovery is being positive and making lemonade out of life’s lemons. When you’re faced with difficult emotions or situations, your gratitude and positivity help you stay level-headed and cope in a healthy way. Gratitude in recovery lowers your stress level and reduces conflict in your life. Because positivity attracts positive people, you’ll be able to foster good relationships and build a strong support network.
Fostering Gratitude in Recovery
There are many ways that you can practice and foster gratitude in recovery. Here’s a list of a few suggestions.
Gratitude List or Journal: Write down all the things you’re grateful for. Read over the list and add at least one thing to it everyday.
Mindfulness: Mindfulness teaches you to focus on the present, not the past or future. It helps you slow down, be aware of your surroundings and feelings, and be grateful for every moment. Mindfulness goes hand-in-hand with “one day at a time.”
Helping Others: Helping other people is one of the best ways to foster gratitude in recovery and keep your sobriety. It makes you feel good, and it humbles you.
Find the Positive: Whenever you have a negative thought, challenge yourself to turn it into a positive one, even if you’re having a hard time believing it. Challenge yourself to find some good in anything that’s “bad.”
Why is gratitude in recovery important to you? What other ways do you practice it?