Understanding the positives that sobriety brings and equally recognizing the harm substance abuse causes in all aspects of life are traits strengthened by gratitude. A grateful person knows sobriety is essential to healing the harm caused by addiction to themselves and to others. Having a sense of gratitude replaces embarrassment and frustration with thankfulness. A grateful person isn’t ashamed to thank a friend for checking in on them.

the importance of gratitude in recovery

Many times people think, sure but I can’t control what goes on around me and what others do and say. And while this is completely true, what we can control is our thoughts. Gratitude allows an individual to celebrate the present and be an active participant in their life. The body needs healthy foods to heal from addiction, so improving your diet can play a major part in recovery. Explore new foods, or learn to cook – but take specific steps to give your body the energy it needs to work on recovery. Drugs and alcohol can take a severe toll on the body and brain, and an overdose can leave a user permanently disabled, or dead.

How We Express Gratitude

Instead, it can improve your gratitude and remind you that the fight to stay sober is worth the effort. Practicing gratitude is all about being grateful and thankful for what you have. When you focus on all the things you don’t have, it creates an attitude of ungratefulness and fosters negative emotions like jealousy and anger. Negativity can be detrimental to your recovery and make a life in sobriety seem dark, empty, and lonely.

  • At the very least, it can be helpful for improving negative emotional states.
  • Our program goes above and beyond to empower individuals during their recovery.
  • Another way to express gratitude is to write thank-you notes to the people who have made a difference in your life.
  • Gratitude shouldn’t only be practiced when something amazing happens, like receiving a job offer at your dream career or seeing a long-distance friend.
  • Gratitude, referred to as one of the “foundational virtues in the creation of happiness” [3], works at combatting the negative emotions that may be present in recovery.

These small instances of gratitude can amount to a bigger overall impact on your mental health. Gratitude is best experienced and expressed in the present moment, rather than as a distant concept. To truly enjoy gratitude, try to be present in each moment when you’re with someone or doing something you love. When the moment has passed, reflect on the people and experiences that have had a positive impact on your recovery journey.

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Here, some people choose to keep a gratitude journal or to note down things they’re grateful for in other ways. You can choose to do this if you need a structured way to consistently notice what you are thankful for. Gratitude is can be defined as “feeling thankful about something or someone.” It is expressing or feeling emotion for that thing or a person you have in your life. By thinking positively and being grateful for what we have, we can live a more fruitful, favorable life. During these Step 10 personal inventories, we can note these tendencies and commit to changing them.

the importance of gratitude in recovery

Conditioning your mind to be thankful instead of sorry is a sure sign your attitude of gratitude is improving. Making a list of ten things you are grateful for each morning is a great way to start off the day in a positive way. From new shoes to just having shoes to wear, when we sit and take a look there really is so much to be grateful for each day. Sure, maybe you are new in recovery and keep telling yourself you’ve wasted years using and should’ve gotten sober sooner. Research into the benefits of regular gratitude practices shows an increase in the body’s ability to fight illness including reducing the risk of heart failure. You stub your toe on the way out of bed or you spill your coffee all over your clean shirt?

Gratitude helps you stay positive.

In working the 12 steps, people in recovery learn the true meaning of gratitude as they experience a spiritual awakening in recovery and work to apply it to their everyday lives. Recovery is difficult, and maintaining a sense of gratitude can be crucial to a full and lasting recovery. By expressing thankfulness for everything you have in your life, you can begin to see the glass as half full rather than half empty. Additionally, gratitude has been linked with increased resilience, better sleep, and improved physical and mental health. So, if you’re looking for a way to boost your recovery, start by practicing gratitude. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and pessimistic when living through the challenges of addiction recovery.

the importance of gratitude in recovery

Some people continue to experience insomnia for the first several months after getting sober. This is a problem because poor and inadequate sleep has been linked to a number of mental health issues, including major depression and anxiety disorders. That’s clearly not a complication you want while recovering from a substance use disorder, or really at any time. Recovery from addiction isn’t only a matter of abstaining from drugs and alcohol; it’s about feeling good about your life without drugs and alcohol. Recovery is a holistic process that involves mind, body, and spirit. Psychotherapy plays a major role in recovery, as do healthy lifestyle changes such as getting plenty of quality sleep, eating a healthy whole-food diet, and exercising regularly.

If you recently completed drug rehab, you most likely learned a few (if not many) valuable life lessons that changed you for the better. Reflecting on these life lessons and asking yourself what you’ve learned in the last week, month, or year is a great way to practice gratitude and reflect on your own personal growth in recovery. Gratitude isn’t just a nice thing to practice — it’s essential for long-term recovery. the importance of gratitude in recovery Being grateful reminds us that even when things go wrong, there are still plenty of things to be thankful for. Having a grateful mindset allows to take on challenges with a positive mindset and instead of seeing relapse as a failure, we can see it as an opportunity to improve. Practicing gratitude also teaches us how to love and respect ourselves, which enables us to love and respect others as well.

  • If gratitude doesn’t come easily during your recovery, there are practices you can follow to retrain your mind toward this more positive outlook.
  • It’s easier to look at the struggles of recovery as a prison rather than a gift during the early stages.

For a lot of people, this seemingly negative event sets off a train of thought and then everything seems to go wrong for the rest of the day. You’ll hear people say, “I shouldn’t have gotten out of bed this morning.” This reflects the negative thinking that just draws more and more to it. Gratitude is defined as the quality of being grateful; readiness to show appreciation for and return kindness. Basically, gratitude is seeing what is good in life and the goodness in others. The flip side is being resentful and seeing what’s wrong in life, not what’s right.

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When we first get clean and sober, our lives are filled with chaos and confusion. Faced with a variety of problems created when we lived our lives in active addiction, the idea of feeling grateful about anything seems pretty absurd. But even those of us just beginning our recovery journey have much about which to feel grateful. And as our recovery progresses, our sense of gratitude expands as well, eventually becoming woven into nearly every part of our lives.

  • On the other hand, gratitude can also arise more outwardly towards others who have helped in your recovery process.
  • Recovery is never simple, nor easy, but through gratitude, you may find a more optimistic, productive, thoughtful version of you.
  • If you’re already using a journal to support your recovery, you can add a gratitude section or allot part of every entry to record things that you’re grateful for that day.
  • Whether those things are slip ups and relapses, problems at work or in your personal life, or even small things like traffic lights, you need to learn to accept them and be grateful for life anyway.
  • In recovery, gratitude is a foundational principle that helps to diminish the self-centered nature of addiction and cultivate a positive mindset.

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