The Importance of Gratitude in Alcoholism Recovery

Overcoming addiction is an ongoing process, and the work to stay free of substance abuse never truly stops. One of the reasons people backslide is the sheer frustration of how long recovery takes. The easy thing to do is become bitter and disenchanted with recovery and return to the old comfort zone of indulging addiction. Understanding the benefits of showing gratitude in recovery can help you adopt a grateful attitude that fosters an important sense of positivity.

Why is gratitude important?

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.

Harnessing science, love and the wisdom of lived experience, we are a force of healing and hope ​​​​​​​for individuals, families and communities affected by substance use and mental health conditions. For this reason, gratitude and humility are vitally important to practice throughout the process of recovery, and after. Both gratitude and humility oppose and breakdown the emotional and mental walls we build up within ourselves. To practice gratitude is the choice to see the world in a new and unselfish way.

Express gratitude to others.

If you are in recovery or have a loved one working the steps, though, it’s likely that gratitude is more of a daily than an annual recognition. That’s because it’s an essential part of the recovery process. Gratitude in recovery can help you stay clean and live sober.

Think about how good it is to laugh deeply, to be able to get out and experience the beauties of nature, or to hold a newborn baby. When we see every day as a blessing in our life, these simple things will become what is important to us. Even that act of kindness of someone holding open a door will have a deeper meaning. Active addiction can carry with it a lot of shame, guilt, and remorse, and it’s critical to counterbalance these feelings with gratitude, hope, and wellness. Instead of getting lost in negative emotions, use gratitude to be thankful you are in recovery and are fully present in your life. Gratitude helps reduce or even eliminate emotional and physical triggers as well.

Showing Gratitude to Yourself

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. Positive thinking and a positive outlook can influence behavior and aid in leading a sustainable recovery-oriented life. Those suffering from substance abuse or addiction tend to show signs of depression, and are self-centered, thinking of their own needs. With gratitude comes a less selfish attitude and more satisfaction in their needs being met and they can focus their attention on others. Gratitude helps people to become more optimistic, more in control of their lives, and offer a less stressful environment. Gratitude, thankfulness, and appreciation – paying attention to the positive things in your life is an important part of a healthy outlook on living.

why is gratitude important in recovery

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Why Gratitude Matters and How It Can Transform Recovery

This will help you in times when your will falters or something bad happens and you need to be resilient. Recovery from addiction is a great achievement, but it is not an end point. If you have struggled with addiction, relapse is always a risk. Anything you can do to reduce the risk of using again supports and strengthens your recovery. People who practice gratitude are more resilient and can recover better from trauma. Gratitude practice makes you more likely to exercise and make other healthy lifestyle choices. Practicing gratitude means recognizing the good in your life and paying it back.

why is gratitude important in recovery

They view their current situation as unsatisfactory, and they might not have much hope that things will improve in the future. Stinking thinking is a dangerous for people in recovery, because it can easily lead to relapse. The key to combating this negative mode of thought is to become more grateful for the positive things in life. Everyone will find that they do have things to feel good about if they look. For anyone who is in recovery, these thoughts can be detrimental. Many times people with an alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder can quickly go down this path of negative thinking.

What is Residential Mental Health Treatment?

A grateful attitude propels you through life, sporting a compassionate heart versus a chip on your shoulder. In fact, integrating gratitude into your daily life becomes, in essence, a reflection of the spiritual awakening you’ve experienced in recovery. Recovery is often referred to as a journey, not a destination. During the journey, every step along the way can and should be a source of greater hope and optimism for the future you are working to create for yourself. Practicing gratitude allows you to “switch gears” mentally and see the positivity and hopefulness in the process. Through this change in perspective, you can renew your strength and regain momentum to propel you toward your goals.

  • A gratitude journal is basically like the intervention used in the study above.
  • By cultivating this in addiction treatment and in recovery, we develop a better mindset overall and have a much more positive perspective on life.
  • The second group was asked to write about things that annoyed them that week.
  • It is almost impossible to feel ingratitude when serving others.
  • If individuals are grateful to be on the road to recovery, then it is less likely they will relapse because they are empowered to move forward.

You may also want to create a dedicated gratitude journal to keep you focused. Talk with others about gratitude in recovery what makes them feel grateful – Always, it can be helpful to get an outside perspective on things.

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