How to Maintain an Attitude of Gratitude During Recovery

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. For those in recovery, maintaining gratitude can help reduce risk of relapse, promote a positive mindset, and act as an important tool in managing difficult emotions or situations. The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratus which means ‘pleasing; welcome; agreeable’.

It will also take an effort to get out of the practice of negative thoughts of how we view ourselves. The practice of gratitude, meditation, and deep breathing does gratitude in recovery wonders for calming your physical and emotional being. When you feel overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed, try a guided gratitude meditation to help ground you.

Why Is Gratitude Important in Addiction Recovery?

Addiction can rule a person’s life, as getting and using the drug or drink of choice can dictates actions large and small. Many addicts experience loss of time, as they are not as present when they are using. In recovery, you can be grateful for the opportunity to have the freedom to pursue new hobbies, activities and goals with your newfound time. The world of mental healthcare and counseling uses various terminologies to describe treatments, mental health conditions‌, and more. One such common phrase is ‘level of care,’ which signifies the extent of services a patient needs. Gratitude can also strengthen your relationships and your sense of social connection.

What are the six pillars of gratitude?

These six pillars are: relatedness, sincerity, empathy, self-regard, integrity, and humility. To be able to move from the sense of gratitude as an emotion to gratitude as an action – or deep gratitude – requires a commitment to putting priority on the relationships in our lives.

If you’ve come out of addiction without major health problems, or if recovery allows you to work on health problems, that might be cause for gratitude. Removing a dangerous substance from your everyday life is a huge step towards healthy living. Addiction recovery is a long road and everyone faces the challenge of staying positive and persevering in the face of setbacks.

Gratitude Exercises for Recovery

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. Instead of being frustrated over cravings and withdrawal symptoms, gratitude leads to a thankfulness for being able to overcome without indulgence in drugs or alcohol. To go a step further to tie entitlement to addiction, entitlement can be caused by the convenience of being able to use a substance to get a certain effect.

  • It’s an internal quality — the ability to feel appreciation for a life free from addiction.
  • Gratitude is a kind of emotional glue that helps positive things stick in your mind.
  • Gratitude can also strengthen your relationships and your sense of social connection.

These benefits include not only physical but social and psychological ones as well. When you are mindful, you focus on the task at hand and clear away negative thoughts that may try to creep in. Whether you’re walking your pup, vacuuming or watering your plants, try doing so mindfully. Mindfulness allows you the opportunity to be grateful for each moment, no matter how mundane. A great way to take the focus off yourself and your own difficulties is to help others. Whether you volunteer to bring joy to those in need, practice kindness to someone you love or give generously without expecting to be repaid, these opportunities will fill you with joy.

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