Living longer tied to gratitude for positives in life, Harvard study suggests

gratitude in recovery

The thoughts can snowball until we’ve worked ourselves into a state of restlessness and discontent. Cultivating gratitude and a positive attitude why is gratitude important in recovery is an important aspect of recovery. It can help you divert your attention away from substance use to focus on what fulfills you.

Start a gratitude journal

It means recognizing the blessings and goodness in our lives, even during challenging and difficult times. Gratitude is usually accompanied by feelings of joy, contentment, and humility. It is a worthwhile trait for any person to pursue and practice, but all the more so when that person has gratitude while in recovery. Many great thinkers and philosophers have applied definitions to gratitude.

This restaurant gives hope to those in recovery, one shift at a time

However, maintaining a sense of gratitude can help you stay focused on what is important and find strength in difficult times. In the journey of recovery, cultivating gratitude plays a significant role in promoting healing and overall well-being. By incorporating gratitude practices into daily life, individuals can experience a positive shift in their mindset and perspective.

gratitude in recovery

Renewal Center for Ongoing Recovery

gratitude in recovery

It is acknowledged in step ten, encouraging individuals to continue taking personal inventory and promptly admit to wrongdoing. Having friends, family members, or peers who stand by your side, offering encouragement, understanding, and unconditional love throughout your recovery journey. Such exercises in gratitude can change people’s perspective and transform minds and hearts for the better in the interests of successful, long-term recovery. In other words, focusing on what you can be grateful for can help to insulate you from the old resentments and negative emotions that probably drove you to drink or use drugs in the first place. Gratitude truly is for everyone, but it is so powerful for those struggling through recovery.

  • It counters negative emotions that can lead to relapse during recovery.
  • Being around people who are optimistic, supportive, and encouraging can boost your mood and inspire you to perform gratitude more often.
  • Even if you feel strong in recovery, try these exercises to make gratitude a habit.

gratitude in recovery

When you communicate with other people, express what you are thankful for. If you accomplished something at work, don’t be afraid to pat yourself on the back and let people know how happy it made you. When others share their successes, listen, and let their gratitude rub off on you too. David Beasley is a compassionate leader and the visionary founder of Design for Recovery Sober Living Homes, where he dedicates his life to helping individuals reclaim their lives from addiction. Try setting a consistent schedule for your gratitude activity by doing it in the morning when you wake up or at night before you go to sleep. You can also try practicing gratitude throughout the day by noticing and appreciating the small things in your life that make it better.

Removing a dangerous substance from your everyday life is a huge step towards healthy living. 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. You may also want to create a dedicated gratitude journal to keep you focused. Scientific research [2] has proven that gratitude actually improves our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. When we are grateful, we are in a positive frame of mind, we see the good in others, we build healthier relationships, and we are optimistic about the future. We feel satisfied and content – all of which enables us to feel better in body, mind, and spirit.

Gratitude Practices in Recovery

But addiction specialists say that it’s important to reflect on those mistakes, learn from them and make a plan to do things differently next time – not assume that you’re a failure who will never recover. When addiction rules most aspects of life, it can be difficult to recognize and take advantage of new opportunities to learn, grow, and change. Recovery allows you to explore new opportunities and make new connections without the distraction of drugs or alcohol. The greatest thing about practicing gratitude is that you can decide how you will do it. You can incorporate exercises, activities, or actions into your daily life to support your recovery. Aside from the positive energy it brings, gratitude helps us to focus on the present moment and its blessings right now.

  • This is achieved with the emphasis we put on community and peer support.
  • Countless studies have found that people who actively practice gratitude report higher levels of happiness and are less likely to suffer from depression.
  • And while it may not come easily at first, just like negative thinking is a habit for some, being grateful can become a habit too.

gratitude in recovery

Then when we feel gratitude slipping away, we can re-engage with whichever practices help us to feel connected with our Higher Power and other people. We can observe our expectations and attitudes while working Step 10, which we should perform on a daily basis. It’s an attitude of appreciation where we internally acknowledge the blessings that our life already contains, and we shift our focus away from what we lack. Gratitude will help you seek out these connections and communities, find and feel value in them, and share positive, connecting sentiments with people who have earned your trust. Conditioning your mind to be thankful instead of sorry is a sure sign your attitude of gratitude is improving.

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