Why Gratitude is Essential in Recovery
The holiday season is a necessary time where friends and family gather to celebrate the past year’s achievements. In the spirit of thanksgiving, you may find yourself thinking about your life and feeling thankful and happy. Unfortunately, not everyone feels that way. Other people may feel depressed or anxious, especially when in recovery.
Now, gratitude has proven to be one of the primary keys to alcohol addiction recovery. Apart from helping you overcome addiction, being grateful has many benefits. This article explains the importance of gratitude in recovery and tips to help you stay grateful.
What is Gratitude?
Gratitude is a feeling or an attitude of being thankful and appreciating something given to you. It could be a tangible gift (like money or clothes) or an intangible thing (like care, attention, or love). When you feel grateful, you acknowledge that something good has been done for you. And this feeling makes you thankful and glad.
Grateful people are usually happy and contented. However, it does not mean you have everything you need. Instead, when you choose gratitude, you will appreciate the things you have. So, you do not need to accomplish all your goals to be grateful. Even in relapse, you can still be grateful and positive.
Why is Gratitude Essential in Recovery?
Gratitude helps develop positive feelings like happiness, positive thinking, and motivation to do better. These feelings are essential for you if you are recovering from addiction. For instance, if your mindset is positive, you would have positive thoughts. Therefore, you would be able to see the brighter side of things. You will also feel motivated to handle a relapse or other challenges.
Positive thinking helps to create good energy. This will make your relationship with people around you healthier. When you practice positive thinking, your mind will hold on to less negative thoughts like bitterness and guilt. Therefore, you will have less negative energy in and around you. Overall, your recovery journey would be much easier, and you just might have some fun along the way.
5 Benefits of Gratitude for Recovery
- It gives you happier emotionsGratitude helps us to experience happy feelings and happy thoughts. When you appreciate the things you have and the people around you, it’s hard to feel resentful or sad. So, getting into the practice of being grateful will help you stay happy and content.This doesn’t mean that you will not feel sad emotions at all. Instead, you will be able to handle challenges gracefully. In addition, gratitude helps you avoid nagging feelings of regret or shame.
- It improves your connection and relation with other peopleWhen people go through alcohol addiction, it becomes challenging to keep up with their relationships. This is because alcohol makes the other things in life seem less relevant. So, one of the steps in recovery is reconnecting with friends and loved ones. Gratitude helps this process to be very meaningful.Communication is more manageable when you express your gratitude to your friends or lover. As a result, you will be a much happier person to be around, and you can enjoy the company of your friend. In the end, you will have more robust and loving relationships.
- It improves your self-esteemFeeling grateful for the things and people you have is an excellent way to improve your self-esteem. The trick is to pay more attention to the good things in your life. Doing this will boost your confidence and help you feel better about your everyday life.Even if your recovery does not go as quickly as you would like, gratitude will help you stay optimistic.
- It helps to improve your focus and reduce stressIf you are struggling with addiction, it could affect your focus at work, business, or home. Being grateful can help you put your thoughts in perspective. Instead of worrying and being haunted by shame, you can appreciate the good things in your life.It could be the fact that you have good health, or a supportive family or the hope that things can get better. Also, gratitude helps to reduce stress. Focusing on the essential things will prevent you from feeling overly anxious or overwhelmed.
- It improves your physical healthGood emotional health is closely associated with physical health. So, there are better chances that recovery treatments will work better when your mindset and thoughts are positive. Also, happy thoughts make for good sleep. And good sleep is necessary for good health.So, if you find it hard to catch a good night’s rest, you should try practicing gratitude. You can keep a mental note of the good things that happened during your day. Thinking about these will help you feel thankful and bring you some satisfaction. In turn, you will feel better about your worries and go to bed with a clearer mind.
How to Stay Grateful
- Be intentional about taking noticeYou should consciously choose to always stay grateful. If you are not intentional about it, you could take good things for granted. So, the first step is to choose to always be thankful for the blessings you have every day. Did someone tell you a good joke? Did you have help lifting your groceries? It could even be a moment of sharing someone else’s happiness. These are things you must take note of and be grateful for.
- Appreciate and focus on the little thingsOne of the ways to keep practicing gratitude is to take notice of the beautiful parts of each day. It’s easy to forget that some things are working out well when bad things happen to us. For instance, when addicts relapse and drink, they can become overwhelmed with feelings of shame and disappointment.Relapse is actually a vital step in recovery. What you should do instead is to get back on track and be grateful for each day you stay sober. Doing this will help you appreciate every day of sobriety.
- Do good to peopleUsually, we feel good when we do good deeds for other people. So, if you get an opportunity to help someone out, take it. Doing service to others will help you appreciate your ability to help. For example, a gesture such as holding a door open can make a big difference to someone else. Even if they don’t say “thank you”, helping others will give you a sense of fulfillment and thankfulness.
- Express gratitude to friends and familyDo you give compliments when people show you kindness? This is quite important because it prevents us from taking them for granted. Also, when you express gratitude to people around you, they will feel encouraged to do more.
- Keep up with things or people who motivate youThe building or joining a community is an easy way to help you stay consistent. Since the goal is to appreciate things around you, you should engage in exciting activities. For example, you could spend time catching up with shows you love or people who share your interests. Engaging in these activities will help you put things in perspective while thinking happy thoughts.
Indeed, recovery can be challenging if you do not have the right resources around you. These include friends, family, and a community of people committed to your treatment. At ecosoberhouse.com, we are devoted to making your recovery a successful and life-changing experience. If you are experiencing alcohol addiction or know someone who is, feel free to reach out to us. We would love to be of help.