Around the holidays, we tend to hear a lot about the power of gratitude – especially Thanksgiving. Families and friends gather around the table and offer thankfulness for the opportunity to visit and for the blessings in life. For those in recovery from addiction, gratitude is something that you may want to think about more often than the holidays though. In fact, gratitude can be quite a powerful force in your life, helping you remain on the sobriety path long-term.
What Is Gratitude?
Gratitude is essentially feeling thankful. It’s a state of being where your heart is brewing with gladness because of something. Why does it matter in recovery from addiction?Because gratitude can become a mindset that helps you stay sober and grow in every area of your life. It’s a force that can help you resist reverting back to old thought patterns that can send you spiraling emotionally, which can lead you to feeling triggered to drink or pick up again. The power of gratitude is so great that it’s studied extensively at Heartmath Institute. With various studies, researchers have found that when someone intentionally offers gratitude, it produces an emotional and energetic change in the body – for the better. The more often the person does this, the more likely they experience happier and more peaceful emotions – something anyone would appreciate!
Many who are in recovery openly admit that when they were in active addiction, they were more selfish than not. In fact, some admit to being more concerned about themselves and their drug of choice than anyone else.
By adopting an attitude of gratitude, you’re far less prone to falling prey to that type of selfishness. When you can wake up in the morning and offer gratitude for your breath, legs to walk, shelter, food, etc., your day just goes better. You’ve got your mind set on the good things in your life, even if you don’t think there are too many.
A Gratitude List
It’s not uncommon for 12 Step sponsors to encourage their sponsees to make frequent gratitude lists. While it may be annoying to the sponsees, the sponsors are trying to help them grow in their recovery. By actively saying, “thank you” for those things in their life that they are grateful for, they create some positive momentum.The fact that gratitude can help with attitude and happiness levels is backed by scientific studies too, which is why many addiction treatment centers will touch on the topic during treatment. Learning how to regularly have a grateful heart will just help you be a happier person.
How To Cultivate A Heart Of Gratitude
It’s likely you won’t cultivate a heart of gratitude overnight, but as with anything, it’s a process. In recovery, you’re busy learning about addiction and doing the inner healing work to heal any wounds that have been hiding under the surface. The more you work at your recovery, the easier it will be for you to grow your level of gratitude in your heart.
Sometimes it just takes a leap of faith, believing that as you sow seeds of gratitude, you’ll reap the benefits.
The following are some simple things you can do to cultivate an attitude of gratitude:
Take Note Of The Simple Things In Your Life
It’s easy to take little things for granted; a hot shower, friendly dog, family that loves you, roof over the head, vehicle to drive, food in the belly, heart beating, and so on. When you take time to sit and think about all the good things in your life, you’re in a state of gratitude. Think of the things that you’re blessed with and write them down. You may not have everything you want, but you likely do have a lot of good things. Appreciate what you have and allow the power of gratitude to create more positive momentum in your life.
Appreciate Your Sobriety
You’re sober and that’s something to be really grateful for. Even if you’ve relapsed, but you’re back on track, be grateful for being back. Try to offer thanks each day for your sobriety and lessons learned along the way. This positive attitude can help you stay sober. You can also start a “Gratitude Journal”, where you jot down the things you appreciate from day to day. It’s a great tool to look at when you’re having a rough day.
Be Of Service
Have you ever helped someone out and felt super good afterwards? Being of service helps you feel grateful, as well as the people you help. If you’re not sure how to be of service, just help anyone that comes your way that has a need. If you attend support group meetings, see if they need help. If you know someone who is struggling with something, be a friend and reach out. Help your spouse. Your children. Your neighbor. There are hundreds of ways to bless others, and bet and believe as you do, you’ll feel great.
Make The Effort
If you want to become more grateful, it’s going to take some effort. Start being more mindful as you go about your day, remembering to say “thank you” for all the good things. Put notes on your walls, in your car, and at the office to serve as reminders. Over time, feeling grateful will simply become a way of life for you, and its likely others will notice. They may even ask you how you can be so grateful or happy, which gives you an opportunity to share with them the power of gratitude.
Need Addiction Recovery Help?
If you’re not yet on the addiction recovery path, know that there is a way out of addiction. Here at iRecover Treatment Centers in Alberta, British Columbia, and Newfoundland, we’re here around the clock to assist you. Addiction treatment in Canada can be just what you need to begin creating the kind of life you truly desire. Give us a call at 877-387-4155 and get started on your recovery journey now.
If your loved one needs addiction treatment, know that professional help is available and helpful. Here at iRecover Treatment Centers in Alberta and British Columbia, we’re here around the clock to assist those in need any way we can. Addiction treatment in Canada can be just what your loved one needs to get free and begin creating the kind of life they truly desire.