Exercising gratitude in addiction recovery helps us have a positive outlook on life, keeps us humble and allows for unselfish behavior.
Addiction destroys the mind, body and spirit. Those that have traveled the road of recovery know it’s a constant battle to keep their mindset positive and avoid ‘stinking thinking’ at all costs. By practicing gratitude in addiction recovery, our feet stay on the ground while reminding us where we were and how far we have come. Here are a few examples of ways to practice gratitude in addiction recovery:
1) Gratitude journal
A great way to cultivate gratitude in addiction recovery is to keep a gratitude journal or notebook. This can be done several ways, but know there is no right or wrong way to write on gratitude. Buy a special notebook and keep daily notes of what you’re grateful for. Write in ‘list form’ or in lengthy paragraphs. If you’re the artsy type, draw pictures of what you’re grateful for. Gratitude notes can also be kept online in an ongoing document. Referring back to a gratitude list reminds us that our sobriety should not be taken for granted. It also shows us what we have to lose if we do.
Practicing gratitude in addiction recovery can be as simple as giving back to someone without expecting anything back. When we do something for someone without expectations or without recognition like a pat on the back, it takes us out of ourselves and makes us feel good. Try it.
3) Mindfulness and meditation
Mindfulness and meditation in addiction recovery also helps in cultivating gratitude. By taking a few minutes every day to appreciate the little and simple things in life such as the quietness, a beautiful sunset or spending time with family. What makes your life so great right now and better than when you were in active addiction? This helps us be grateful for our sobriety.
The importance of developing gratitude in addiction can be summed up with this quote:
“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.”