The Importance of Showing Gratitude in Addiction Recovery

After 10 weeks of doing this practice just once a week, the group that had written about things they were grateful for reported feeling better about their lives and were more optimistic. As a bonus, they also reported exercising more and going to the doctor less than the participants who had written about things that annoyed them. Another study looked at the effects of gratitude in a group of nearly 300 participants, mostly college students, who were seeking counseling for various issues, mostly related to depression and anxiety. You can begin discussing your treatment needs with one of our addiction professionals.

Having a grateful perception of the world around us can change roadblocks into opportunities — the „bad“ into „good“. Throughout the day, take time to focus on the relationships, activities, and situations that bring you joy. Bringing into focus the things in life that bring us happiness, no matter how simple, will induce greater feelings of gratitude. In addition to receiving regular counseling, the participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups. One group wrote gratitude letters–which are discussed below–one group wrote about their thoughts and feelings, and the last group didn’t write anything. The group that wrote gratitude letters reported better mental health at four weeks and 12 weeks after the writing assignment ended, compared to the other two groups. This suggests that a gratitude practice can be a valuable addition to your treatment plan.

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It’s more than just noticing the good but identifying the external sources of goodness. Whether it is other people or a spiritual higher power, goodness in your life comes from the outside. It’s easy to become irritable, angry, and impatient when we focus on the worst qualities in others. Instead, focusing on the best qualities can help us maintain a positive attitude, develop patience, and be respectful of others, even when it’s not easy.

Those who kept the gratitude list expressed a higher level of happiness and a sense of well-being. If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health or substance abuse, we can help. Purchase a “Gratitude why is gratitude important in recovery Journal” – Each day, record at least one thing you are grateful for. This will start your “gratitude list,” something you should read over every day as a reminder of the positive aspects in your life.

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Gratitude in recovery is a choice, but unfortunately, not one that comes naturally to teens and young adults in addiction treatment. Upon entering drug rehab, teenagers are usually more frustrated, fearful, depressed, resistant, and isolated than they are grateful. They often feel hopeless, resentful, and choose to have a ‘woe is me’ attitude. This is a simple but powerful way to express thanks daily, weekly, or at whatever frequency works for you. Even if the only thing you can come up with on a particular day is waking up and being alive, it’s a start. Instead of focusing on material possessions this holiday season, these nine tips can help you practice gratitude in recovery and learn how to be thankful and content with what you already have. Developing a mindset and behaviors that reflect gratitude is a skill, and it will take time to grow.

Why is gratitude so important in the spiritual life?

Gratitude might be the ultimate spiritual practice

This is because of its Proto-Indo-European root, gwere, meaning “to praise, to celebrate; to be in contact with the Divine.” In other words, being grateful is equivalent to feeling the presence of the Divine in our lives. It is the same as being in a state of bliss.

These 8 ways to maintain an attitude of gratitude in addiction recovery will put you on the right path to staying focused on what’s important. Recovery is often referred to as a journey, not a destination. During the journey, every step along the way can and should be a source of greater hope and optimism for the future you are working to create for yourself.

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Learning about the forms of negative thinking can prepare you to combat them with a dose of gratitude. Regardless, they had significant improvements in mood that lasted for months. In this particular intervention, participants wrote one letter a week for three weeks. However, in Seligman’s studies, participants wrote one letter and the effects lasted about a month so it might make sense to make your gratitude letter a monthly exercise. A gratitude journal is basically like the intervention used in the study above. Communal strength is how much responsibility you feel for a partner’s welfare. In these studies, a partner could be either a romantic partner or a close friend.

Does an attitude of gratitude affect recovery?

The conscious effort to exhibit gratitude can make your life easier, and appreciation for others can help you strengthen your gratitude muscle.

This can have a snowballing effect that can brighten hundreds of lives in a short time. Gratitude is important in addiction recovery because it helps us to be thankful for sobriety. It changes the pathways in the brain and trains us for a growth mindset. When people are grateful for what they have, they will experience a great deal of happiness. Starting a new life in recovery involves pushing through regrets from the past and shedding a lot of baggage. That said, there are going to be residual negative emotions and memories that can hinder your recovery. One of the benefits of cultivating a grateful heart in recovery is that it helps you better handle the negative things that come your way.

Committing Your Gratitude to Writing

They will tend to see problems as a chance to grow rather than some type of attitude. This positive way of dealing with things will lead them towards the ultimate goal of recovery, that is, compete serenity. They view their current situation as unsatisfactory, and they might not have much hope that things will improve in the future. Stinking thinking is a dangerous for people in recovery, because it can easily lead to relapse.

  • They are the embodiment of a gift that is freely given to someone to show them they are deeply appreciated.
  • If you started to expect such a favor all the time, however, your entitlement could lead to refusal and then hostile thinking.
  • Gratitude does not depend on what a person has or the material possessions they own.
  • Conditioning your mind to be thankful instead of sorry is a sure sign your attitude of gratitude is improving.
  • Gratitude is a kind of emotional glue that helps positive things stick in your mind.

These feelings are not uncommon among addicts, especially those who have just entered early recovery. But it is these negative feelings that drive destructive behaviors like drug abuse. And it is positive feelings that can help us overcome them. Harnessing science, love and the wisdom of lived experience, we are a force of healing and hope ​​​​​​​for individuals, families and communities affected by substance use and mental health conditions. In recovery, we are given the space to be grateful, but it still takes time to practice and train the mind to notice and cherish the beauty in life. We should be patient with our feelings while our minds recalibrate to those details that most deserve our appreciation and respect.

How to Experience More Gratitude in Your Life

Expressing your true appreciation for others in your life will strengthen your relationships and lead to greater feelings of satisfaction. If you are struggling with addiction, it may seem like there is no end to it. Drug rehab in Payson will make addiction recovery possible for you. Recovery is undoubtedly a challenging journey, but there are better things laid out for you at…

  • Consider those who have had a beneficial impact on your life, thank them frequently, and expect nothing in return.
  • Take joy in the tiny things that bring you the bright feeling of happiness, taking note of each and giving thanks for them internally, as well as outwardly.
  • If you are recovering from a substance use disorder, here’s what gratitude can do for you.
  • It is when we take our sobriety for granted that we start getting into trouble.