Changing your language can help you focus on the good in the world, in others and in yourself. When you do this, you’ll start to unconsciously and effortlessly practice gratitude throughout the day. Whatever method you choose, try to set yourself up for success by being realistic. If you’re not a morning person, writing in a gratitude journal first thing is unlikely. Set up your routine to fit comfortably in your life so you can keep up this new habit long-term. Now that you know what practicing gratitude is and how it can help you, here are five easy ways to incorporate it into your recovery journey.

By expressing thankfulness for everything you have in your life, you can shift your mindset from focusing on what you lack to appreciating all the wonderful things you have going for you. Especially in early recovery, there are a lot of emotions that surface that are no longer being numbed by drugs or alcohol, and these emotions can sometimes feel overwhelming. For instance, let’s say you notice how poorly a 12-step meeting was run and organized. Instead of focusing on the negative, try focusing on the positive side of things – the way the meetings have helped you stay sober.

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When we worry about relapse or feel resentment or other negative feelings creep in, it’s a great opportunity to cultivate gratitude. Gratitude is a muscle that develops with training and practice, and when we make a habit of appreciating the better qualities in life, we strengthen importance of gratitude in recovery that muscle in our mind. When that muscle grows strong enough, we will reflexively notice the good, and we will see something’s benefits before its real or imaginary drawbacks and limitations. A great way to take the focus off yourself and your own difficulties is to help others.

  • Every day, take just a moment or two to write down a few things that make you grateful.
  • Sadly, people in recovery are often notorious for being grumpy, but that stereotype doesn’t have to be true for you.
  • Then, if you’re having an especially difficult day, read over some of the things that have filled you with gratitude.
  • Many times people think, sure but I can’t control what goes on around me and what others do and say.

Practicing daily gratitude promotes a state of positive thinking that can greatly benefit your recovery. You’ll feel better emotionally and physically, which will give you the confidence to keep moving forward in your journey. Further, practicing gratitude helps you look outward, to all the wonderful things that surround you, rather than keeping you focused inward, which can lead to feelings of negativity and despair. Gratitude, when practiced daily, enhances hope, increases physical and mental wellbeing, and helps overcome the more difficult times we all face. Viewing difficult circumstances in this way will also help you avoid relapse and deal with short-term lapses in a more positive and effective way. Gratitude is often misunderstood as complacency or settling for less.

Practice self-care

Meditation can help you deepen your gratitude and calm your mind and body. What about those deep in feelings of guilt, shame, helplessness? The good news is that gratitude is a mental outlook that can be developed and strengthened over time. The great news is that the benefits occur almost immediately with significant impact on your recovery success and overall well-being. When beginning your new life after recovery, changing the way you view the world can be a way to help you along that process.

importance of gratitude in recovery

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. Meditation is the practice of focusing on the present moment and observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment. It fosters connection and generosity, enhancing relationships on the recovery path. Many people think that gratitude is naive or unrealistic, especially in the face of difficulties or hardships. They may believe that gratitude is ignoring or denying the negative aspects of life or being overly optimistic.

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Whether you volunteer to bring joy to those in need, practice kindness to someone you love or give generously without expecting to be repaid, these opportunities will fill you with joy. With gratitude on your side, you can be a positive force in the world. Happy people arguably have one thing in common — they are grateful for what they have on any given day. As a recovering addict, developing a sense of gratitude about the things you appreciate may help you break free from the darkness of addiction. No matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs, taking some time each day to say thank you to your Higher Power is a great way to cultivate more things to be grateful for in your life. This multiplies and before you know it your life is beyond your wildest dreams.

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