Addiction recovery is all about healing. The healing process is all encompassing, involving all aspects of the individual’s being, including mind, body, and spirit. One of the best ways to improve the healing process is to practice an “attitude of gratitude.”
Adopting a sense of gratitude about the things and people you have in your life versus dwelling on what you don’t have, is integral to achieving a deeper sense of satisfaction in life. Being appreciative of even the smallest of blessings can help you cultivate a more positive outlook in general. If you are wondering how to boost your attitude of gratitude, you’ve come to the right place!
Why being grateful is important in recovery
Just the mere fact that you are in recovery is something to feel grateful about. It means you are on your way to reclaiming your health, wellness and peace of mind. What a gift! To understand why gratitude is an important aspect of recovery, consider these points:
- Being grateful creates a positive attitude: Practicing gratitude makes you feel more optimistic about your life.
- Being grateful can help you remain sober: When you recognize the gift of sobriety with a heart full of gratitude, it motivates you to do what it takes to maintain it long-term.
- Being grateful makes you less selfish: When you consider the ways your life is positively impacted by the kindness of others, it keeps you from focusing on yourself so much.
How to practice gratitude
One effective way to increase your attitude of gratitude is practicing mindfulness. When you practice mindfulness, you learn to divert your attention from negative thought patterns. Instead of repeating some negative event that occurred over and over in your head, you’ll turn your attention toward the present moment.
Focusing on the now shifts your attention towards the beautiful things all around you — the sights, sounds, smells, and all sensory experiences. When you take notice of what you’re feeling in the moment, you can focus on things that bring you peace and joy. By practicing mindfulness as part of your daily journey, your heart will naturally be filled with gratitude.
3 tips for feeling grateful
So, how do you nurture a grateful mindset? What are some ways you can boost your attitude of gratitude? Consider these three helpful tips:
- Appreciate what you have: Instead of wallowing in self-pity and focusing on things you don’t have, take a moment to acknowledge the things you do have. Take a tour around your home and notice the little things — photos of loved ones, treasured mementos and other things that make you happy. Take note of all your blessings, both big and small.
- Break free from old thought patterns: Maybe you’ve always had a negative attitude about life, possibly due to difficult circumstances or family traits and habits. Make an intentional effort to change those thought patterns and behaviors through awareness. Stop yourself mid-thought and make a purposeful correction to reframe your mindset.
- Put it in writing: Make an effort to commit all the things you are grateful for in your life to paper. You can start with a short list and then add new items as you experience them. Keep a dedicated list or journal that captures all the sweet, joyful moments in your life. If you hit a low point, you can return to the list to boost your spirits and ease your mind.
If you cultivate your own attitude of gratitude, you will see a multitude of benefits in recovery. A positive outlook and a heart that’s filled with gratitude will improve your overall sense of wellbeing.
Ashley Addiction Treatment, formerly Father Martin’s Ashley, is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader in integrated, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders. Our programs are accredited by The Joint Commission, and result in frequent publications of ongoing research into effective treatment methodologies. We offer holistic care that encompasses the mind, body and spirit through inpatient and outpatient treatment, provide drug detox, relapse prevention plans, family wellness programs and a variety of other services tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Our driving principle — “everything for recovery” — reinforces our mission to transform and save lives through the science of medicine, the art of therapy and the compassion of spirituality, and is complemented by our philosophy of healing with respect and dignity. For information about our comprehensive programs, please call (866) 313-6307.