How To Show Gratitude In Early Recovery & Beyond

On the one hand, gratitude arises from within, helping you focus on and appreciate your own experiences instead of projecting those experiences outwards onto others. By cultivating an attitude of gratitude for your inner resources and qualities, you give yourself a foundation of strength that can help you weather difficult times. Gratitude can be a powerful tool for alleviating stress and anxiety. It works by focusing on what we have in our lives rather than what we lack, and by cultivating a positive mindset that helps us to cope with difficult situations. By practicing gratitude regularly, we can train ourselves to see the good in every situation, to appreciate the people around us, and to find joy in the small things in life.

Reflecting on these life lessons and asking yourself what you’ve learned in the last week, month, or year is a great way to practice gratitude and reflect on your own personal growth in recovery. Practicing gratitude is all about being grateful and thankful for what you have. When you focus on all the things you don’t have, it creates an attitude gratitude in recovery of ungratefulness and fosters negative emotions like jealousy and anger. Negativity can be detrimental to your recovery and make a life in sobriety seem dark, empty, and lonely. 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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Writing a gratitude letter assists in rewiring our brains to focus on the positive aspects of life rather than dwelling on negative experiences. Recent studies display that writing just one gratitude letter a week for three weeks consecutively provides significant benefits for up to six months. When we worry about relapse or feel resentment or other negative feelings creep in, it’s a great opportunity to cultivate gratitude.

When someone is only absorbed in their activities, it is difficult for them to see the things around them. When someone gives themselves over to being grateful they become less selfish. Their recovery tends to be more complete when they stop only thinking of themselves. In order for the practice of gratitude letters to be successful towards recovery, it is crucial that the individual believes they are deserving of this positive affirmation in their lives.

What Life Looks Like with Gratitude

Keeping your focus on these and other positives in your life can help you develop thankfulness. Maintaining a grateful mindset during tough times can also help you remember that they do pass. Staying grateful during both good and bad times keeps your mindset in a consistent place. Gratitude isn’t just a nice thing to practice — it’s essential for long-term recovery. Being grateful reminds us that even when things go wrong, there are still plenty of things to be thankful for. Having a grateful mindset allows to take on challenges with a positive mindset and instead of seeing relapse as a failure, we can see it as an opportunity to improve.

gratitude in recovery

Keep going to AA, NA or other support meetings; keep reading the Big Book or other sources of perennial wisdom and keep on the road to happiness. The transition from addiction to recovery isn’t overnight, and the benefits don’t come all at once. We can observe our expectations and attitudes while working Step 10, which we should perform on a daily basis. When we honor and appreciate other people’s assets, we create a safe environment where they, too, can feel happy and grateful, and they benefit from our presence.

Can cultivating a thankful mindset be used in conjunction with other addiction recovery methods?

According to the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, resentment is the number one offender and can kill those with AUD or SUD. There are various ways to practice gratitude, but the most important part is to appreciate what you have and what you’ve accomplished. When you cultivate gratitude, you also avoid negative thinking and behaviors.

gratitude in recovery

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