Anyone can benefit from a feeling of gratitude for their life but this powerful emotion can be especially important for people in recovery. Being grateful can change the way that you view the world and how you think about your circumstances.
People may become ingrained throughout their life to believe that they always need more than what they have. Having a mental state of gratitude can transform a negative attitude into a more positive outlook about the present, past and future.
It can create more happiness every day and the peace of mind that could be difficult to experience without some sense of gratitude. Even though a person may not feel grateful when they first begin recovery, the mental outlook can be developed and strengthened over time.Gratitude can eventually become a natural feeling that is a part of a deeper satisfaction with life.
Addiction and Being Grateful
When a person has an addiction they are often trying to escape or run away from their thoughts and feelings. They are restless and unable to face their own emotions, constantly seeking substance abuse as a form of distraction.
It is common for people in recovery to have issues with depression or anxiety that can hinder their progress. They might have negative thoughts, low self-esteem and generally feel unhappy with the way that their life has turned out.
Developing a sense of gratitude can automatically begin to generate more positive feelings and gradually alleviate some of the negativity and depression that contributes to addiction. Being grateful can help people stay sober because they are no longer looking to escape from what they believe to be a difficult life.They will feel more often that their life is fulfilling and have less of the stress, anger, sadness and resentment that lead to substance abuse.
The Benefits of a Positive Outlook
The idea behind gratitude is simply to acknowledge the benefits you have received. If a person struggles to be grateful they can begin by reflecting on the very basic things that they can be grateful for like food, shelter or health and then expand to include other aspects of their life like family, friends or their job.
When you begin thinking in this way it slowly becomes easier to find a long list of things to be grateful about. People often suffer when they want what they don't have and gratitude is a way of realizing that you already have enough.
It can put everything in a completely different perspective to realize how much you might take for granted in life. Being grateful means you will have less stress and better health mentally and physically.
Grateful people are also less likely to end up in conflicts with others because they don't have unrealistic expectations or need to get their own way all the time. A person who is dissatisfied will have trouble with their interpersonal relationships and gratitude can help them have more harmony and peace with other people.
Developing a sense of gratefulness can begin with keeping a gratitude journal where you can record your feelings on a daily basis. In this journal you can write all the things you feel grateful for at that particular moment.
These things may change and shift over time but the journal will help to cultivate a feeling of gratitude for whatever situation you are in throughout your life. While writing in this journal someone can start to realize what is important in life and focus on that.
Often the biggest sense of gratitude comes from reflecting on positive people and relationships rather than possessions. Doing this practice every day for a month or so can make the feeling become automatic.
For people in addiction recovery, this sense of gratitude can keep them sober and focused on their goals as well as maintaining happiness and joy throughout treatment.