Recovering from alcohol addiction is by no means an easy process. Recovery is a life long process, and any recovering alcoholic knows that in order to stay healthy and sober it is necessary to constantly use the tools that they developed in treatment in order to fight the urges and triggers that are simply a reality in day to day life. One of the most powerful and effective tools that any recovering addict has at their disposal is to cultivate a sense of gratitude for the many people and things that they are lucky enough to have in their life. Feeling a sense of gratitude is a key element of remaining happy and healthy because remaining grateful greatly lowers a recovering addict's chances of feeling depressed or angry and resentful. Gratitude also helps a recovering addict stay mindful of the things in their life that they would jeopardize if they were to break their sobriety. So how exactly does a recovering alcoholic work to find gratitude?
One main way that a recovering addict can stay grateful is by making a habit of staying as conscious as possible of the things for which they are grateful. For many people this may mean starting every day thinking about what they are grateful for in there coming day. Perhaps this could be something as simple as waking up in a comfortable bed or having a job to go to that will allow them to pay for the roof that they have over their head. Getting into the habit of starting the day with an intentional meditation on gratitude is a great way of keeping the notion of gratitude ever presence in one's thoughts. The longer one does this with consistency, the more gratitude becomes a part of every day life.
The Thankfulness That Comes From Not Using
When a person is a recovering alcoholic, they can always be grateful for the fact that they are not drinking. With this idea comes an endless list of things to be thankful for: that one wakes up without a hangover, that one remembers everything they did last night, that one has strong relationships that are not damaged or ruined by the destructive behaviors that often accompany drinking. When a person becomes sober, they suddenly find that a large number of things in their life improve. Being free from alcohol abuse often means finally being able to accomplish goals that were impossible while alcohol was being abused. It may mean that a whole world of potential is opened up for a recovering addict that they did not even know was possible while they were using. While alcohol is a disease that often puts an alcohol in dangerous and scary places, sobriety is a state that is full of hope and potential and thus reasons to be grateful.
Gratitude and Less Resentment
Many people believe that getting in the habit of staying thankful for the things in one life is one of the most effective and important ways that happiness can be achieved. The fact is, the brain can only hold one thought at a time, so it is impossible to be resentful of regretful while being grateful. This means that while remaining consciously grateful, the destructive feelings of resent and regret can be avoided, if even for a moment. Avoiding resent is a wonderful way to feel empowered and to recognize that one does in fact have control over their life and their decisions, regardless of the events that may have transpired in their past. For this reason, gratitude is a very constructive and important habit.