How to Maintain an Attitude of Gratitude During Recovery

Research has found that gratitude can lower blood pressure, improve immune function, reduce inflammation, and promote better sleep. These can help you heal from the effects of addiction and prevent further complications. Abusing drugs or alcohol can take a toll on your physical health, causing problems such as liver damage, heart disease, infections, or chronic pain.

why is gratitude important in recovery

Experience lasting change and receive the support you need now and over the years to come.

Writing a Letter of Gratitude

There are many guided meditations on different meditation apps or YouTube that are free. This will not only help you calm your mind but also find things to be grateful for you may overlook. Research into the benefits of regular gratitude practices shows an increase in the body’s ability to fight illness including reducing the risk of heart failure. Gratitude is defined as the quality of being grateful; readiness to show appreciation for and return kindness. Basically, gratitude is seeing what is good in life and the goodness in others.

Focusing on gratitude and things you’re grateful for also means you’re focusing on good things and that can be a powerful influence on your mindset and overall wellbeing. One study by Clinical Psychology showed that gratitude could help people to be less stressed, to reduce overall negative emotions, and to improve self-scoring on happiness. Of course, practicing gratitude isn’t a silver bullet to feeling bad. The power of gratitude in addiction recovery lies in its ability to shift the focus of the mind away from negative thoughts and emotions and towards positive ones.

Things to Be Grateful for in Recovery

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. A handful of research studies attest to how practicing gratitude positively affects one’s well-being, which then influences a more optimistic recovery journey. For example, Robert Emmons, a professor at the University of California, Davis, is one of the leading researchers in gratitude studies.

By focusing on what you have, instead of what you do not, you can foster healthier thought patterns, and achieve better satisfaction with your life. Sadly, people in recovery are often notorious for being grumpy, but that stereotype doesn’t have to be true for you. Being kind to loved ones, friends, and strangers, regardless of the type of day you’re having, is an honorable way to live. It’s also a testament to the powerful life transformation you’ve experienced as a sober individual. A little bit of kindness can make a big difference in someone else’s life and can melt away harbored feelings of anger, guilt, and sadness.

Support Your Recovery

A grateful person focuses on the good things in life rather than dwelling on negative emotions or negative thoughts. They also acknowledge the gifts and blessings received from other people and express appreciation to them. It’s a way of recognizing the good things in our lives, why is gratitude important in recovery even when things are hard or challenging. It means being thankful for the people, places, and experiences that make your everyday life meaningful and enjoyable. The power of gratitude in recovery lies in its ability to shift your focus from the negative to the positive.

why is gratitude important in recovery

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, referred to as one of the “foundational virtues in the creation of happiness” [3], works at combatting the negative emotions that may be present in recovery. Individuals who are more appreciative of their life, the people in it, and their own strength often feel more in control of their lives and emotions. These feelings are essential during a time when things may feel beyond one’s control. It may also help individuals view recovery as a challenge that will help them grow instead of as an obstacle that could overtake them. Cultivating a thankful mindset helps in addiction recovery by reducing stress and anxiety, improving mood, and enhancing overall well-being.