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Thank Your Way out of Addiction: How Gratitude May Be the Key to Recovery

Recovery from a life of addiction is a journey. As the road twists and turns, some moments will feel like a pleasant stroll while others will feel like a perilous voyage. In treatment, you will learn to incorporate practices that help you as obstacles arise. Gratitude is one key that you can use to unlock new depths of joy in your recovery process.

Gratitude is more than just the act of saying thank you. It’s an internal quality — the ability to feel appreciation for a life free from addiction. As you learn to incorporate gratitude into how you view your new life, you may find that your recovery isn’t as difficult as you once thought.

Why Is Gratitude Important in Addiction Recovery?

Happy people arguably have one thing in common — they are grateful for what they have on any given day. As a recovering addict, developing a sense of gratitude about the things you appreciate may help you break free from the darkness of addiction.

Gratitude isn’t just a nice thing to do — it’s a key component to long-term recovery. As you focus on being grateful even when things go wrong, you’ll find that there is still so much you can be thankful for.

It may take time as you learn to be aware of the small blessings you experience each day. You’ll find that practicing gratitude in the midst of addiction recovery has many benefits:

  • Acts as an integral part of experiencing overall happiness
  • Helps minimize stress
  • Allows you to take on challenges with a positive mindset
  • Enables you to see failures as opportunities to improve
  • Teaches you how to love and respect yourself
  • Empowers you to love and respect others so you can carry your message of recovery to those still struggling with addiction

Four Tips to Cultivate Gratitude in Recovery

Developing your mindset and behaviors so they reflect gratitude is a skill that will take time. If you’re finding it difficult to be thankful during your recovery, here are four practical ways you can bring gratitude into your life:

1. Record Your Gratitude in a Journal

Every day, take just a moment or two to write down a few things that make you grateful. It could be spending an afternoon with a friend or watching the sunrise. You can jot down anything, big or small. Then, if you’re having an especially difficult day, read over some of the things that have filled you with gratitude. It may be just what you need to prevent a relapse.

2. Do Something for Others

A great way to take the focus off yourself and your own difficulties is to help others. Whether you volunteer to bring joy to those in need, practice kindness to someone you love or give generously without expecting to be repaid, these opportunities will fill you with joy. With gratitude on your side, you can be a positive force in the world.

3. Fill Your Moments With Mindfulness

When you are mindful, you focus on the task at hand and clear away negative thoughts that may try to creep in. Whether you’re walking your pup, vacuuming or watering your plants, try doing so mindfully. Mindfulness allows you the opportunity to be grateful for each moment, no matter how mundane.

4. Embrace Your Imperfections

Many people recovering from drug or alcohol addiction have little sense of self-worth. But remember that no one is perfect. Even if drugs or alcohol still tempt you, you missed your group session or you yelled at a dear friend — don’t beat yourself up. Instead, be grateful for the things you did well today. Encourage yourself as you focus even more fully on your recovery.

Begin Your Recovery Journey Today

If you’re struggling with sobriety and want to break free from addiction’s hold so you can reclaim your life, there is help. At Gateway in Chicago, Illinois, we want to support you so you can find a life of gratitude and sobriety. Our evidence-based treatment programs focus on addressing your individual needs.

Contact us today to begin your recovery journey or call 877.379.9078.

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