The old recovery saying goes that an “attitude of gratitude” will keep you sober. Staying in gratitude keeps you out of dangerous places like resentment, jealousy, and fear. Maintaining focus on the good in all things makes it difficult to obsesses over the negative. When you are in the early stages of recovery from alcohol or drug addiction, you may find it easy to be thankful to be done with the pain and discomfort of your withdrawal symptoms, and you might sense some relief in putting your addiction problems behind you. However, if your sense of gratitude ends there, you will be at a greater risk of relapse. Cultivating a broader sense of gratitude and thankfulness throughout your recovery is critical to the long-term success of your hard efforts.
The year-end holiday season is an ideal time to work on your sense of gratitude. If you shift your mindset from stress to gratitude in just one instance, you can use that shift as a launching pad to alter your habits in many other parts of your life. When you start to focus on the positive, you’ll find that your overall sense of gratitude feeds on itself and grows of its own accord. The holiday season also offers opportunities to volunteer and help other people, shifting attention away from your own problems and breaking away from any isolation or loneliness.
Nothing can defeat your sense of gratitude like comparing your life to the lives of others. Developing routines to keep your focus on the good things in your life will help you see gratitude for everything around you. Keeping a journal of things that you are thankful for is a great way to stay connected to a feeling of gratitude. Your reflections may strike you at first as being trivial and trite, but over time you will find greater depth and complexity in your thoughts as well as a deep appreciation for the life your recovery has given you.
If you are interested in learning more about cultivating an attitude of gratitude in your recovery, please call the staff and counselors at Last Resort at 877-892-7997. We are always thankful for the people who contact us to ask for our help and are ready to tell you how grateful you will be when you decide to get and stay sober.