It can lead to seeing the land surrounding us as our home, not as property we own. In Kimmerer’s words, those who immigrated to America must find a way to become indigenous to this land. There is no reason we would be able to recover from the brain changes caused by addiction, but sobriety is a freely available gift.
- Understanding the importance of gratitude in recovery and how to implement it will greatly help you along the way.
- Researchers find that gratitude is especially important for individuals in SUD recovery with the goal of being abstinent.
- If you’re new to recovery, also make sure that you are active in your self-groups and regularly attending AA or NA.
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. Take time to look at yourself and your life and be grateful to yourself. If you are in recovery, you have accomplished so much just by being sober or trying to get sober.
Try a Gratitude Swap.
During these Step 10 personal inventories, we can note these tendencies and commit to changing them. Then when we feel gratitude slipping away, we can re-engage with whichever practices help us to feel connected with our Higher Power and other people. It’s an attitude of appreciation treatment plans & goals for substance abuse where we internally acknowledge the blessings that our life already contains, and we shift our focus away from what we lack. An attitude of gratitude starts small but leads to radical shifts in our relationship to the entirety of earth’s natural world if we practice reciprocity.
How to Experience More Gratitude in Your Life
Practicing gratitude can be helpful in many ways for those coming out of addiction or abusive relationships. Practicing gratitude means recognizing the good in your life and paying it back. It’s more than just noticing the good but identifying the external sources of goodness. Whether it is other people or a spiritual higher power, goodness in your life comes from the outside. So when you are feeling overwhelmed or discouraged on your journey to sobriety, remember to take a moment to reflect on gratitude. The more grateful you are, the easier it is to embody genuine humility, remain willing and to show kindness towards others and ourselves.
Ways to Nurture Gratitude
This is a practice that has roots in every major spiritual tradition and it’s also one that modern research shows to be good for your mental and physical health. If you are recovering from a substance use disorder, here’s what gratitude can do for you. Recovery from addiction isn’t only a matter of abstaining from drugs and alcohol; it’s about feeling good about your life without drugs and alcohol. Recovery is a holistic process that involves mind, body, and spirit.
Simple Tips To Become More Grateful
This becomes evident in your interactions with others throughout the day. A grateful attitude propels you through life, sporting a compassionate heart versus a chip on your shoulder. In fact, integrating gratitude into your daily life becomes, in essence, a reflection of the spiritual awakening you’ve experienced in recovery. As you start to practice gratitude, you’ll notice the power of the words you choose. This should carry over into all the thoughts and conversations you have throughout the day.
We can observe our expectations and attitudes while working Step 10, which we should perform on a daily basis. When we honor and appreciate other people’s assets, we create a safe environment where they, too, can feel happy and grateful, and they benefit from our presence. Gratitude is a muscle that develops with training and practice, and when we make a habit of appreciating the better qualities in life, we strengthen that muscle in our mind. When that muscle grows strong enough, we will reflexively notice the good, and we will see something’s benefits before its real or imaginary drawbacks and limitations. You could draw, write, paint, garden, smith, smash pumpkins, whatever. Get in touch with your creative side, especially if you haven’t before.
Thankfully, nurturing a daily gratitude practice is simple, and it can be woven into your day-to-day life. It starts with a mindset shift, and a concerted effort to think more positively. Gratitude is one of the most important tools that people in addiction recovery can use to stay on track with their sobriety. When someone is grateful for all that they have, it decreases the resentment and other negative emotions that can lead them down a path of relapse. Gratitude is perhaps best understood as not only a feeling and emotion, but also a practice and point of view. Gratitude doesn’t necessarily come naturally to all people, but an attitude of thankfulness can be cultivated by just about anyone and doing so yields many rewards.
Take on Challenges with a Positive Mindset
You can change your outlook on life and you might notice that things will change. In fact, the popular self-help author, Wayne Dyer wrote that when you change the way you see things, the things you see will change. If you expect positive experiences you might experience that instead.
Because of this, gratitude often helps people develop a connection with a higher power. This connection is imperative to work through the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (or another 12 Step program). At Flatirons Recovery Center, after years of enjoying drinking, my body has just stopped we believe in the importance of 12-Step program involvement. We encourage our clients to continue participating in a structured program once they complete treatment as part of their comprehensive aftercare programming.
Much of the depression and anxiety that puts you at risk for depression in the first place stems from feelings of alienation, loneliness, disconnection, and perhaps even shame. We are a social species and somewhere deep down in our DNA we know that to be alone is to be vulnerable. On the other hand, feeling connected to others makes you more resilient. It reduces stress because you can share your feelings with sober people and you have more resources for solving problems, even if you never have to actually ask for help. No one wants to tell their family or 12-step group they slipped up and have to start over.
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. 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.
Suffering from a substance use disorder can cause you to do things you aren’t proud of. Many people experience shame and guilt regarding their addiction. However, a substance use disorder is a disease, it’s often the result of choices you made, but choices you made without the intention to become addicted. You may have made mistakes, but you are trying and you are in recovery and getting better.
The results suggest that the primary reason for this is that more grateful people tend to experience more positive thoughts and fewer negative thoughts prior to sleep. This creates a virtuous cycle, since a well rested brain is more resilient and better at regulating emotions. Perhaps the greatest impact gratitude can have on your life and your recovery is by improving your mental health. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than half of adults and more than 60 percent of adolescents with substance use issues also have co-occurring mental health issues. These typically include issues like major depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, ADHD, PTSD, personality disorders, autism spectrum disorders, and schizophrenia.
The mental obsession was overwhelming, and moments of peace were few and far between. “Stopping to smell the roses” is entirely impossible when the brain incessantly demands the next drink or drug. This will help shift your mindset away from the negative, which how to stop drinking alcohol without aa or rehab will impact your outlook toward life. For instance, let’s say you notice how poorly a 12-step meeting was run and organized. Instead of focusing on the negative, try focusing on the positive side of things – the way the meetings have helped you stay sober.