How Can Gratitude Help Me in My Recovery Journey?
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When you first seek treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD), you’ll find that the topic of gratitude will come up a lot in your support group meetings and therapy sessions. This is because gratitude is a huge aspect of recovery and starting a new, happier, and healthier life. Gratitude involves focusing on what we do have instead of what we don’t. This practice can help us realize that we have a lot of good things in our life that we may have overlooked before. 

Gratitude is essential in recovery because it helps empower us, boost our mental and physical health, and stay firmly dedicated to our sobriety and achieving future goals. Gratitude doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but there are things that you can do to make it more of a habit in your daily life. 

What Are the Benefits of Gratitude? 

When someone enters a treatment facility to seek help for a SUD, they often feel a range of emotions. They may feel scared, sad, helpless, lonely, and discouraged. Gratitude is probably the last thing that they’re feeling. However, as they go through their journey to recovery, they will find out more about themselves than ever. Without substance use clouding their mental state, they can take a clear look at their life and the blessings surrounding them. This gratitude will allow them to foster better relationships with others, recognize their long-term goals, and give them the motivation to take their lives back into their own hands. 

Gratitude has physical, psychological, and social benefits. 

Physical Benefits 

Some potential physical benefits of gratitude include: 

  • A greater sense of energy
  • A heightened immune system 
  • Better quality sleep
  • Lower blood pressure 
  • Increased motivation to work towards better health and fitness 

Psychological Benefits 

Some potential psychological benefits of gratitude include:

  • Lower stress levels 
  • Higher levels of positivity
  • A better overall outlook on life 
  • A better ability to appreciate the simple joys of life

Social Benefits 

Some potential social benefits of gratitude include: 

  • A better ability to make friends 
  • Stronger friendships based on quality time 
  • Higher levels of confidence 

How Do I Make Gratitude a Part of My Day-to-Day Life? 

If gratitude doesn’t come naturally to you, this process may feel a little foreign. However, there are small things that you can do every day to start making gratitude more of a habit for you. Before long, you won’t even have to think about it, and it will become your normal way of thinking. Here are some tips on how to accomplish this: 

#1. Start a gratitude journal: Go to the store and pick out any journal that you know you’ll enjoy writing in. Then, once a day, write down three things you’re grateful for. On some not-so-good days, it may be more difficult than usual to think of something to write down. On those days, don’t be afraid to stick to the basics. For example, you can list having a roof over your head, a family that cares about you, and another day to try to become the best possible version of yourself. 

Many people choose to do this right before they go to bed so that they fall asleep in a good mental health space. Others like to do it first thing in the morning before they go to work. This way, they can start the day on a positive note. 

If writing in a physical journal isn’t really your thing, you can start a digital journal on your computer, phone, or tablet. This way, it will always be at your fingertips whenever you need it. On days when you’re feeling down and need a boost, look back over past journal entries. It can help remind you that there is good to be found every day if you take the chance to look. 

#2. Get out into nature: Sometimes, the distractions of everyday life cloud our vision and keep us from being able to see things clearly. When you get out into nature, those distractions slowly disappear. When you’re outside, focus on being truly present. Listen to the sound of the wind and feel the sun on your skin. Meditation outside is another great way to get into a better head space. 

#3. Take the time to do something good for someone else: Working with those who are less fortunate can quickly open our eyes to the things that we have that others don’t. Plus, helping others is a great way to form meaningful connections, think more positively, and live a happier life. 

Gratitude is an important aspect of addiction recovery. It helps shift one’s mind to focus on what they have instead of what they don’t. It can help form stronger and more meaningful connections with others. It can also help one to focus on their long-term goals. Gratitude has a range of physical, psychological, and social benefits. If gratitude doesn’t come naturally to you, that’s okay. There are things that you can do to incorporate it into your life. Some examples include keeping a gratitude journal, getting out into nature, and helping others who are less fortunate. Before long, being aware of what you are grateful for will become natural. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, our team at The Ho Tai Way is here to help. Call (714) 581-3974, and we will be happy to answer any questions that you may have about our treatment services.