The Importance of Gratitude in Addiction Recovery

The Mindset of Addiction

It’s common for those who struggle with addiction to get stuck within the mindset of “me against the world”. It can feel like no one is on your side, often times not even yourself. This selfish line of thinking can cause any sort of recovery to diminish over time. Fighting addiction can make it difficult to see that we’re using this idea that anyone and everyone is against us is solely a defense mechanism.

This sort of emotional wall can make it even easier for those suffering from addiction, depression, or any other mental health issues to find themselves in greater states of isolation and solitude; causing us to create an even greater distance from those trying to help us and to us helping ourselves.

Humility and Gratitude in Recovery

Their Place and Importance

For this reason, gratitude and humility are vitally important to practice throughout the process of recovery, and after. Both gratitude and humility oppose and breakdown the emotional and mental walls we build up within ourselves. To practice gratitude is the choice to see the world in a new and unselfish way. To live your life with humility is to accept the mistakes we make, and to accept ourselves with all of our faults.

A Positive Perspective

Living with gratitude is a chance to change your perspective in the present to a positive view rather than a negative one. Instead of seeing the world through a negative lens, you’re actively seeking out a pragmatic one. Recovery is never simple, nor easy, but through gratitude, you may find a more optimistic, productive, thoughtful version of you.

Developing Gratitude

Practicing gratitude isn’t difficult so long as you’re choosing to be grateful for even the simplest of things. Be mindful of the simple joys in life. What has made you feel deeply happy in the past? Was it taking time to get out into nature? Making a loved one laugh deeply? Was it a stranger showing kindness in a small act? The questions to ask yourself when looking back on anything that’s given you the feeling of joy or happiness is: were you thankful and did you show your thanks?

The things that bring you joy may not be seemingly special in any sort of way. It could be a nice cup of coffee in the morning or a meal with a friend. Take joy in the tiny things that bring you the bright feeling of happiness, taking note of each and giving thanks for them internally, as well as outwardly.

Are You Grateful for Your Recovery?

It’s easier to look at the struggles of recovery as a prison rather than a gift during the early stages. However, if you’re grateful for the chance of recovery, it’s far more likely that you’ll stick with it in the end. Be grateful as you work towards your goals of sobriety or mental and emotional structure. Be grateful for the second chance at life; for another chance at opportunities. Be grateful for the chance to see yourself grow into a better person for yourself and the ones you love.

Help Others and Yourself

There’s an importance of helping others, even in the smallest of ways. As you practice gratitude, make sure you’re helping yourself succeed as much as possible. Help yourself by practicing activities that allow you to feel gratitude and humility more often. Activities like:

  • Journaling
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Focus on Optimistic thinking

Most importantly, helping others around you whenever possible is a chance to show your gratitude for their presence in your life. Small actions can go a long way in showing others how you feel about their existence. Showing kindness to friends, family, and even strangers can be a way to get away from the state of mind that you’re alone in your journey.

An Effort to Be Thankful

Be sure that you make the honest effort to be thankful for yourself and your opportunities to reclaim your life:

  • Make an effort to be mindful in your recovery approach
  • Show gratitude whenever you can
  • Make time for activities that help you practice gratitude
  • Make time for self-reflection
  • Stay humble

And every day, as difficult as it may be at the beginning, ask yourself these three questions as you ready yourself:

  1. What am I thankful for today?
  2. How can I help others answer that same question?
  3. Where would I be if I wasn’t in recovery?