Life can be tough. It can wear you down. It can even tear you down. But one thing is certain — when life is at its roughest, you can pull yourself up and out of the muck. You already know that. You have survived addiction and have enjoyed the power of recovery. So what’s next? Adopting an attitude of gratitude.
So Small, Yet So Vital
After all you have been through on your road to recovery, finding ways to be grateful should be easy, and yet still you struggle. That’s OK. You’ll get there. Gratitude is such a small thing, yet its power can never be underestimated. Undervalued far more than it should be, gratitude is simply taking the absolute smallest positive in your life and turning it into a something big enough to savor.
Think of it like this — a road is not built all at once, rather it is built with small insignificant sections that when put together connect towns, cities and even states. Standing alone they do might not mean much, but together, the road offers a way to travel across vast sections of land.
The same is true for gratitude. By finding one small seemingly insignificant thing today and another tomorrow, you begin to build a road of real value. Before long you will begin to see all of the good things your life has to offer. Even when things go wrong and you are faced with your most difficult challenges, you will be able to see the reward of the experience. This is gratitude at work!
Developing a Gratitude Filled Mindset
Learning how to be grateful is not always easy, especially for those who are going through a difficult time. Trust us, once you begin to see the little positives in your life, you will pave the way for seeing the bigger ones that are there. Developing a sense of gratitude does not just make you more content with the fact that you don’t have something, it helps you direct your thought patterns toward what you do have. Isn’t that what addiction recovery is all about? This allows your thinking patterns to shift to noticing and appreciating the good things about your family, your job, your home, your friends and so much more.
So how can you begin today, right now, to develop a more grateful attitude? The first thing you can do is sit down and write down everything good about your life. The things you write do not have to be big or important things. The mundane will do. Something as simple as “that hot cup of coffee this morning” is fine! The point here is to begin to see and appreciate the small positives in your life so that you can free your mind (and your attitude) to see the bigger ones.
If someone in your life has been super supportive during your recovery, show some gratitude and write them a thank you note. Let them know what a difference they have made in your journey and how grateful you are to have them on your side. Maybe it was a stranger showing you kindness that turned your day around. If so, send them a mental “thank you.” This act alone could help you better appreciate the moment.
Once you have started to implement these practices in your life, you will begin to see that not everything in your life is bad. It is this acknowledgment that can help you break free from the negative thoughts and emotions that are holding you back. You are a survivor. Now take what you have learned and enjoy life again!