Gratitude is a beautiful feeling, but it’s more than just that. It requires action, and the more action you take out of gratitude, the more gratitude usually comes back to you. Feeling grateful is a big part of addiction recovery as you start to realize all of the beauty around you. When you take that feeling of being grateful and carry it with you into the world each day, you can pass it along to others who might be in need of a helping hand or a little bit of a boost. Although gratitude is a good thing, it requires work and there can be challenges that try to get in its the way.
Benefits of Gratitude
Practicing gratitude can change your life in a meaningful way. Studies have shown that people who go through the world with a grateful attitude experience higher levels of positive emotions, are more outgoing, more forgiving, and feel more alive. Gratitude can help you celebrate where you are in the present, kicking your addiction and working to becoming a healthier individual. It can help you block negative feelings and emotions that threaten your recovery, and even help you find a higher sense of self-worth and appreciation.
Working toward Gratitude
Being grateful is easy when things are going well, but it’s a lot harder when times are tough. There will be ups and downs in any 12-step recovery, and some days you might not feel as grateful as others. Those days are when you have to work on your gratitude. You can keep a journal of the things you’re thankful for, remember good times, think about an upcoming event that you’re looking forward to, or call up a friend who can help you see the beauty in the day. It’s a conscious effort to become and stay grateful sometimes, but it’s well worth working toward each and every day.
Another way you can work toward gratitude is to help others. By understanding what others are going through, you can feel better about your addiction recovery, realize how far you’ve come and provide hope to people who could really use someone to talk to. Whether they’re on their own 12-step recovery journey or they have other concerns in their life, you can help show them a better day while increasing your gratitude at the same time.
In the midst of a 12-step recovery, you sometimes will face significant challenges to your gratitude. You might have a bad day, feel sick or end a relationship. You could lose a job or have to move to a new place. No matter what happens throughout your addiction recovery, though, it’s important to remember that you can get through anything that challenges you and keep your gratitude. Life is precious and beautiful, and there is always something to be grateful for. Some days you just have to look a little bit harder, but there’s always gratitude to be found.