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Why is Gratitude Important in Recovery?

We go through various ups and downs in life. But for some people, the waves could be harder to ride. When it comes to recovery, it may take longer for individuals to develop positive habits and thinking. However, it’s not impossible. At these moments, establishing a grateful attitude and practicing gratitude habits make a significant difference to people in recovery. So, how exactly can gratitude affect recovery?

What Is Gratitude?

Gratitude allows us to feel thankful and happy for what we have and where we are now. It keeps us content with every blessing we receive each day, no matter how big or small they may be. Feelings of gratefulness focus on the happiness brought by more than just material possessions. These include people, opportunities, and even energy.

By maintaining gratitude as a part of our lives, we experience an increase in positivity and improvement in well-being. Learning to cultivate a grateful life opens us to different opportunities around us that may lead to better results. It happens because gratefulness can reduce negative energy within and around us. While it does not disregard negativity entirely, it will teach you to spend more time looking towards positive reasoning in adverse situations.

Effects of Gratitude in Recovery

When it comes to recovery, it takes a lot more than moving on to heal. Some of the feelings that resurface after coming from trauma or addiction can become overwhelming for the individual. These cases tend to bring negativity to one’s life, which affects the balance they experience within themselves. The goal of recovery is to let individuals move forward without harboring the negativity within them. The role of gratitude in recovery is countering these negative emotions and bringing back harmony.

Being grateful increases positivity in a way that allows an individual to accept the way life works, rather than turning away from the opposite.  Two things gratitude provides that are involved in recovery are acceptance and understanding. These make room for individuals to establish a positive outlook in life. As a result, it aids and influences their behavior and perspective for improvement.

person with band aid on middle finger

The effects of gratitude can be long-lasting in a person’s life, especially when they keep it consistent. Studies show how gratefulness is a game-changer in mental, social, and physical aspects. Because it is associated with happiness, it can also lower stress and increase satisfaction and comfort.

How to Develop Gratitude for Recovery

Cultivating gratitude as a part of your everyday requires you to be willing to take the step and actively continue the practice. The following are ways you can nurture gratitude as a part of your life and making your journey to recovery successful:

Appreciate everything.

Changes in our life happen when we learn to be more appreciative of our surroundings. Whether it’s because someone did you a favor today or simply for being given another morning, appreciation goes a lot farther than we know. In appreciating, we learn to extend our thanks. It makes expressing gratefulness a natural reaction. Gratitude in recovery shows you a bigger picture of what’s around you to help you look at the positive things, even when the negativity is closer to you. Through this, it promotes taking time to appreciate every step.

Be thankful for the chances.

Every opportunity that appears before us is a blessing, regardless of whatever the outcome from them would be. In recovery, a chance to start over means more than it looks. And so, you should show exactly how grateful you are for being given that. By expressing gratitude for an opportunity, it keeps you humble and appreciative of blessings big and small. It teaches you to be content with the progress you currently have. Because, after all, even a little progress is still an improvement.

Extend a hand to others.

Communicating with the people around you can influence your recovery and gratitude expression. Helping and serving others becomes a strong foundation when cultivating an attitude of gratitude. Service doesn’t have to be the grandest favors. They could be done in simple manners and still leave the same impact on people. This practice is a way to show appreciation for others while expressing and passing on gratitude. For recovery, it plays as the bridge that lets individuals find themselves and what they are capable of giving.

two hands

Practice gratitude daily.

Making gratefulness a part of your everyday life means regularly practicing it. Consistently taking part in gratitude practices helps you condition your mind and body into applying them each day. There are several ways you can go about this, such as the following:

  1. Keeping a gratitude journal or using a platform.

A common practice to be more grateful is using a journal. These let you track your progress while paying closer attention to your daily blessings. You can either write or list gratitude prompts or use online platforms like Three Things Daily. The application comes with a gratitude wall where you can list three things you are grateful for today. It also has a community that shares discussions and passes on the gratitude to one another.

2. Giving more than you receive.

Whether it’s through your actions or words, expression is vital in cultivating a grateful character. During recovery, learning to express positive emotions can help individuals get back up. Sharing gratitude builds a deeper relationship with those around you and creates an environment that makes you feel safer.

Final Words

Gratitude in recovery could turn the tables. There is no right timing in learning to be more grateful in life. Uncertainty is always present, and anything could happen at any moment, so showing gratitude and appreciation for what we have now will grant us happier days. When we accept that and take that step towards change, we find that good surrounds us this whole time.

For those recovering, taking in gratitude and allowing it to grow can change your life more than you can imagine. Wounds take time to heal, but once they do, it will surely all be worth it.

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