gratitude is important to recovery

Why is Gratitude So Important in Recovery?

What is Gratitude?

Simply put, gratitude is a feeling of appreciation or thankfulness for the good we have in our lives. Gratitude is frequently associated with addiction recovery because it is one of the fundamental principles emphasized by all 12-step programs. 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous find their principles in ancient spiritual ideals. 

The basic concept of 12-step recovery is that it distills these spiritual principles down to their essence, removing the doctrine and mythology associated with organized religion. The idea is to make these practical and effective ideas as accessible and easy to understand and practice as possible for recovering people. 

An Attitude of Gratitude Pays Dividends 

Gratitude is perhaps best understood as not only a feeling and emotion, but also a practice and point of view. Gratitude doesn’t necessarily come naturally to all people, but an attitude of thankfulness can be cultivated by just about anyone and doing so yields many rewards. Gratitude helps us to recognize and appreciate the blessings that we receive each day, from simple acts of kindness to larger acts of generosity. 

Gratitude is especially helpful to people in recovery because they have often experienced loss and tragedy. Learning to practice gratitude regularly is scientifically proven to make people happier and healthier, in fact. It can counteract the symptoms of depression, anxiety and feelings of resentment and self-pity. All of these are frequently an important part of the struggle for recovering people, so anything that can help one overcome them is very useful indeed. 

Practicing an “attitude of gratitude” is also constructive because gratitude is inherently compatible with all of the other key principles in recovery, like acceptance, humility, willingness and kindness. The more grateful you are, the easier it is to embody genuine humility, remain willing and to show kindness towards others and ourselves. 

Why Gratitude is So Important to Recovery

You might say it’s impossible to overstate the importance and power of gratitude in recovery. It really does carry that much weight. That is why we are continually reminded of it in recovery circles. The power of gratitude is that it changes perspective. We can feel much better about our circumstances or any given situation or person without changing a single thing about them – simply by introducing gratitude into the equation. 

Much like humility, gratitude helps put things in their proper place by reordering our consciousness and perspective. Part of the beauty of that is that anyone can do it. It might not seem easy at first, but it takes a lot less work to adopt an attitude of gratitude than it does to try and change most of the things that trouble us. That doesn’t mean we don’t try to change where change is warranted. What it does mean is that when acceptance is the correct response, gratitude makes it much easier to get there. 

Working on Being Grateful Makes Recovery Stronger

By cultivating an attitude of gratitude, we become more aware of the beauty and joy that already exists in our lives—and more likely to share it with others. Expressing gratitude not only helps strengthen relationships with friends and family, but it can also be incredibly beneficial for our mental and physical health. 

Studies have shown that a regular practice of expressing gratitude can reduce stress levels, improve sleep quality, increase optimism and happiness, while boosting immune system responses. Ultimately, practicing gratitude leads to a greater sense of contentment and satisfaction in life. So take some time each day to recognize and appreciate all the wonderful things in your life—it can make a world of difference!

An Essential Tool in Your Recovery Toolbox

Gratitude is one of the most important tools that people in addiction recovery can use to stay on track with their sobriety. When someone is grateful for all that they have, it decreases the resentment and other negative emotions that can lead them down a path of relapse. 

Gratitude helps to remind people of how far they’ve come and gives them the motivation to continue striving for greater sobriety. It also encourages us to appreciate our relationships with others, which may be something we neglected during our time in active addiction. 

By taking the time to recognize and express gratitude for what we do have, we focus less on what was lost or damaged due to our past behaviors. Practicing gratitude allows us to move forward with a renewed sense of purpose, improved mental health, and a stronger determination to remain sober.  Furthermore, it helps us stay connected with our sponsors and support systems who have been instrumental in our recovery journeys. Gratitude is such an important part of addiction recovery that those who practice it regularly reap the rewards of greater emotional stability, increased happiness levels and deeper connections with others. 

Stay Strong and Keep Your Head Up

So when you are feeling overwhelmed or discouraged on your journey to sobriety, remember to take a moment to reflect on gratitude. Think about how far you have come. Remember all the people less fortunate than you. 

Consider your sick and suffering fellows out there, still caught in the grip of the disease of addiction. There isn’t one among us who doesn’t have things to be grateful for. Focusing on those things, even when we don’t feel like it, can put the wind in our sails just when we need it most. 

Call Plum Creek Recovery Ranch for Help

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or another mental health battle, Plum Creek Recovery Ranch wants to help. Give us a call at (512) 559-8534, even if you just need someone to listen. Even if you think that no one and nothing can help. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You will be amazed at just how far a small change in perspective can take you. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *