Being grateful for what we have and how far we’ve come allows us to look at the bigger picture. And, as a result, live happier and more productive lives. It’s important for everyone to have gratitude to establish mentally healthy lifestyles. But, it’s even more important for those in early recovery because, without it, addiction relapse may be right around the corner. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to work on a mindset of gratitude.
The Importance of Gratitude in Early Recovery
It’s sometimes hard to go through the challenges of early recovery and be grateful for it all. And, you don’t have to be. But, it’s best to focus on what you ARE grateful for so that you have a positive mindset and no setbacks in early recovery. Some of the benefits of establishing a mindset of gratitude in early recovery can include:
- Concentrating less on what you don’t have and more on what you do
- Helps to create better connections with those around you
- Focusing less on your own wants and more on the needs of others
- Holding on to fewer negative feelings
- Accepting things which cannot be changed
- Increases empathy for those around you
Changing Your Mindset to Mirror Gratitude
The mind is a powerful thing. And, it’s an awful thing to waste. Throughout treatment, you may have learned different coping methods which can help to train the mind into responding to specific stimuli as you need it to. Well, a mindset can be trained too! Make it a goal to specify a singular thing you’re grateful for each day. Rather than being negative about things you don’t have, work on beginning to show gratitude for the things you do have. Write the list down in a journal or practice this during meditation sessions. This way, you’ll be reminded of why recovery is a GOOD thing in your life. And, you’ll train your mind to be grateful so you’ll remember what you have and how far you’ve come when the going gets rough.
Provide Service to Others
One of the twelve steps is service. And, there’s a reason for it. It’s proven that helping others helps to boost our own self-appreciation. And, when you’re willing and able to appreciate yourself, you’ll be more apt to appreciate your recovery. Not to mention, throughout active addiction, you’ve most likely focused on your own wants; chasing your drug of choice and avoiding those who love you so you can get high. Providing service allows you to establish a lifestyle which revolves around appreciation and gratitude rather than self-demolishing behaviors. Check out your local church, soup kitchen, children’s center, or another place in your community where you can give back and work on gratitude!
Accepting the Emotions–All of Them
Finally, one of the best things you can do to establish a mindset of gratitude is to accept all of the emotions which will undoubtedly flood you in early recovery. Throughout active addiction, drugs or alcohol may have numbed all the feelings you experienced. And, you may have used just for that reason. But, in early recovery, you’ll start to be overwhelmed by the emotions you’ve been putting off through the use of substances. It’s essential to embrace these feelings and emotions so that you can learn to live with them. Emotions, both good and bad, are a part of the human experience. Learn to be grateful for the good times so that you’ll know that the bad times never last.
Need Help with Gratitude in Early Recovery?
If you’re finished with addiction treatment but you’re struggling to be grateful in the days of early recovery, a sober living home can help. Here at The Lily Pad of St. Augustine locations, you’ll be surrounded by women who, like you, are learning how to live successfully in early recovery from addiction. And, you’ll be provided the tools and recovery resources you need to find the mentality of gratuity you need! Give us a call to learn more about our sober living homes at 561-758-1011.