Gratitude is defined as an acknowledgment of a benefit that an individual has received. Gratitude is an important part of recovery both in the early stages and throughout. Gratitude is not what someone has or does not have in life, it is a mental attitude. Having an attitude of gratitude is much more than a cliché, it can become a way of life.
Attitude of Gratitude.
An attitude of gratitude is gained through positive thinking. Positive thinking can increase mental and physical health. Having good mental and physical health can greatly aid the process of recovery. Just as with everything else in life, you must learn to practice an attitude of gratitude. This begins with small things. If you woke up alive be grateful your addiction has not taken your life, it has not spared everyone. Even in the most difficult of times you are alive and have the opportunity to change the way life is going. Try the following exercise.
Spend an entire day being grateful. Each hour take time to write down something you are grateful at that time. Whether you are grateful for something small like a beautiful flower that is just blooming or an hour spent playing with your children, write it down or share it with someone you trust. Do this for an entire day, each hour you are awake. Make sure that each thing you are grateful for is different. If negative thoughts enter your mind, turn them into a grateful moment by changing your perception.
Even something as negative as getting fired can be turned into a positive. Losing one’s job allows for time to find a new job and purpose in life. Perhaps it is an opportunity to follow your true passion or find something better. Keep the list you make and when you are feeling down or negative review it and add a new item.
Other ways to build an attitude of gratitude are to share what you are grateful for in life. Find a trusted friend to call, text, or otherwise share with the things you are grateful for each hour or day. Seek out opportunities to share your gratefulness. Sometimes simply sharing something joyful with someone else will help you and that person. So share your gratefulness. Finally, meditate on the good things in your life. If you focus on the good, there will be no time for the negative in life. This is a great way to get through the hard times in recovery.
Learning to be grateful will take time. Addiction often closes off the ability to feel happy or grateful for anything. Our minds simply want the next fix and cannot focus on much else. This means you may need to practice mindful gratefulness every hour for a while, but it will become a positive habit in time. Will you take time to be grateful today? What are you grateful for at this moment? Waste no more time being stuck in the negative cycle of addiction and self hatred. Enjoy your life and what you can make of it with the right attitude.
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