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How to Have More Gratitude in Recovery

How to Have More Gratitude in Recovery


Count your blessings, don’t count what you don’t have.

Having gratitude is merely practicing thankfulness for what you have. To focus on anything other than what you have in your life at the moment leaves room to foster resentments, fear, anger and jealousy, all of which act as poison in your life. Negativity can produce resentments.  Resentments are often at the root of life’s stress.

Perception is everything: perceive failures as lessons.

Life is full of challenges and failures, even on the tails of life’s greatest accomplishments, those hardships and traumas teach you about yourself and those around you. Reflecting on the lessons you’ve learned through overcoming is a valuable tool in recovery.  It reminds you that sometimes things aren’t as bad as you thought they previously were, or you realize a hardship was a stepping stone to practicing gratitude for the experiences that surprise you with life lessons or rewards.

Be generous and of service to your fellows every day.

There are all kinds of generosity! To display generosity to your peers, grand gestures are not necessary.  Even a tiny act of kindness can go a long way.  Here are some examples: offer to help someone with groceries or a heavy load in their arms, hold a door or 3 open throughout the day, smile at people for no reason, offer a neighbor some food, pay it forward in the line for coffee, help a friend move, give someone a bottle of water!  There are endless small ways to show others you appreciate your fellow humans.

Focus on others best qualities, not their worst. 

Envy is really just not accepting the good in others mixed with fear.  Fear is the non-acceptance of uncertainty.  By accepting the good in others, they begin to inspire you.  Envy becomes inspiration when the fear is removed, fear removed becomes adventure.

Inventory of your life makes room for gratitude.

When doing a step 10, you are taking inventory of your life. Regularly and rigorously practicing this step is essential to continued growth in recovery. This is the time when you can see if you are lacking in gratitude.  The honestly with yourself takes courage, but it is one of the most important steps in a journey towards a grateful life.

Start seeing all challenges as opportunities.

Sober or not, life will never be without challenges.  To view challenges as opportunity, you are removing yourself from victim mentality and allowing yourself a gain in self confidence and resilience. Viewing challenging circumstances as opportunities to gain knowledge and experience will help you avoid relapse in a productive way.

Be kind.

Recovery doesn’t need to include the notorious stereotype of being grumpy! Being a kind soul to those around you regardless of how your day is going can become a testament to your transformation.  Honoring all life around you with kindness is another just another great way to be grateful. Being kind to others can make a huge impact in another’s life as well as melt your own feelings of guilt, anger or sadness.

Schedule your grateful time

Even in life’s most frustrating and devastating moments, there’s always something to be grateful for, sometimes you just need a little reminder.  Set a time everyday to make a gratitude list, meditate about gratitude for 5 min., call someone your grateful for, make a daily list.  After you make a list, put it where you look everyday, on a mirror for instance and make it a daily habit to be thankful. When you schedule being grateful daily, eventually it will be a mindset, and a way of life.

Who or what do you have now, that you didn’t have before sobriety. 

Addiction is a kill-joy, it strips people and things from your life in a sweeping fashion, leaving loneliness and devastation in its path.  Taking time daily to appreciate the people, places and things you get to enjoy in recovery is a quick way to want to hang onto the new life you’ve been building.

If you’ve recently gotten sober, share the attitude of gratitude with your fellows and pay it forward.

How to Have More Gratitude in Recovery
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How to Have More Gratitude in Recovery
Gratitude is one of the best ways alleviate stress. Its pretty difficult to count blessings when your counting what you're missing. Perception is everything. Spend some time everyday looking for and counting the positives in your life. You will always find what you are looking for. Be grateful for what is good and those good feelings will replace the anxiety.
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Ventura Recovery Center
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