By definition, gratitude is, “the quality of being thankful; ready to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” When we talk about addiction, gratitude isn’t often the first on the list for discussion. Many may ask, “What is there to be thankful for?” Substances often provide us a way out – of our sorrows, our pain and our ignorance. They pull us away from what we already have, because they draw our attention elsewhere – to using. The truth is, one of the most vital components of addiction recovery is practicing gratitude and that’s because by recognizing and appreciating what we have, we can live a happier, healthier life overall.
A 2015 study conducted by researchers from around the U.S. sought to explore how gratitude played out for 23 adults in outpatient treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD). They asked these adults to complete daily gratitude exercises that asked them to write down “Three Good Things” about their lives. Many participants completed the study and while some found this difficult to do on a daily basis, the process overall held a significant effect on the perceptions and temperament. More and more participants started to feel calmer, more at ease and the researchers concluded that this type of gratitude exercise was truly beneficial to their recovery.
If you get the chance, try out this exercise. What can you come up with? For many in addiction recovery, gratitude looks something like this:
- Having another opportunity to get one’s life back
- Developing a stronger connection with a Higher Power who loves you
- Being able to rely on people from support groups or recovery programs
- Sobriety and all of the wonderful benefits that come with it
- And more
Gratitude is for anyone and everyone. It’s a spiritual practice, and it connects us to what truly brings us joy in life. Start incorporating more gratitude into your life today.
Cool Springs Treatment is a 12-Step based outpatient alcohol and drug rehabilitation program. Designed for individuals 18 and older, we strive for individualized, quality treatment to meet each person’s unique needs. Our outpatient program gives you just enough structure to really keep a firm grip on your recovery, while still allowing you the time to follow through with outside responsibilities such as family, school or work.
Call us today at 615-356-2700 to get more information on seeking the help you need.