Tag Archives: Gratitude in Recovery

Tag Archives: Gratitude in Recovery


Sunday Sermon: The Rich Young Man

September 8, 2019

What is our most prized possession? What do we want to hold on to at all cost? Our belief system! In this talk Stan explores the Biblical story of the Rich Young Man as a way to understand why we must be willing to change the way we think and act if we are to recover from our addiction.

Finding gratitude and faith in recovery

When we’re battling addiction, it can feel as though we’ve lost sight of what truly matters in our lives. We become focused on seeking out substances, thereby missing the opportunity to grow in our personal and spiritual journey to wellness; in this downfall, we may lose aspects of ourselves that once meant so much to us – such as our health, relationships, career path, hobbies and more. Before we know it, we may find ourselves battling unhealthy emotions like guilt, isolation, anger and resentment – and if we continue spiraling down this path, we may go on to experience even more hardship and destruction in our lives.

Recovery is incredibly difficult for this exact reason – with so much to overcome, we must push ourselves harder than ever before to find the light amidst the darkness. By adopting crucial positive emotions while healing – gratitude, acceptance and faith – we are much more likely to carry out recovery in beautiful ways we never thought were possible.

Why Perception is So Important

A few years ago, Forbes Magazine likened perception to a mathematical equation that becomes complex;

“This infinite mathematical equation continues throughout our lives and it is too awesome for the human mind to calculate. Exponentially it builds a calculation that is way beyond our capabilities to imagine. No wonder our perceptions are unique to only us.”

As human beings, it’s completely natural for us to focus more on what’s going wrong rather than what’s going right. If you’ve ever taken an inventory of how your day went before you went to bed, it’s suddenly easier to remember the small moments of disappointment or frustration rather than to recall the singing birds outside the window, the gentle rain that was so relaxing or the kind word that was said by a friend or loved one. Why is this?

The Huffington Post explains that used to be an effective mode for survival – if we were able to perceive problems, we were more likely to survive – but nowadays, it only perpetuates mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. So how can we combat this natural tendency to look at everything negatively?

Use These Tools

There are several small steps we can take each day to increase positive thoughts and emotions; we just have to make the time to do them:

  • Relish in the moments that bring us joy – When something happens that makes us smile, we can tune into all of our senses to really enjoy the present moment. By basking in this beautiful instance, we’re appreciating the good that’s just come into our lives – which ultimately leaves us in a happier state of mind.
  • Maintain a gratitude journal – It may sound silly but writing down the things we’re grateful for each day can help us remain satisfied in our daily lives. Sometimes we forget the small, precious moments that have added beauty to our day – and a gratitude journal will ensure that we don’t forget them.
  • Take a break from the news – journalists often report gore and tragic events because that’s what draws attention; but for many people, the news only adds negativity. Take a break from watching the news, and instead fuel up with some positive things – such as uplifting music.
  • Use critical thinking with your judgments – the next time you find yourself judging a situation negatively, utilize your critical thinking and assess – is that completely accurate? Could there have been another meaning that could be derived from the situation? By challenging yourself, you’re helping change those habits in the mind that perpetuate a state of pessimism.

Using 12-Step Programs to Foster Mental, Physical and Spiritual Wellness

There are many beautiful areas of recovery that also foster this type of growth. Mindfulness and meditation, for example, are evidence-based, holistic practices that teach individuals how to focus more on the present moment. In doing this, the chaotic thought processes that typically occur are gently guided to more positive, simplistic ways of being – and this is the start of a beautiful journey to recovery for many.

12-Step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), also encourage positive thinking by helping individuals work through what has previously held them back. No matter what we’ve gone through in the past, we can’t fully heal until we’ve worked diligently in recovery – and 12-Step programs provide a safe space for people to do this alongside others in similar situations. In fact, the following are what you can find amongst the 12-Steps:

  1. Honesty
  2. Faith
  3. Surrender
  4. Soul Searching
  5. Integrity
  6. Acceptance
  7. Humility
  8. Willingness
  9. Forgiveness
  10. Maintenance
  11. Making Contact
  12. Service

It is through these steps that many people find a more enriching life, with healthy connections to others and tools to help them navigate challenging situations. Rather than feeling lost and abandoned, those in recovery can share and learn from others in a setting that promotes healing and growth. Sponsors further support individuals by guiding them through some of life’s greatest challenges, and perceptions become shaped more towards a life of healing as time goes on.

Begin Your Journey Today

Even if it feels scary to take the leap forward, recovery is a positive change that can enhance a person’s life in ways they never thought imaginable. Don’t wait and allow those negative thoughts to take over your life any longer – make a pact to start the journey to increased happiness, gratitude and faith today by speaking with a professional from Cumberland Heights today.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers, and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first. For more information, call 1-800-646-9998 today.

Applying gratitude in addiction recovery There are many elements of healing that we talk about when it comes to addiction recovery – forming support, gaining education on what addiction is and how it affects us, working through painful emotions and experiences to promote healing in therapy and much more. Addiction recovery is a time where many emotions, thoughts and changes take place; for many people, these changes can have a lasting impact on their lives, but in order to truly reap the benefits of the support they now have in improving themselves, gratitude is necessary. When we don’t have gratitude, we’re more likely to fall back into old, negative states of being – we are less likely to see the benefit in what we’ve been doing or what other people have offered us for our mental, physical and spiritual state, which can bring us back down and increase our chances of relapse.

The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley asked Robert Emmons, a world-renowned scientific expert on gratitude, what “gratitude” meant to him. This is what he stated:

“First, it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received…we recognize that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves…We acknowledge that other people – or even other higher powers…help us achieve the goodness in our lives.”

A 2015 study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology found that when gratitude is involved, those in addiction recovery are much more likely to feel calm and at ease; in addition to this, positive thought processes are likely to help propel those in recovery towards reaching their goals. When we’re more open to affirming the goodness that we’ve received thus far in recovery, we’re likely to maintain a positive, loving mindset – and with that comes an enhanced opportunity for growth, learning and drive.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) explains that recovery involves healing and re-building a life in a recovery community. With so many people and resources to lift us up, it’s no wonder that gratitude can have such a magnificent impact on our lives.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.


Recovery is Possible

Recover Life.

Secure Contact: Confidential Email Form

Call Today: 800-646-9998

Stay in the Know

Signup for Emails

Get Confidential Help from Cumberland Heights Treatment Center

FOR A CONFIDENTIAL ADMISSIONS ASSESSMENT

If you or a loved one would like to speak directly with one of our licensed admissions staff, please call us now at (800) 646-9998 or submit the following information. If outside business hours, we will get back to you the following day.

* Required Field

×

Why is it so meaningful to give to Cumberland Heights?

Your gift to Cumberland Heights through our annual and capital initiates gives immediate support to patients and their families. To make a longer term impact a gift to the endowment fund will provide patient assistance funding for years to come.

×