How Practicing Gratitude Can Shift Your Perspective

How Practicing Gratitude Can Shift Your Perspective

Often, when you struggle with addiction and mental health, it can be easy to fall into negative thoughts. For example, you may think there is no way out of addiction. You could believe that you have been unwell for too long and, therefore, recovery is not possible for you. These ideas or beliefs are far from the truth. Other struggles you could be experiencing may include shame or guilt for having been in active addiction. Learning how to practice gratitude can be important to shift your perspective and help you in your addiction recovery journey.

The Importance of Gratitude to Shift Your Perspective in Recovery

Seeking help for addiction and beginning your recovery journey may seem intimidating. It is important to remember that your recovery and sobriety will be worth the initial discomfort. When you go to treatment for addiction, learning about gratitude practices could be one helpful tool. Gratitude can help you shift your perspective, or in other words, it can help you look at your life and different daily situations differently. In treatment, you can expect to learn how to make many changes to your life. Some examples could include a variety of coping skills. In addition to coping skills, shifting your thoughts can be helpful, too.

Many people who struggle with addiction and co-occurring mental health issues can struggle with negative thought patterns. This can make gratitude practices feel uncomfortable at first. Like most skills, it can take time and practice before it feels more natural. Gratitude can be important for many reasons. When life feels difficult, it can be easy for most people to get stuck in negativity; knowing how to take a step back and look at the bigger picture can be helpful. 

When you can put effort into feeling grateful for your life, you could ultimately re-wire your brain over time. This means that instead of your thoughts immediately turning negative when something difficult in life occurs, you may be able to notice more neutrality. You may even notice that problem-solving skills will come up instead of feelings of hopelessness. 

Gratitude Practices and Treatment

If treatment for your addiction is right with us at Avalon Malibu, we can support you with a treatment plan that is created just for you and your specific needs. Some of the therapies we can offer while you are in treatment with us include yoga, writing therapy, music therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Therapy, whether it be in a group or one-on-one, can also be a place to practice gratitude. 

Avalon Malibu is a luxury treatment center that could be a great place to start your gratitude practices. Gratitude practices can look different for each individual. Some examples of gratitude practices could include writing in a journal the things you are grateful for each day. Another example could be discussing with your peers or therapist. You could then further the discussion by explaining why you were grateful and how it shifted your perspective.

Some other gratitude practices could include self-care. Taking time to care for your body in new and intentional ways could be a way to show yourself that you are grateful for a newfound life free from addiction. Practicing healthy habits can be one way you do this. 

Other Benefits of Gratitude for Your Recovery

To reiterate, practicing gratitude can help to shift your perspective. An example of this could include if you were to have a tough day in treatment where you had urges to drink or use substances. You might initially be blaming yourself for having urges; however, practicing gratitude can be like training a muscle. Over time, it will get stronger and will become easier to use; thus, you may realize that although you had urges, you are in treatment, getting better, and doing what is best for you. Recovery is a life-long journey, and you are doing your best. Gratitude in this situation can help you see that you will continue to get better and that difficult days will happen. 

The Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment published an article on July 1, 2018, discussing a study on gratitude and recovery from addiction. The findings suggested that those who were abstinent from substances and had gratitude remained abstinent. From the study, you can conclude that gratitude is a powerful tool in recovery. NIH News in Health also found that gratitude can benefit emotional well-being and stated:

Taking the time to feel gratitude may improve your emotional well-being by helping you cope with stress. Early research suggests that a daily practice of gratitude could affect the body, too. For example, one study found that gratitude was linked to fewer signs of heart disease.

As previously stated, practicing gratitude may feel uncomfortable at first. However, we believe the benefits could be worth it to shift your perspective and help you feel grateful for recovery. 

Deciding to recover from addiction is a brave choice to make. We understand many people who choose to come to treatment for help for addiction commonly struggle with negative thoughts. Practicing gratitude can help you shift those negative ways of thinking. Gratitude may feel uncomfortable at first, but like most things, over time, it can become more natural. This tool can benefit your recovery in many ways. Avalon Malibu wants to support you the best we can, and we believe helping you learn how to practice gratitude can be one way we set you up for success. Please call (844) 857-5992 for more information on how we can help you today.

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