The word grateful is an adjective. According to definition, it is a “feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness; thankful.” Gratefulness, or gratitude, is about thankfulness. It’s a feeling as well as an action. Being grateful is more than saying thank you or showing appreciation. It’s a feeling that you embody and embrace, incorporating it as part of your lifestyle. For recovery, gratitude is an essential practice, as well as feeling. Without gratitude, there is a lack in appreciation for recovery. Recovery isn’t always easy! Staying sober, not relying on old behaviors, staying away from destructive patterns, takes a lot of work. On some days the work is easy. Other days can be quite the challenge. Gratitude is easier to practice when things are good. We can be appreciative and thankful for what feels good and easy. We can feel less defensive or aggressive toward what doesn’t cause us stress or challenge us in any way. Unfortunately, life isn’t always easy. Recovery is about learning to “live life on life’s terms” which means accepting that there are good days and bad days. Gratitude can be the bridge which walks us over troubled waters when the storms are raging. Even on the bad days, we can be grateful for a number of things in life. All we have to do is practice gratitude to find it. Here are a few ways how:
Write A Gratitude List
This is an easy and effective way to fall into an attitude of gratitude. Each morning, write down an immediate list of things you are grateful for after waking up. If you’re “not a morning person” you might find this practice helps you. You can feel encouraged about what is already great in your life before the day gets going. Waking up gives us a lot to be grateful for, like being alive another day, having a working mind and body, being given another chance to practice our recovery. At night, write another gratitude list. What happens in the course of a day between waking up and going to sleep can include a lot of different things. One of the tricks of gratitude is the ability to turn any bad thing into a good thing. Without the bad, we might not appreciate the good. We might not learn important lessons, grow, become resilient, or change. For each terrible and stressful thing that might have happened, try to find at least one thing about it you can be grateful for. Could it have been worse? Probably. You might find you are grateful it was only as bad as it was and not any more.
Say Thank You More Often
Don’t just say “thanks” with your eyes down as you walk out the door. Try looking people in the eyes and saying “thank you very much” or “I really appreciate it”. It might be awkward at first. Quickly, you are likely to find that you enjoy expressing your thanks. More importantly, you will find that other people enjoy your thanks as well. Gratitude is an instant way of paying it forward. Your air of gratefulness won’t go unnoticed. Be a trend setter!
Avalon By The Sea works to heal mind, body, and spirit, in each client through our residential programs and various levels of treatment. We work with the client and their family to promote transformative change for lifelong recovery. For a confidential assessment and more information on our programs, call us today at 1 888-958-7511.