How Gratitude Benefits Mental Health and Recovery
When you are in the depths of your addiction, it can be hard to see the positives in life and truly be grateful for things when you feel slighted by life with the hurt and pain you have experienced in your drug or alcohol abuse. Practicing gratitude each day, even on your most challenging days, will help to ease your unpleasant feelings of anxiety, self-doubt or pity, and shame. Recognizing that there are things in life, even if they are small, that you can be grateful for can recenter your thinking and allow you to persevere through the hard times.
The benefits of practicing gratitude are:
Improving your relationships
When you practice gratitude, you can recognize the relationships in your life and be grateful for the circle of support around you. Once you know the importance of relationships, you can honor and cherish those relationships and treat those individuals with a high level of respect and kindness that will strengthen the bond you have with one another.
Strengthening mental health functioning
Practicing daily gratitude will help you ease stress and anxiety. Often, pressure can result from focusing on the negative aspects of our life, sending our thought patterns into a spiral of negative thoughts and emotions. Slow down to see the positives in your life and allow yourself to take in the little joys in life while serving as a reminder of the beauty that life can hold.
Improve physical health
Incorporating gratitude into your daily routine will improve your physical functioning, such as quality of sleep, boost your self-confidence and self-image, and, in some cases, improve your heart functioning.
Ways to Cultivate More Gratitude
Learning how to incorporate gratitude during addiction recovery requires practice and time to become comfortable practicing each day. Often, there are concerns from patients about how to cultivate gratitude within their daily routine.
Here are some different ways to bring daily reflection and gratitude into your life daily:
Practicing mindfulness through walking
Taking a small break each day, even for 10 to 15 minutes, to get outside for a meaningful, meditative walk will help to improve your mental clarity and cultivate gratitude. As you walk around, take the time to slow down and take in what you are seeing, be cognizant of the smells around you, and feel the fresh air as you walk. Activating your senses will help to keep you in the moment and keep you focused on the present.
Expressing thanks to others
Showing your appreciation for others, especially those that mean the most to you, will help let the other person know how much you care for them and help you recognize the value of the relationships you have.
Expressing gratitude in a gratitude jar
Take the time to write down little things you are grateful for and encourage other members of your household to do the same. Fill the jar up throughout the week, and at the end of the week, as a group, read them together and see what makes each person grateful. This provides a new level of bonding for any household and propels acceptance and appreciation for each other.
As you meditate each day, focus your mind and body on what you are grateful for in that moment. What thoughts bring you joy? What has your body done for you that you are thankful for? Through mindfulness practices, you will be able to stop and be present in the current moment to be in a state of peace where you can see the many positive things within your life.
Making appreciation notes
Using your phone or a piece of paper, make at least one note a day for something that happened that day you are grateful for. It can be something small such as a smile from someone else or something funny that happened to you. Regardless of what it is, it will keep a running record of the positive joys that can happen in life every single day.
Writing in a journal
Journaling is an act that is beneficial for sorting through your thought processes and also works to find aspects of your life each day that you are grateful for. Challenge yourself each day to write down three to five things you are grateful for that happened to you today or aspects of your life.
Addiction Treatment and Recovery Support at WhiteSands
WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab offers patients holistic measures to addiction treatment that will help them uncover the root causes of their addiction while giving mental clarity on the negative core beliefs that impact their ability to remain sober. As you go through our comprehensive, individualized addiction treatment methods, you will have the emotional healing and self-discovery you are looking for to move you into a life in recovery. Each day, we work with our patients to practice aspects of mindfulness and emotional regulation. Through these practices, we encourage patients to practice a daily self-reflection of their gratitude list. If you want to hear more about the individualized addiction treatment methods available at WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab, contact our friendly staff today to find out how you can get on the path to healing and recovery.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.