If you were asked ‘what are you grateful for today?’ what would your answer be? Something generic that you didn’t put any thought into, most likely. While, yes, waking up each morning is always something to be grateful for- as are your family members and friends. But putting real thought and effort into finding a bit of gratitude in each day has it’s benefits- especially in recovery.
#1: Gratitude Grounds You in the Present
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in self-pity and anxiety over the future that we lose perspective on the here and now. Changing your train of thought to focus on gratitude in moments of stress and anxiety can help you remain grounded in the present. Actively looking for something to be grateful for in each day allows you to see the progress of your recovery journey in real time. It’s a matter of recognizing that those small moments are building the path ahead, and knowing you are in control of there those bricks fall. That in itself is worth of gratitude.
#2: Gratitude Makes You Happy
Something happens when you start focusing on all the things that are going right in your sober life: you realize there’s a thousand little things for you to be happy about. Being grateful for opportunities to grow and learn through sobriety shows you the beauty of the journey. Allow yourself to be happy with where you are in this moment and the wonderful places you’re headed because of your choice to seek recovery.
#3: Gratitude Strengthens Relationships
Repairing relationships with loved ones is an important step in recovery. Showing your gratitude for their support and love goes a long way in helping that process. Take some time to express your appreciation for their part in your recovery journey as well as their willingness to continue supporting you.
#4: Gratitude Makes You Healthier
You know what goes a long way in helping your body repair itself? Less stress. Do you know what helps reduce emotional and physical stress? Gratitude! Focusing on positivity and finding something to be grateful for in each day keeps you in a positive head space, reducing stress and promoting physical wellness. Plus, when your mood is elevated, you are likely to work toward other goals that positively impact your health- like finally getting to the gym!
#5: Gratitude Improves Brain Function
Less stress through gratitude has more than physical benefits; your mental health benefits, too. Turning your focus in a positive direction helps stave of many of the mental health symptoms that can lead to relapse. Stay ahead of anxiety and depression with a daily gratitude journal. Reflecting on your day and finding something to be grateful for is a mental exercise in itself: some days you will have to dig deep. Feeling vulnerable? Don’t be afraid to read through it and hold on to all that you’ve gained through sobriety.