With Thanksgiving just a few days away, it’s a perfect time to take a look at how gratitude can play a positive role in your life – even after the leftovers are eaten and the family china is packed away.
Being thankful for little things or “having an attitude of gratitude” has been touted by many 12-step advocates as a crucial step in addiction recovery. That’s because being grateful can help you stay on the path to sobriety by reminding you of all of the good things in life due to your recovery efforts.
While it’s not always easy to be grateful, especially on those hard days when the smallest act seems like a huge hurdle, it is a skill that can be practiced and learned. There are even some daily habits that can help.
- Keep a gratitude journal. This is especially helpful for redirecting any negative thoughts and focusing on the small, positive gifts of life. Just be sure that you plan this activity into your daily day – whether you write for 15 minutes when you wake up or before you wind down for the night.
- Spend time with loved ones. It may sound silly, but making a habit to spend quality time with those who love and support you will help you to become more thankful. Gratitude has been found to strengthen relationships, which is key during recovery.
- Pay it forward. Volunteering has a host of benefits for your mental health, including decreased feelings of depression and increased overall well-being. Giving to others also has the power to make you feel more grateful – for what you have and who you are as a person.
Giving Thanks at Red Oak
The expansive, open spaces of The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® offer opportunities for our clients to spend the solitary time needed to reflect and to focus on how gratitude can play a key role in recovery from addiction. To learn more, call 866.457.7590.