When you think about giving thanks, Thanksgiving is probably one of the first things that pops into your mind. This is the time of year when people become more conscious about reflecting on what they are grateful for. Families go around the table and everyone shares. However, if you are in recovery, you know that living in gratitude is something you should practice year round.
Recovery gives you many reasons to be thankful. Taking the time to look for the positives in each day can keep your spirits up and ward off depression. Having a positive outlook can reduce risk of relapse and keep you motivated. Instead of focusing on the fact that you got stuck in traffic on the way to work or your son spilled his milk at breakfast, be grateful that you have a job to go to and time to spend with your kids.
Gratitude does not always have to show itself in big ways; it can be the small things in life too. One of the biggest things to be thankful for in recovery is that you are alive and living in the present. This can remind you not to take things for granted. It can be easy to find yourself wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and slip back into unhealthy routines. Living in gratitude helps keep you focused and on track. You intentionally find things to be thankful for and appreciate opportunities that have come your way.
Finding Gratitude Everyday
Gratitude is all about how you look at things. It is easy to see the negative in things, but if you try, you can find the positives too. Journaling is a great way to keep track of the things you are thankful for and gives you something to look back on. Spend a few minutes each day writing down the good things that happened and why you are grateful. When you are feeling down or going through a rough patch, read over previous entries to remind yourself of the things that make you happy. This can be especially helpful when you are trying to push through a craving and need a reminder of why you work so hard in recovery every day.
Living in gratitude can become a way of life and something you make a conscious effort to do throughout the year. The more you practice, the more easily it will come.