In the process of recovery from an addiction to a substance, an attitude or an unhealthy relationship; it is essential to develop new, healthier thought processes and behaviours, which will help reduce the impulsive and compulsive ones that have been present for a long time.
Recovery requires commitment, courage, and change
At Silkworth, we follow an abstinence-based recovery programme that enables clients to undertake treatment without using mood-altering chemicals. Whilst we specialise in treatment specifically for alcohol and drug addiction, developing a new process of healthy change can be applied to any addiction or dependency, whether it’s chemical dependency, co-dependency, food, shopping, gambling, sex etc.
One of the healthiest tools in ongoing healthy recoveries and lifestyles is gratitude
There are many necessary tools for recovery: fellowship meetings, healthy relationships, a therapist, a sponsor, a journal, books, etc. but developing an “attitude of gratitude” is one of the simplest daily tools that can support you.
Why is gratitude important in recovery?
It can help us overcome the tendency to feel lethargic and hopeless; it helps us to hold on to the things we already have and appreciate the life we are giving ourselves a chance to live. Gratitude is part of living in the solution rather than existing in the problem. Gratitude is just as progressive as developing unhealthy attitudes; each one grows depending on which one you choose to focus on. Gratitude offers you hope.
Developing an attitude of gratitude takes energy and work
Especially to those of us who think we have nothing good in our lives at all. Gratitude can help change the direction of our conditioned, negative thoughts, leading it towards our blessings and strengths. Practicing gratitude can improve our thought processes and again, naturally manifest stronger and positive self-evaluating thoughts. One thing we can always be grateful for is our lives and the quality of our lives.
Benefits of gratitude
Studies have shown that practicing gratitude helps release endorphins (the feel-good chemical) into our brains. It also helps boost the immune system and increases blood supply to the heart; it increases our energy and enthusiasm, leading to healthier sleep patterns.
The best way to practice gratitude is to begin a gratitude list
Every morning or evening, get into the practice of writing down whatever you’re grateful for that day, even if it’s something as simple as “I’m grateful it hasn’t rained”. Think about your health, the fact that you’re alive, the weather, your friends, the fact that you’re sober, clothed, fed, etc. Begin by writing at least three things on your list each day. If you can’t do this every morning or evening, then try to do it as often as possible, at least once a week. If you can’t feel grateful for what you’ve got, be grateful for what you haven’t got in your life.
In addition to being grateful for the external qualities of life you appreciate, you can also be mindful of your own personal qualities that you possess within yourself – do you put yourself on your gratitude list? Are you artistic, patient, kind? Gratitude can help you become more aware of your own personal assets.
Gratitude is altruistic
You “get” through “giving”. Practice gratitude by thanking others. Thank people for being there. Thank them for providing companionship, time, and attention. Thanking is gratitude in action, naturally. Focus on noticing the little things in life that you have overlooked and start appreciating them – the sunshine, the rain, where you live. As you do this, you will be developing an attitude of gratitude. This new process will help sustain you through the difficult times; the times when you’re feeling ‘less-than’ and thinking of giving up.Back to resources