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Keeping a Mentality of Gratitude

As recovering addicts, there are many mental and emotional patterns that we fall into that can threaten our sobriety and lead us back to relapse and self-destruction. Negativity, worry, self-doubt, pessimism and cynicism can all hurt our recovery by convincing us that our efforts are futile, that we’re not strong enough to recover, and that we might as well just give up. Cultivating a mentality of gratitude, however, can help us to stay positive and grounded as we keep striving for wellness.

Gratitude works with our subconscious mind to reprogram all of the limiting beliefs stored there – the beliefs that we’re not good enough as we are, that our lives aren’t enough, that we’re unworthy and undeserving of happiness and good health. Gratitude shifts all of our negative self-perception to help us focus on our attributes rather than our shortcomings, our successes rather than our mistakes, and our victories rather than our regrets. It helps us to stay positive in the face of all the self-doubt we feel as part of our recovery. We can be inundated with worry every time we feel tempted to slip with our sobriety. We can feel consumed with anxiety that we won’t be able to recover. Gratitude teaches us to focus on all the things we’re grateful for, in ourselves, in our lives, and in our recovery. When we’re grateful, we’re more confident, more self-assured, and more self-affirming. We’re more likely to uplift and encourage ourselves. We’re more likely to give ourselves the validation we need, and to have faith in ourselves as we work to heal.

It can be hard to maintain a mentality of gratitude, especially when we’re struggling with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. Our addictions can make us feel as though life is bleak, painful, overwhelming and burdensome. We can feel as though there’s nothing to be grateful for. We get so down on ourselves that we start thinking there’s nothing to love about ourselves, nothing redeeming about who we are or the lives we’ve lived. In these moments of hopelessness and despair, we can try to reach for thoughts of gratitude. When we push ourselves to find even just a few things to be grateful for, we start to find it easier to find the silver lining in difficult situations, to see things in a positive light. We’re able to rediscover what we love about ourselves, and we feel redeemed.

Gratitude helps us to feel inspired and motivated when we’re feeling disheartened, defeated, dejected and disappointed in ourselves. Being grateful reminds us of how far we’ve come. We can take comfort in knowing that if we’re in recovery, chances are we’re doing much better than in years prior. We’ve taken important steps, undergone huge personal transformations and implemented critical lifestyle changes. These are all things to be incredibly grateful for. When in recovery, we can be grateful for the second chance we’re being given to create a life of meaning and purpose for ourselves. We can be grateful that we survived our harrowing stories of addiction, mental illness, abuse and neglect, and that we’re alive to tell those stories. We can be grateful that in sharing our stories, we have the unique opportunity to be of service and help other people, inspiring them to begin their own journeys of recovery. We can find gratitude in the life lessons we’ve learned, all of the wisdom we’ve gained, all of the life experiences we’ve lived that have helped shape us into the people we’ve become. We can be grateful for everything that has helped to strengthen and empower us thus far.

It can be so easy to fall into negative thought patterns. We dwell on our painful pasts rather than focusing on how we can create a better, happier future for ourselves. Our minds jump to the first negative potential outcome they think of, and we jump to pessimistic conclusions, always expecting the worst outcome, instead of consciously working to manifest better outcomes for ourselves. We downplay our accomplishments and belittle our progress instead of celebrating ourselves and giving ourselves the push we need to keep going. We knock ourselves down. We erode our already fragile sense of self, and we damage our self-worth. Gratitude can literally help us to transform all of these patterns, and it can be as simple as listing a few things we’re grateful for each day.

Start by thinking about things you’re grateful for about life. If you woke up today and are breathing and are able to read these words, there are multiple things therein to be grateful for. Maybe you have at least one person who loves and cares for you. Maybe you have plenty of food to eat and are in good health. Add to your list all the things you feel grateful for about yourself as a person. Maybe you had the opportunity to be a good friend lately. Maybe there is a skill or talent you’re proud of. Now incorporate things you feel grateful for in the world. Maybe the sun is shining and that brings you a moment of peace. Maybe there has been some good news in your family or community recently. Amplify your natural inclination to be at peace within yourself by focusing on gratitude. The more grateful you are, the more your subconscious mind will reprogram itself to see the good in everything around you and to find even more proof of all the blessings in your life, thereby helping you to manifest even more good in your life and to receive even more blessings.

The Guest House is a welcoming and supportive recovery home where you will be met with open arms, wherever where you are on your journey, without judgment or expectation. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.