When you enter recovery, you leave behind many of the adverse effects and consequences of addiction. Now that the holidays are here, it is a perfect time to take a closer look at the many reasons to be thankful in recovery and how this attitude can benefit your new life.

What is gratitude? Gratitude is a state of appreciation for things you have and those that are no longer in your life, such as fear and anger. Gratitude is the opposite of being restless, irritable and discontent.

A state of being grateful is a change in perspective that comes with some surprising benefits. In fact, numerous scientific studies have noted the benefits of gratitude.

  1. Gratitude Boosts Physical Health. 

Being grateful helps to build the immune system, lower blood pressure, reduce symptoms of illness and reduce the issues associated with aches and pains.

  1. Gratitude Facilitates Happiness. 

It would not make sense to go to rehab and get sober only to be miserable. If you want to be consistently happy and content in addiction recovery, practicing gratitude is an excellent way to foster these feelings. It can make you more optimistic, enthusiastic and joyful. Gratitude also reduces feelings of depression and anxiety.

  1. Gratitude Strengthens Relationships. 

Relationships often suffer because of addiction, but gratitude is one of the tools that can help you strengthen old bonds and build new ones. It can make you feel more connected with those about whom you care. When friends and partners freely express their gratitude for each other, they can become more satisfied with their relationships.

"i am grateful for" written in a notebook

One effective way to work on gratitude is to create a daily gratitude list. 

  1. Gratitude Enhances Sleep. 

When you are addicted to alcohol or drugs, and even sometimes early in recovery, sleep often suffers. Gratitude can help. Being grateful allows you to have more of a sense of well-being, which promotes falling asleep faster and getting better quality rest at night.

  1. Gratitude Encourages Service. 

A person who is brimming with gratitude is generally more compassionate, helpful and generous than someone who is not. When you are grateful, you are more likely to help others. This fosters even more feelings of gratitude in both yourself and others. Serving others is also a key way to support your long-term addiction recovery.

How Can You Express Gratitude?

The role of gratitude in recovery can be powerful for anyone who experiences a substance use disorder. There are several ways that you can practice gratitude daily.

One is to keep a gratitude journal, in which you write down several things you are grateful for each day. You can also write gratitude letters to people to let them know how much you appreciate them. Finally, express gratitude in your actions by reaching out to others who are struggling.

Addiction recovery is about more than just not drinking or abusing drugs. With an attitude of gratitude, you have the chance to lead a happy and fulfilling life free from harmful substances.

If you or any of your loved ones deal with a substance use disorder, contact The Recovery Village now to learn more about admission into a safe and secure treatment center.