Finding Gratitude in Recovery
Dealing with addiction is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. While the addicted lifestyle itself is hard, nothing is harder than admitting that you need help and taking the steps towards recovery.
Once you’ve made the brave decision to get help and have kicked the physical addiction with the help of a rehabilitation facility, you’ve entered the recovery process. Unfortunately, this isn’t as simple as the short-term detoxification process. The recovery phase never truly ends, but with the coping skills you’ve learned and our recommendations for finding gratitude in recovery, you can make every day a little bit easier.
The Benefits of a Healthy Mentality
Your mental and physical health are more closely related than you may think. Part of finding gratitude is improving your outlook to a more positive disposition – looking for the positives rather than the negatives.
Thinking positively has been proven to have a positive effect on multiple parts of your life, many of which work closely together. Those most relevant to your recovery include:
- Reduced Stress Levels
- Strengthened Immune System
- Stronger Personal Relationships
- Greater Motivation to Pursue Interests
These benefits will make recovery much easier. You’ll feel healthier and more motivated as well as less likely to use again to cope with stress. You can also work on repairing your relationships now that you have a clearer and more positive mind, enriching your overall quality of life.
Strategies for Finding Gratitude in Recovery
Holidays can either be a great time for your mental health and full of reasons to be grateful, or a painful reminder of the past. The major part of finding gratitude is remembering to be positive, which can be easier during times like Thanksgiving or Christmas where reminders are everywhere. However, once the winter season ends and life returns back to normal, you’ll still need to find the positivity in things when there’s much less holiday cheer around. If you’re having trouble getting into a positive mindset or something has you down, try these exercises to give yourself a little boost and reduce the urge to relapse.
Start the Day with 3 Things You’re Grateful For
Good things happen to us every day, and there is always something to be grateful for. Unfortunately, if you’re struggling with the recovery process it can be hard to consider the positives when everything seems so negative.
The practice of starting the day by recording 3 things you’re grateful for is the perfect way to start the day off with a positive outlook. No matter what the rest of the day has in store for you, you can take solace in and appreciate the positives in your life. Whether it’s a bed to sleep in, the love of a family member, friend, or pet, or just a sunny day, write it down. That way even if you’re feeling down in the morning, you’re finding the positives in life and maintaining a healthy mindset. You can also reflect on the words when you’re feeling down.
Keep a Positivity Journal
To add onto your morning grateful journal, you can also keep notes with you throughout the day where you write down anything that made you happy. There are many positive things that make us smile but slip our mind. If you keep a record of them you can look back and remember how you felt when it happened as a motivating factor in maintaining your sobriety and optimism.
Acknowledge That Your Life is in Your Hands Now
During your recovery – especially early on – there will be rough days where you feel weak and consider using again. However, once you’ve rid yourself of the addiction and begun on the road to recovery, you’ve taken the reigns when it comes to your life. The past is behind you, and you’re able to move on living the life you want to live. It may not be an entirely fresh start, but your future is entirely up to you and the possibilities are endless.
Embrace the Benefits of Sobriety
Your life is in a much better place when you’re sober than when you’re suffering from addiction. What better way to remember and prove that to yourself than doing something you couldn’t do before?
You could spend time with friends or family that your addiction isolated you from, learn a new skill or start a hobby with your improved focus and free time, enjoy the health benefits of your sobriety with exercise, or anything else you may have missed out on during your struggle with addiction.
Help Someone Else
There are few more therapeutic activities than helping others. Giving back to those in need is one of the simplest ways to be grateful for your newfound sobriety. Whether it is volunteering at a local soup kitchen, being a sponsor for Alcoholics Anonymous, or just doing your best to be kind to those you run into, the goodness and positivity that you spread can help to stave off negative thoughts. Putting others before yourself can motivate you to keep recovering, and appreciate the opportunity you have to do good.
Choose a Rehab That Instills Positive Habits for Recovery
When it comes to how easy and successful your recovery process is, your treatment program plays a major role. At Ocean Hills Recovery, our approach to drug rehab continues with you even after you leave our 30, 60, or 90-day program. In addition to detoxification, our treatment center will address the underlying cause of your addiction. Our caring staff will set you up with the necessary coping skills and self-help guidelines for maintaining positivity, making healthy decisions, and finding gratitude in recovery.
With decades of experience between our staff and exceptional, compassionate care, there is nowhere better to begin your road to recovery. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you or a loved one take back your life.
About the author:
Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.
Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.
Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.