The Role of Gratitude in Addiction Recovery


Gratitude in addiction recovery is one of the most important steps to reprogram your mind after struggling for years with alcohol and substance use. Practicing and incorporating gratitude in your daily life is a critical component to recovery and harnessing that spiritual energy needed to help you get through the tough days. 

Research shows that being thankful has tremendous benefits on your quality of life. Using gratitude as a tool doesn’t cost any money and doesn’t take much time; when you take a moment to think of and make a list of all the positive things happening in your life, you will discover a new perspective and a healthier mindset.  Continue reading to learn more about the importance of gratitude in addiction recovery. 

The Relationship Between Recovery and Gratitude 

Incorporating a daily practice of making gratitude lists is a practical, tried-and-true way to change your perspective on life. 

According to Forbes magazine, gratitude improves psychological health by reducing toxic emotions – ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Incorporating gratitude in your daily life increases happiness and reduces depression by acknowledging what’s positive in your life as opposed to focusing on the negative.

Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life.

Gratitude can be a very powerful tool in recovery. It can foster a great sense of happiness and even strengthen your relationships with those you love. Sobriety doesn’t mean you have to give up a part of yourself and merely running through day-to-day life. It can help you find a consistent sense of being, happiness, optimism, and enthusiasm. Integrating steps towards gratitude in your recovery can help made your journey a bit easier.

Track Your Progress

One of the reasons that addiction is such a strange beast is that the goal is very loosely defined. People suffering from illnesses of the body know when they’ve won — it’s when the sickness has left the body. But beating addiction means fighting yourself from using for the rest of your life.

This can seem overwhelming at first.

Thankfully, you don’t need to look at it like this. There’s an old saying that goes “the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time”. Take a one bite at a time approach to your addiction, and celebrate all the progress you make on the way. 

Celebrate yourself when you reach certain landmarks in your recovery. Perhaps invite some friends over, or watch your favorite movie when you receive your first chip. You could even schedule routine rewards for yourself for every time you hit a different goal. 

Another thing you can do is track the outward effects your recovery is having. If you’ve noticed your appearance starting to improve, or loved ones responding to you better, take that moment to appreciate yourself. 

There’s a theory that child prodigy’s do so well partly because they receive such praise at such a young age; they have a slight edge over their peers at the beginning, but all of the praise heaped on them encourages them to practice hard and improve at a rapid rate. 

If you feed your recovery happy, grateful thoughts, you’re more likely to improve rapidly. 

Count Your Friends 

Learning to appreciate those suffering from addiction around you can help you cultivate an air of gratitude. If you’re wondering how to be grateful during addiction recovery, just think about the wonderful people around you that you wouldn’t have met if it weren’t for your recovery. Think about the friends you made and the lessons they taught you that will last your lifetimes.

If you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community, who suffers from addiction, you’re not alone. This article about addiction in the LGBTQ+ community will help you understand more about the issues that you’re facing. Understanding how the problems facing you stem from systemic issues can help you feel grateful that you’re part of a struggle against something bigger than yourself. 

No matter who you are, cultivating gratitude during addiction recovery is extremely important in healing your addiction. Count your friends, and track your progress, and you’ll be well on your way to living one moment at a time. 

Gratitude in Addiction Recovery 

There’s no question that addiction is a monster. You may be tired of all of the positivity talk — but that doesn’t mean gratitude in addiction recovery isn’t important. 

Once you understand the relationship between recovery and gratitude, the way that gratitude is worked into the serenity prayer, and the importance of tracking your progress and counting your friends, you’re well on your way to starting to heal. 

For more information, contact us today.