Why Being Grateful in Recovery Can Change Your Outlook on Life

We often talk about the wonderful feelings of peace, serenity and well-being that accompany long-term sobriety. For those who have enjoyed meaningful recovery time, it is something that is truly earned and doesn’t come easy. There are many moments, especially in early recovery, where you can feel overwhelmed in facing your past as well as the uncertainty of what the future may bring. These moments can generate significant anxiety, irritability and even doubt–and you may experience times where you feel that you are fighting a losing battle.

However, you keep on working your program and focusing on the here and now–and something miraculous starts to happen. You gain a greater ability to love yourself and your learn how to extend that love to others. You also begin to forgive yourself for your past and you start to truly forgive others for the wrongs done onto you. The feelings of calm and peace are profound, yet you find is difficult to describe these feelings.

This is the feeling that gratitude can bring to you in your recovery–and it can totally transform your life.

What is Gratitude Exactly?


Simply defined, gratitude is the acknowledge of a benefit or benefits that you have received in your life. These benefits don’t necessarily come from material things but from somewhere deeper and beneath the surface. You can be grateful about something that just happened or will happen in the near future. Those who are grateful are happy with their life as is and in the moment and are aware they will receive more of these intangible gifts down the road.

Gratitude can be hard to describe. When our conscience and our souls are in complete harmony with the present, the satisfaction that we feel cannot be put into words; it is just felt and silently acknowledged. These feelings can sustain us in uncertain times and provide us great joy when that darkness lifts. Gratitude generates positive thinking which improves our physical and mental health and gives us the confidence that if we keep doing what we are doing our lives will become better.

How Gratitude Changes Your Life in Recovery

The biggest benefit of being grateful in recovery is that you are unlikely to relapse because you will do what in necessary to protect you sobriety.  When you cultivate gratitude in your recovery, you are able able to face the challenges of everyday life in a calmer manner. This calm allows you to see those problems and obstacles for what they are, and you can find a chance to learn and grow. This positive way of dealing with things will lead them towards the ultimate goal of recovery, that is, compete serenity.

Gratitude also helps minimize the self absorption and inflated sense of ego that accompany drug use, and can present problems for people in recovery. When you were active in your addiction, you spend most of your time thinking about your needs and the needs of others are forgotten. These feelings can carry over to you when you start getting clean and sober.When you adopt a grateful mindset in your recovery and focus on your inner needs, you have greater feelings of satisfaction. As a result, you can direct some of your focus on the needs of family , friends, co-workers and other important people in your life.

Transforming Your Life: Tips on Practicing Gratitude in Your Recovery

Is gratitude lacking in your recovery and life? One useful tool that can help increase feelings of gratitude is to keep a daily gratitude journal. By making it a habit to record all the things that you are grateful for on a daily basis, looking for good things in your life becomes much easier. Another great tip to cultivate gratitude is to focus less on the material things that make us happy and instead place more of a focus on people. Focus attention on others through volunteering or becoming a mentor to someone else who is new to recovery. You also want to take the time to reconnect with those you love the most and repair those relationships that were impacted by your substance abuse.

Don’t expect to a gratitude guru overnight. As with all things, gratitude will come easier with continual practice. If you make honest attempts each day to find good things in your life, it should take only 30-90 days until gratitude becomes second nature to you.

Gratitude Starts With Making A Commitment to Yourself

Like every journey we take in our lives, the journey of recovery can only begin when we take a confident first step. That first step in recovery is gaining the tools and support that a reputable drug treatment facility such as Dream Center for Recovery can provide. Our experienced staff employs a unique holistic-based treatment approach that will address your needs in mind, body and spirit. For more information on how Dream Center for Recovery can help you find the peace and serenity of sobriety, call us toll-free today.