In early recovery, it’s sometimes hard to keep upbeat. Getting clean and sober can be an emotional roller coaster as you learn new habits and coping mechanisms. At the same time, your body is still adjusting to life without the use of substances. Sometimes you’ll need to use tools to help yourself stay positive. One of the essential tools you’ll hear about is the gratitude list.
What is a Gratitude List?
In a gratitude list, you’ll be focusing on the right things instead of the bad. Every day, you’ll use this list to stay focused on the things that matter most. Many people who abuse substances or have a mental health disorder have trouble focusing on the present. Your mind can play tricks on you when you’re having a bad day. You may feel overwhelmed on the bad days.
Why does this list help people work their recovery program? It’s simple. A gratitude list is a great way to focus on the positive. An “attitude of gratitude” can help you focus on your long-term goals, instead of reacting poorly when you have a bad day.
How to Find What You’re Grateful For
You may feel stumped when you first start keeping your gratitude list. Start thinking about it early in your day so you can note the things you’re grateful for. You may find that your day is much more pleasant when you begin writing these items down.
Maybe you had a great breakfast or played with your pet dog or cat. Those are things you probably didn’t take time to appreciate or enjoy when you were using. Did you have a great talk with a friend or your sponsor? Value your relationships as well as the “small stuff” like food or watching a fun movie. Enjoy watching the sunset with a loved one.
Buy yourself a notebook or journal that you’re comfortable carrying around with you some of the time. If you are looking for something small, check the journal section at the book store.
Now, start carrying your journal around. Jot down the things you’re grateful for throughout the day – and why, if you have time. There are a lot of things your life probably lacked when you were in active addiction. A warm bed, time with your family, hot chocolate, cookies…these are all things you can write in your journal.
Soon enough, your gratitude list will become a daily tool. When you’re feeling blue or like you’re just not good enough, take a moment to re-read your journal. Make sure to try to find at least five things you’re grateful for daily.
Getting Help for Addiction
Do you or somebody you love have a problem with substance abuse? Give yourself a chance! Many people have been able to reclaim their lives through the help of a holistic and empathetic treatment center.
Take the first step and reach out to us at 1-888-959-3277 to learn more about our programs and how we can help.