With the Holidays approaching, as well as throughout recovery, it is important to be mindful of the things we are grateful for, one of which could be your recovery. Being cognizant of feelings, emotions, and triggers that the Holidays bring is important for staying sober throughout the holiday season. Researchers have found that familial pressures are attached with celebrating the holidays, which could be an added stressor for individuals. The Holidays could also bring back using memories as these were times for some of heavy substance use.
What is gratitude?
Gratitude is being thankful and appreciating various aspects of your life. Gratitude leads to happiness. According to Robert Emmons, gratitude is “an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts, and benefits we’ve received.” He further mentions that “we recognize that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves…We acknowledge that other people-or even higher powers, if you’re of a spiritual mindset-gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.”
This is important for us to recognize, as we are able to identify the source of personal happiness and evaluate where changes need to be made. We can relate the above definition of gratitude to recovery in the sense of one’s higher power, and being thankful for that, which helps him/her through the challenges that recovery can bring.
How does gratitude affect an individual in recovery?
Recognizing our gratitude towards the opportunity we have been given to become sober is important for us to be aware of. Research has shown that having gratitude decreases one’s feelings of anxiety and depression, improves one’s sleeping patterns, enhances relationships, increases resiliency, increases acts of philanthropy and kindness towards others, and encourages one to seek forgiveness. With these in mind, an individual in recovery who is thankful for their involvement in treatment, as well as with other aspects of their life, can be awarded with the abovementioned outcomes of having gratitude.
If you or someone you love is affected by an addiction, please contact New Hope Recovery Center for assistance. (888) 707-4673. firstname.lastname@example.org
Written By: New Hope Recovery Center
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