Gratitude and Addiction Recovery: The Power of Gratitude


Thankfully, nurturing a daily gratitude practice is simple, and it can be woven into your day-to-day life. It starts with a mindset shift, and a concerted effort to think more positively. Practicing gratitude is more than just mailing a thank you letter. To practice daily gratitude means viewing the world through a lens of appreciation. This becomes evident in your interactions with others throughout the day.

“I’m different,” “Me vs. the world” or “Everyone is out to get me” are all common ways of selfish thinking when in the throes of addiction and using. It is actually a defense mechanism to protect our erratic behaviors. One gets to thinking less of self and more of the efforts of those trying to help. By cultivating this in addiction treatment and in recovery, we develop a better mindset overall and have a much more positive perspective on life.

Practical Ways to Have More Gratitude in Recovery

It is the active practice of gratitude that benefits recovery. Gratitude refers to the recognition and expression of thankfulness. When we are grateful for something or someone, we feel an immense appreciation for them. Too often, we forget to practice gratitude because of our busy lives. However, in recovery, it is important to follow through with such actions and actually express thankfulness. For a healthier, happier life, we can all benefit from keeping a gratitude list or journal, prayer, meditation, regularly thanking others in our lives and dwelling on positive thoughts. Being grateful and having a positive mindset can also help you communicate with family members and friends.

why is gratitude important in recovery

We provide treatment services for adults with alcohol, opioid, and other substance use disorders. We are currently located inLouisiana,Massachusetts,North Carolina,New Jersey,Ohio,Texas, andWashington. Caring for yourself helps show gratitude for all that your mind and body do for you.

How to Experience More Gratitude in Your Life

She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee. Kathryn Mastin, Cumberland Heights Chief Human Resources Officer since 2015, has spent more than 30 years as a Human Resources professional. Most recently she served as the gratitude in recovery Human Resources Director at Parallon, one of the country’s largest revenue cycle partners, with more than 15,800 employees serving hospitals and physician practices. Cindy Patterson accepted her role as Chief Development and Marketing Officer in 2019.

Why is gratitude an important virtue?

Specifically, it acts as a moral barometer, drawing attention to help received; a moral motivator, encouraging a prosocial response to help; and as a moral reinforcer, where the expression of gratitude makes the benefactor more likely to provide help in the future (McCullough et al., 2001).

Cindy has more than 16 years of experience in non-profit fundraising, most recently serving as Development Officer for United Methodist Higher Education Foundation. Of Development for Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, a position she held for 10 years after serving as Development Director for Nashville Read. Before her many years in fundraising, Cindy was the Manager of Premium Services for American Airlines. Butch began counseling in 1989 and worked with Cumberland Heights throughout the 90s doing Aftercare, contract work and individual counseling. Butch Glover, a state licensed and nationally certified addiction counselor, accepted his role as Chief Operations Officer in 2015.

The Importance of Showing Gratitude in Addiction Recovery

And just as with any other habit, with regular practice, grateful thoughts can become your everyday way of thinking. However, if you are able to take that negative event and laugh it off or just forget about it, the day often turns around and is a good one. The key is to not let the bad days take over or become too frequent. Many times people think, sure but I can’t control what goes on around me and what others do and say. And while this is completely true, what we can control is our thoughts. We can make them positive and grateful or negative and toxic. Your positive attitude ends up helping others who are just starting their recovery journey, and in turn becomes a gift to many.

The flip side is being resentful and seeing what’s wrong in life, not what’s right. And no matter which way we choose to look, there will be plenty to be found of both. Researchers from the Journal of Happiness Studies discovered that practicing daily thanksgiving lowered anxiety and sadness symptoms. As per Robert Emmons, gratitude is the affirmation of the goodness we have received in life. Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) could be forwarded to SAMSHA or a verified treatment provider. Calls are routed based on availability and geographic location.

Gratitude is a Magnet: Our Positive Outlook Brings Out Gratitude in Others

It allows your confidence to grow so that you feel less anxiety and stress when attempting to communicate with those around you. Helping others goes hand in hand with gratitude to promote a positive outlook. Volunteer your time, or join a support group to share your experiences with addiction and help others in similar circumstances find their way to recovery.

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