The idea of gratitude is a common theme when speaking about sobriety, but why is it important?
Gratitude is the quality of being thankful. As addicts, especially addicts in early recovery, this can be difficult. By the time we seek help, we have created some substantial hardships in our lives. We may have relationship issues, employment issues, legal trouble…the list goes on ad infinitum. We have made a decision to get better, and are trying our best, yet we are still bombarded with the wreckage of our past. This can make it hard to enjoy the small things, and make us feel as if we are being kicked while we are down. Hard as it may be, having an attitude of gratitude is crucial.
Have you ever wanted a specific new car? All of the sudden, you see them everywhere. This is a concept called “frequency illusion”. When exposed to something new, our brains tend to notice it everywhere.
Fortunately for us, this applies to gratitude as well. We can start small: write a gratitude list in the morning. Be grateful for the most basic essentials: our sobriety, our health, a bed to sleep in, shoes to wear, breakfast to eat. This helps us start our morning off in an “attitude of gratitude”. The rest of the day, we will be more likely to observe and appreciate the little things in life:
Good weather, our favorite song, a friend making us laugh.
When we are living in this way, our problems and hardships seem less insurmountable, easier to conquer. Please share below what you are most grateful for today.