Do you ever stop and think of what you are grateful for in your life? Are you happy with your life? Are you happy to have friends, family, your living conditions, or job? Maybe you haven’t even thought about it.
Many who deal with addictions to alcohol may find they don’t often stop and think of what they are happy and grateful for, but enforcing the emotion of gratitude can be a surprisingly effective method to combatting addiction and progressing recovery.
It may seem overly simple, but the results may surprise you. Many psychologists—including Robert A. Emmons, the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude—have done research and studies to prove that practicing early for Thanksgiving may be more beneficial to your health and mindset than you think.
Physical and Psychological Development
Utilizing gratitude in your daily routine can have a greater effect on your health than you may realize. Training your brain to be more positive and think with a certain mindset can improve your lifestyle in a variety of ways.
Integrating gratitude can have a variety of great effects on your mind and help physiological development. This includes increased levels of alertness, optimism, and overall happiness. In addition, these higher levels of positive emotions give people a greater sense of purpose and motivation and help people find a more fulfilling life, so they feel less inclined to turn towards drugs like alcohol to numb and calm them.
Additionally, implementing gratitude not only gives people physiological improvements but also physical benefits. This includes lower blood pressure, better sleep, an improved immune system and a willingness to exercise more and work on better healthcare.
Note that all of these benefits are the opposite of what an alcohol addiction provides—hurting the immune system with potential liver and heart diseases, dulling senses, elevating blood pressure, and hurting our positive emotions and sense of happiness.
Closer Social Connections
When you think of what you’re grateful for, many consider their close friends or family members, people who share your interests and stay with you despite difficult times. They are people who you care about. But in times of hardship and in the development of addiction, victims often find themselves pushing these people away.
When considering gratitude, however, many find that their social skills increase and find themselves trying to involve their friends and family again. People who implement gratitude find themselves seeking to be more helpful, generous, compassionate, forgiving, and outgoing, and less lonely and isolated.
Victims of alcohol addiction may find themselves reconnecting with friends and family again when they consider the people for whom they are grateful. Gratitude is capable of progressing the recovery process for many addicts.
Bringing New Opportunities
When considering what you are grateful for and trying to apply it to your life, you will find many new opportunities open up in your life. From adding new healthy routines to reaching out to peers again, your mind will open up and be willing to try new hobbies.
One of the most important
Consider starting by writing a gratitude list to promote a positive mindset, reaching out to family and friends, or considering one of Discovery Place’s many recovery programs, such as the Continuing Care program in Burns, Tennessee, or involve your family through your local Family Matters Workshop program in Tennessee. Contact us for a recommendation at 1-800-725-0922.