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How to Give Your Recovery a Major Boost Using the Magic of Gratitude

recovery-gratitudeIf you do not feel grateful for all of the good things in your life, it is impossible for you to achieve maximum happiness. In fact, unless you feel grateful for what you already have, the chances are that you are going to be feeling a little miserable.

Reasons for Lack of Gratefulness in Recovery

If you are failing to appreciate all the good things in your life, you are not alone. The reality is that this is how most people behave. The reason is that humans tend to take for granted all those things that they have already because they are so focused on what they want in the future. It is only really when these gifts are threatened that the person understands their true value.

When you first gave up alcohol or drugs, you almost certainly felt extremely grateful to be free of addiction. Becoming sober is a major achievement and is such a relief to escape the all that misery. Over time, this sense of feeling grateful begins to dissipate and eventually you can just begin to take being sober for granted – as well as all the improvements to your life that come with it.

The other reason why it is so easy to lack gratefulness in recovery is that real progress tends to occur slowly over time. This means that it is only by comparing your life now to how things were in the past that you could really appreciate how much things have improved. The problem is that most of us do not indulge in these types of comparisons.

Time for a Story about Being Grateful

There is a story about a homeless man who would sit each day on the side of the street begging for scraps in order to survive. What this man did not understand is that he was literally sitting on a pile of gold. If he would only look down, instead of focusing all of his attention on the people passing-by, he would realise that he was already immensely rich. He never did, so he continued to struggle despite all of his good fortune. This story perfectly highlights what happens when people fail to feel grateful for their recovery.

The Dangers of Lack of Gratefulness in Recovery

If you fail to appreciate all of the good things in your life, it means that you are missing all the great things around you. You are going to fall into the trap of always wanting more but never feeling satisfied because as soon as you get something new, you begin to focus on the next shiny thing. In eastern philosophy they talk about a hungry ghost – this is a phantom that no matter how much it eats, it always feels hungry. If you are unable to feel grateful for all the good in your life, it is as if you are this hungry ghost.

One of the real dangers of lack of gratitude in your life is that it can lead to symptoms of depression. This is because you are always going to be focussed on what is lacking and no matter what you do, you will never be able to reach a state of satisfaction. It is as if the prize is always over the next mountain, so you are forever climbing new mountains in search of the illusive prize.

Lack of gratitude will be a drain on your motivation as you are always struggling but never getting anywhere, and this can be extremely frustrating. It means your life is going to be full of stress, making it is very hard to remain motivated when you are in that type of mental space. Your lack of gratitude also means that you always want to have more but you do not have the inner strength to achieve your goals.

If you are not grateful for your recovery, you are not going to fight very hard to keep it. This means that as soon as things start to become hard, you will not really have a good reason to stay sober. The fact that you fail to realise how much better your life is without alcohol or drugs means that you are on the slippery slope back to addiction.

The Benefits of Gratitude in Recovery

If you can begin to feel more grateful for the good things in your life, it means that you are going to have a reason to be happy every day. This feeling of inner contentment puts you in a great place mentally because it leads to you becoming more energised and positive. The real secret of gratitude is that it can provide an almost endless supply of inner-energy that you can use to help you achieve your goals.

There is no real point in achieving many great things in your life if you are never going to really appreciate them. The problem with lack of gratitude is that you never get to stop to enjoy what you have, instead you are always moving onto the next thing. It is a very unsatisfying way to live.

So long as you remain grateful for your recovery from addiction, it is doubtful that you will ever relapse. This is because you can appreciate how good things are for you, and you will not want to risk losing that for a return to how things used to be.

How to Develop Gratitude in Recovery

It is human nature to take things for granted, so you are going to need to take action if you want to avoid this from happening. There are a number of ways you can do this.

One of the best techniques for remaining grateful for the good things in your life is to maintain a gratitude list. This is where you write down all the good things in your life at the end of every day. You can think of this task as taking an inventory of your stock. It only takes a few minutes to maintain a gratitude list, but the benefits are immense. If you do this right before you go to sleep, you should also find that it helps you sleep better at night.

If you do not want to maintain a list, another option would be to just do a mental inventory of all the good things in your life. This is harder to do than writing things down because it is more difficult to commit to doing this every day; it is too easy to forget.

Journaling is another way that you can develop gratitude, especially if you are diligent about using this to track your progress towards goal. At the back of your journal keep a list of your goals and be sure to document when you achieve any of these. You can then regularly return to this part of your journal to savour your achievements.

Any time you are faced with a task where you need to get motivated, you should think back on all of the good things in your life right now. This allows you to tap in to a deep well of positive energy that is going to give you the power to keep working towards your goal.

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