“A grateful alcoholic never relapses” is a common saying in the recovery community that has been shown to be true. Approaching each day with a sense of appreciation puts us in much less danger of ruminating on the bad things in our lives and helps us maintain our sobriety. Here are three tips to practice gratitude in your daily life:
Start Each Morning with a Period of Meditation
We should take a quiet moment to meditate and reflect on all the things that enhance our lives. According to author and Buddhist practitioner Jack Kornfield, “Buddhist monks begin each day with a chant of gratitude for the blessings of their life. Native American elders begin each ceremony with grateful prayers to mother earth and father sky, to the four directions, to the animal, plant, and mineral brothers and sisters who share our earth and support our life.” When we acknowledge the things we are grateful for, we carry that deep sense of appreciation with us throughout the day and approach each situation in a much more positive manner.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
A study by Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., at the University of California at Davis and his colleague Mike McCullough at the University of Miami examined the effects of gratitude by asking participants to keep weekly journals. The first group wrote down five things they were grateful for, the second wrote down five things that bothered them, while a third control group wrote down five things that occurred, without placing judgement on the events. Emmons and McCullough. The first “grateful” group reported their happiness as 25 percent greater, exercised more, and even had fewer health complaints.
Make it a Habit to Tell People How Much You Appreciate Them
Expressing our gratitude is the best way to feel and pass on the joys of life. Ocean Robbins, in a 2011 Huffington Post article entitled “The Neuroscience of Why Gratitude Makes Us Healthier”, explains, “Sure this world gives us plenty of reasons to despair. But when we get off the fast track to morbidity, and cultivate instead an attitude of gratitude, things don’t just look better — they actually get better. Thankfulness feels good, it’s good for you and it’s a blessing for the people around you, too. It’s such a win-win-win that I’d say we have cause for gratitude.” Passing along our sense of thankfulness and appreciation keeps us from falling into feelings of despair and cynicism that could be a real threat to our sobriety.
You can change your story into one of peace and serenity by embracing sobriety. Addiction doesn’t have to be a part of your life and there is a solution. Oceanfront Recovery, a men’s treatment facility in beautiful Laguna Beach, offers cutting-edge treatment programs to give you the best chance of achieving long-lasting sobriety. For more information, please call today: (877) 279-1777