They say that a grateful alcoholic never relapses. In early recovery, it’s easy to lose touch with all the things we have gained through sobriety. Showing gratitude everyday helps us stay mindful of the new life that we have been given, allowing us to maintain an awareness of why we made the decision to enter into a journey of recovery. Two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons from the University of California at Davis and Mike McCullough from the University of Miami decided to research the effects of gratitude on our lives. Participants of the study were asked to keep journals about events that had happened in their week. One group wrote down five things they were grateful for, another group write down five things that displeased them, and a third control-group wrote down five events without focusing on whether they were positive or negative. After ten weeks, Emmons and McCullough found that the “grateful” group reported achieving a more positive outlook on life, rated themselves as 25% happier, had fewer health complaints, and even exercise more. On our journey toward recovery, we can easily get caught up in our own internal turmoil, but practicing gratitude every morning allows us to go through our day with a deep sense of appreciation for the beauty of the world around us. As we enter into the process of physical, mental, and spiritual healing, we find that the simple act of reflecting on our thankfulness can provide a sense of relief from our daily stressors. We can keep a gratitude journal, pray, meditate, or make it a habit to thank the people in our lives who have helped us on our journey toward permanent sobriety. Spiritual and personal growth are core components of creating a new way of life in sobriety, and we find that the practice of expressing our gratitude aids in this development. Jack Kornfield, author and teacher in the vipassana movement in American Theravada Buddhism, encourages the incorporation of gratitude into our daily meditation. According to 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. In Tibet, the monks and nuns even offer prayers of gratitude for the suffering they have been given.”
When we change how we see the world around us, we change the story of our lives. Oceanfront Recovery is dedicated to inspiring transformational growth and supporting your journey toward recovery. For more information, call (877) 279-1777 today.