As we undertake the work of recovery, some of the most important things we do are mental and emotional in nature. We're making foundational changes in our thinking. We're adopting entire new outlooks and perspectives on ourselves, our lives and the world around us. We're developing greater mindfulness around our emotional responses and patterns. We're adjusting our attitude and trying to think as positively as possible. One of the greatest changes we can make is implementing thoughts of gratitude and appreciation, on a regular basis. How can gratitude help us, and how can we apply it to our recovery?
Gratitude Creates Happiness
When we're struggling with mental health issues like depression and anxiety, starting a gratitude practice is a simple, holistic and very effective exercise that naturally helps us to feel better, think more positively and achieve inner peace more easily. We can list the things we're grateful for in our lives, the things we appreciate about ourselves, the things we love about life – whatever comes up when we think of gratitude. This not only helps to lift our moods and combat sadness and anxiety, it also helps us to offset our addictive patterns because we're essentially using gratitude as a natural remedy, a healthy way of managing our tough emotions and helping ourselves cultivate more joy, calm and grace within ourselves. The more we commit to the practice of being grateful, the more ease and peace we feel in our daily lives, similar to any other any mindfulness exercise we adopt, like meditation or mindful breathing. Things start to feel easier, more pleasant, and more manageable. We feel less depressed and anxious. We become happier. We don't need to rely on our drugs of choice to make ourselves feel better, to calm our stress, or to escape our emotions.
Our Beliefs Change
The more positive and grateful we feel, the better our chances for recovery. When we believe we can recover, we're more likely to propel ourselves forward, make important changes, and continue to make progress. When we aren't positive, we often will sabotage our recovery. Our self-doubt and our limiting beliefs hinder our healing. For example, when we don't believe we're capable of recovering, we often are not able to. We manifest that reality for ourselves based on our beliefs that we'll fail. The reason for that is the subconscious mind governs the vast majority of everything we do in our daily lives, as well as everything we think and feel. We are always subconsciously creating the energy with which we're manifesting everything in our lives. The more we practice focusing on gratitude, the more we program our subconscious minds to look for more things to be grateful for. This helps us to shift our ways of thinking from negative thought patterns, such as pessimism and cynicism, to thought patterns of hopefulness and optimism. We find ourselves better able to direct our emotional responses in the ways we'd like to, rather than feeling like our emotions are out of our control. We respond to things more calmly, we problem-solve more efficiently, and we come to resolutions more easily and effectively. We become stronger, more resilient and more capable of taking on the tough emotional challenges of recovery. We believe in ourselves more, we believe in our recovery with more conviction, we motivate ourselves more, and we set ourselves up for success.
Our Energy Shifts
We can apply the practice of being grateful to the recovery process itself. Because healing from addiction and mental health issues is so challenging, we can find ourselves feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, anxious, and therefore very negative. It's easy to get down on ourselves. We beat ourselves up for our mistakes, for the times we relapse, for all the ways in which we think we're not doing enough or trying hard enough. We judge ourselves. We're not very compassionate or understanding with ourselves. For example, we set out to make amends to the people we've hurt but are still unable to forgive ourselves. When we practice being grateful, though, a huge energy shift takes place within us. We start showing ourselves gratitude and appreciation. We stop taking for granted all of the hard work we've done and the pivotal changes we've made. We discover our gifts and strengths instead of always belittling and criticizing ourselves. We become mindful of the ways in which we're transforming our lives, every single day. Being grateful teaches us to have appreciation for ourselves for all the progress we've made, and to have patience with ourselves as we're continuing to do the work to move forward. We're learning mindfulness and self-compassion. We're becoming gentler and more nurturing with ourselves.
Our New Perspective Supports Our Healing
We start to see the recovery process not as a burden, not as a demanding, tiresome journey of endless stress and effort, but as something to be supremely grateful for. We're saving our lives. We're becoming better, healthier versions of ourselves. We're cultivating joy and inner peace and extending them outwards, to our families and communities, to the world around us. We're contributing an energy of gratitude to the collective human consciousness. We start to view our addictions and mental health issues as spiritual tests to overcome, as challenges we can rise to, rather than as weaknesses or moral failings on our part. We feel proud of ourselves for finally healing ourselves, rather than being ashamed of ourselves for having been unwell. We see our recovery as the ultimate test of our self-love and transformation, rather than as something tedious we resent having had to do. Practicing being mindful on a daily basis helps us to create the energy we need to support our healing.
At WinGate Wilderness Therapy, we believe in the importance of helping you learn more about yourself as an individual, and we work with you to design a personalized treatment plan to meet your needs.
Reach out for support today.
P.O. Box 347
Kanab, UT 84741