It pays to be cautious around any claims that a particular technique is guaranteed to keep you sober. This begin said, many experts claim that as long as you remain grateful for your recovery, it is extremely unlikely that you will return to alcohol or drugs. Gratitude is not just something that you get to feel when things are going exactly as you like them; if you develop a gratitude practice then this means that you can find things to be grateful for no matter what is happening in your life. Here are just five reasons gratitude can protect you against relapse:
The problem with taking your recovery for granted is that it can mean you will not value it very highly. If you forget what you have come from, you will not be so worried about going back there. This means that when there are cravings or things go a bit wrong in your life, you might not have the right mental attitude to prevent relapse. If you cherish your sobriety, you will be willing to do what needs to be done to protect it, which will make a huge difference.
If you lack gratitude, life can feel grey and lacking. This negative way of seeing the world is likely to sap your motivation and you may begin to ask yourself questions like ‘what is the point?’ Gratitude has the opposite effect of this because it means you will feel excited about your life. The fact that you are excited encourages you to do more, so your motivation can be super-charged as a result. By becoming grateful for what you already have in your life, you can generate the inner-energy to get even more.
Seeing all the good things that are already in your life is likely to make you feel humble. This humility can give you a real edge in sobriety because it means you will be easier to teach. Those individuals who lack gratitude can easily fall into the trap of negative thinking, which can include the trap of believing they already have all the answers. Humility and gratitude are extremely appealing personality traits, so the fact that you exhibit them will make you much easier to be around; in fact, even complete strangers may feel drawn to you.
If you lack gratitude, you will be focused on all the things that are missing from your life. This sense of lack can put you into a type of panic-mode where you believe you have to achieve a long list of things before you can be happy. By developing these unrealistic expectations, you could be setting yourself up for disaster. Gratitude means that you appreciate the good that is already in your life, and you are not in such a panic to get more.
There will almost certainly be some tough days in recovery – nobody gets a free pass in life. The thing about gratitude is that it can give you an inner strength. It means that no matter what life sticks on your plate, you will feel able to deal with it. Even when you face failure, you will not be so disheartened because you can still see all the great stuff already in your life.