Tips for Making a Gratitude List
Whether we notice them or not, we are sprinkled with an abundance of blessings on a daily basis. Some big, some small; but blessings just the same. Making a gratitude list helps us to recognize these blessings and keep our focus on the good things in our lives. This is especially helpful when times get a little tough and extremely beneficial during substance abuse recovery. But how can you feel more grateful?
Creating and reading gratitude lists will promote a positive attitude every day. It is a good tool to have to lift your spirits when you need a little lifting, or a great way to start the day off on the right foot. Searching out and documenting the good things in life is also a good way to monitor your recovery progress by noting and being thankful for milestones as you reach them. If you need help getting started, get involved in recovery coaching for guidance.
How to Begin a Gratitude List
A good place to start is to be thankful for recovery itself and all that it provides. Research has proven that people in recovery who focus on all that they have to be thankful for are less likely to relapse. It will also help you not take your recovery for granted over time.
When recovery becomes the norm, it is easy to let your guard down or not work as hard to maintain your new sober lifestyle. A daily reminder of all that recovery provides will keep you strong and motivated moving forward. Following these tips will get you started in the right direction.
Tips to establish gratitude
1. Commit to writing something every day. Maybe you want to just write a word or two; my mom called. Or write your list of blessings with more detail; my mom called to see how I’m doing, invite me to dinner, and to tell me she loves me; this really made my day!
2. You can create your gratitude list with pen and paper, on your smart phone, keep it in a Word document on your computer, or use a calendar with large boxes to write your blessings on each day. You can format it any way that feels comfortable to you. Create it someplace safe as you may want to keep it and reread it for years to come.
3. Make your gratitude list an essential tool in your relapse prevention toolbox. When you get overwhelmed, take it out and read back over all the good things in your life. The gray clouds will soon go unnoticed; as will your thoughts of drugs or alcohol.
4. How can you express your gratitude every day? There will be days when you think there is absolutely nothing to be grateful for. Make an entry on your gratitude list anyway. There is always some little thing you can find. Maybe the sun is out, there’s a bird singing outside your window, or you didn’t burn the toast today – anything. Just write.
5. Incorporate time to be grateful into your daily structure. It’s been proven that documenting thankfulness just before bed produces a more restful night’s sleep and sweeter dreams.
6. Ask someone to be your gratitude buddy. Sharing gratitude lists with each other will give you one more thing to add to your list, look forward to, and keep you accountable to keep your list going.
7. Over time, you will begin to notice you seem happier every day by seeking out and spending time on each day’s blessings. Don’t give up your gratitude list when things are grand. Just write a longer list!
Start today. Be grateful you found this blog post to help you get started! Always be grateful you are alive, making good choices for yourself, and you’re now sober.