Addiction Recovery & Gratefulness: Why The Two Go Hand In Hand

The pursuit of sobriety is often the pursuit of happiness. While the early focus of addiction treatment is to get through detox and stop using the substance, addiction recovery then transforms into a quest for a healthier, more fulfilling life.

Every recovery path is different, and the steps towards happiness and contentment in your own life will be tailored to your own needs and experiences. That said, one way that can help get you there faster is the ability to practice gratitude.

Practice Gratitude for a Change of Perspective

Addiction recovery comes with various challenges, so being told you should be grateful may come across as a bit silly at first. However, practicing gratitude regularly can actually change your perspective on the recovery process and even make staying sober an easier process. It all starts with knowing what to be grateful for each day.

While you can always be grateful for your home and your possessions, real happiness comes from being appreciative for the deeper things in life. It is up to you to decide what means the most to you, but just being in your current position means you already have at least a couple things to be grateful for. And it goes far beyond just saying “thank you” when someone does you a favor.

For example, very few people — if any — manage to overcome addiction and reach sobriety all on their own. As you are learning to navigate your life in recovery, it’s important to appreciate and acknowledge all of those who have helped you along the way. While you may not be in a position to actively thank them every day, you can still adopt a grateful mindset for having such a wonderful support network.

It’s also worth being grateful just for being in addiction recovery. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates that there are more than 22 million people in the U.S. suffering from addiction, yet less than 20 percent of them manage to seek treatment. Just the fact that you are on a sober path is gratitude-worthy!

How Gratitude Fits in With Addiction Recovery

Live each day with an attitude of gratitude, and happiness will swiftly follow.

This isn’t just an anecdotal statement. A recent Harvard Medical School study found that people who regularly expressed gratitude in everyday life were generally happier and even had healthier relationships than those who did not. The study’s participants also expressed greater life satisfaction and contentment. This is important for addiction recovery, because all of these feelings are crucial to fading the desire to abuse substances.

Likewise, expressing gratitude to others has also been shown to increase levels of dopamine and serotonin. These brain chemicals are what make us naturally feel joy, and higher levels of both have an inverse correlation with drug abuse. Basically, a life of gratitude gives you a more positive outlook on your new life in recovery and makes you less likely to relapse.

Grow Feelings of Gratitude

Living a grateful life does not always come easy. But you’ve tackled substance abuse and made it to addiction recovery — you’ve got this! Here are some tips to help you grow your feelings of gratitude and appreciate everyday life:

  • Talk to others about things they’re grateful for – Getting perspective from others can be a great way to take a step back and see the things that you can be appreciative of. Try bringing it up in group therapy or in other settings where you may be around people who have been in your shoes.
  • Practice regular meditationLearning to meditate will help keep you grounded and more in tune with life’s beauty.
  • Keep a gratitude journal – Try to write an entry every day for things you are grateful for. You can also use this journal to help track your addiction recovery progress.
  • Make an effort to thank people – Making an effort each day to thank the people around you for things (even the smallest of favors) will not only help you build up your grateful attitude, but will help make up for the times during your addiction when you may have not thanked them enough.

We Can Help

Whether you are actively looking for an addiction treatment program or you’d simply like to learn more about gratitude and how it fits with sobriety, contact our team at Principles Recovery Center. Our rehab facility in Davie, Florida helps individuals from all walks of life become sober and build a life in recovery to be proud of.

How To Have Fun in Florida While Sober

Although getting sober can be challenging, it will be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life. When your life is controlled by drugs or alcohol, you end up losing sight of what’s important. When you’re getting high, you think you’re having fun but in reality, you aren’t. There’s nothing actually fun about being incoherent and hurting the ones you love. Ruining your physical and mental health is also not fun. 

Now that you’ve gained sobriety and have your life back, you’re probably starting to learn what makes you happy. Your judgment is no longer hindered by drugs and alcohol, and your emotions are no longer numb. You’ll have the time and energy to learn new things and meet new people. 

A big component of being happy is having fun. When you have fun, you reduce the amount of stress you have and serotonin is released in the brain. Being happy and having fun will help you maintain your recovery. So, how to have fun you may ask? Traveling is a great way to have fun. By changing your scenery, you can learn new things and meet new people. A great place to travel domestically is Florida. 

Fun Things to do in Florida

Florida is a beautiful place with warm weather all year round. It’s also a large state that’s easy to drive around in. Florida also happens to be culturally diverse, Each city has its own charm and attitude. For instance, Miami Beach has a lot of Cuban influence. It’s a great place to visit if you want to learn about a different culture. Orlando, which is in central Florida, has a lot of activities to do geared towards family. Below are a few fun sober activities to do throughout Florida: 

  1. Theme Parks: Without a doubt, this is one of Florida’s main attractions. There are multiple major theme parks in Florida. One of the biggest is Disney World, which is a handful of amusement parks put together. This includes Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, the new Star Wars area of the park, and more! Florida is also home to Universal Studios, which pays homage to some of this entertainment industry’s biggest hits. Florida is also home to Sea World, where people can explore some of the most majestic creatures of the sea.
  2. Beaches: For those who love the outdoors, Florida is the place to go. Florida is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. The blue water and white sand are enough to put a smile on anyone’s face. Furthermore, the salty sea breeze will help everyone relax and appreciate nature for all its glory.
  3. Golf: Anyone who loves golf is going to be happy in Florida. The warm climate and blue skies mean that golf is played throughout the year. There are countless golf courses in cities like West Palm Beach and Tampa. Each course will -present a new challenge to the player. Anyone who is looking to develop a new hobby or hone a skill should consider taking up golf!
  4. Sports: Florida is home to numerous sports teams. Many people flock to Florida just to catch a football game, basketball game, or baseball game. There are also major tennis tournaments that take place throughout the year. Why not take this chance to see some of the world’s greatest athletes compete?

Principles Recovery Center is Here to Help!

At Principles Recovery Center, we are a drug rehab and addiction treatment facility located in Davie, Florida. This is one of the most scenic areas in the country and we like to take full advantage of our location to help people get sober and stay clean. We offer a family-focused treatment program because we understand that addiction and mental health issues can impact not only the individual but family members and friends as well. That is why we focus on the entire person, including loved ones. In addition, we know that addiction does not discriminate. That is why we also provide a Spanish drug treatment program for those whose primary language is Spanish. We would be happy to help you with the recovery process as well. If you are interested in learning more about our addiction recovery programming, please contact us today! 

Why We Should Be Grateful in Recovery

None of us come into recovery because we want to be here. For many of us, our lives have completely fallen apart, and we are at our worst, our bottom. We cannot fathom that our lives could get better. All we can see is the hurt, the shame, and the broken relationships we have left behind.

Recovery Heals Us

Many of us struggle with feelings of guilt or shame for what we have done, not only to ourselves but to those closest to us. Our thoughts are filled with negativity and put-downs, and we can’t see a way to improve things. The disease has taken our self-esteem and self-worth.

Recovery introduces us to a Higher Power, something greater than ourselves, that offers grace and forgives our wrongdoings. This Power will erase all the negative thoughts and feelings inside us and replace them with love and forgiveness if we surrender to it.

Once we have surrendered to this Power, our life begins to change. We feel the love from our Higher Power and from those around us in recovery. The negativity becomes less, and we begin to forgive ourselves and heal the hurts we have hidden. We are grateful for our Higher Power and the grace we have received in our sobriety.

Recovery Allows Us to Mend Broken Relationships

Recovery gives us a chance to start fresh, make better decisions, and learn how to repair the hurt we have caused. This starts with changing our thoughts to focus on other people, not ourselves.

At first, we see others who have what we want, and we do what they tell us to do because that’s what they did. Soon, we feel relief from the obsession, if only for a short time, and we are thankful. We wake up to a new day, still sober or clean. We have gratitude for what our Higher Power has done in our lives – that which we could not do ourselves.

As we continue to recover and learn about the disease of addiction, we begin to forgive ourselves for our behaviors and the damage we’ve done. We can see ourselves more clearly, with compassion, and we can face the truth of our shortcomings. We are grateful for the program that allows us to look at ourselves honestly, perhaps for the first time.

With our Higher Power’s help, we can admit our faults and do our best to make amends to those we’ve hurt. Even if our amends are not accepted, we can forgive ourselves and move on to the next steps in our recovery.

Gratitude Makes Us Happier

An attitude of gratitude is much more enjoyable than only seeing the negativity in the world. We aren’t talking about looking at the world through rose-colored glasses or sticking our heads in the sand. We are choosing to pay attention to the things that are going right, and not the things that aren’t.

Once we begin looking at our life from this new perspective, things begin to change on the outside. Not everything will go our way, but more positive things will begin to happen. Then we have more things to be grateful for, and the cycle continues.

Gratitude Can Keep Us Sober or Clean

There are no guarantees in life but having a grateful heart can help us stay away from those behaviors that destroyed us. As we focus on all that we have gained through our recovery, it becomes more difficult to throw that away with a relapse. However, we must work vigilantly to keep “our side of the street clean,” so we don’t give way to resentments and negativity.

When negative thoughts or feelings do arise, we can now turn them and the situation over to our Higher Power and concentrate on what we can change and what our part is in the problem. Honesty about our feelings and our contribution to the problem will help us find a solution if it is something within our control. We don’t have to give in to the negative self-talk, guilt, and shame that we used to live with, nor do we need to escape from those feelings by using or drinking.

Grateful for Recovery

Gratitude is about much more than just making a list of things you are grateful for, although that can be a useful tool to help us be aware of the good in our lives. It is a genuine feeling of thankfulness for all that you have been given, even the tough stuff, even your recovery.

“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” Brian Tracy

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, reach out to us at Principles Recovery Center. Contact us today to speak to an addiction professional to help yourself or a loved one get the treatment that is needed.