Five Ways to Cultivate Gratitude for Addiction Recovery

Addiction recovery might seem like a goal, but you will discover it is more of a process. You will learn to live your life one day at a time, accepting and meeting the challenges of life while resisting the ineffective “rubber crutch” of addiction. The bad news: recovery is difficult, especially at first. The good news: it gets easier with practice, and there are tools you can learn to use to support your good choices. Developing a sense of gratitude is a powerful tool for addiction recovery. Let’s take a look at why gratitude is so helpful for recovery and then discuss five ways you can cultivate gratitude for addiction recovery.

Why Gratitude Is Essential For Addiction Recovery

Addiction recovery is challenging. Turning away from addiction is not always easy. You need to want to stay clean. To prevail in this struggle, you need motivation. That is when the importance of gratitude becomes clear. If you cultivate the ability to be deeply grateful to be clean for one more day, you can resist temptation more easily.

If you are able to offset the daily frustrations and challenges of life in recovery with minor and major feelings of gratitude throughout the day, you will be less stressed. Cultivating feelings of happiness and calm and proving to yourself that your struggle is worthwhile helps you stay on your path and avoid relapse.

Gratitude for Sunrise and Sunset

Create A Gratitude Habit

We all know habits are hard to break. But they are also surprisingly easy to make. Create a new habit for yourself to support your effort to recover from addiction. Each morning when you wake up and each night before you go to bed, set aside just a few minutes for gratitude. Begin by taking a few deep breaths with your eyes closed. Try to smile. Now think of something you are grateful for. Feel like thinking of something else you are grateful for? Go for it. Or just focus on that one thing and let yourself be filled with happiness as you breathe, deeply and slowly.

woman writing in journal

Write down what you are grateful for.

Keep A Gratitude Journal

Follow up on your quick morning and evening gratitude moments by writing in a journal. The act of writing can help organize and clarify your thoughts. By writing them down, you commit to them in some sense, and this can help you deeply embrace the progress that you are making. Allow yourself to ponder. Consider things both big and small. Some days are challenging. It is ok to be grateful to merely survive sometimes. Expand your list in all directions and discover the myriad things that you can feel grateful for. It’s a great feeling! Explore it. When you set aside time to focus on gratitude, it will gradually become second nature.

Change Your Outlook

You are here reading about gratitude and addiction recovery, so chances are you have realized you are struggling with addiction (or you know someone who is). You have probably noticed that addiction has taken some important things for you and imposed some painful costs. But now that you are beginning to realize you want to change things, you are going to learn to have more empathy and compassion for yourself and others. You are going to develop new skills to help you live an examined, meaningful life. You will learn life lessons that will allow you to feel a sense of peace with your past, present, and future. So hiding behind this dark cloud of the
challenge of addiction recovery, there is quite a magnificent silver lining to be grateful for.

small stones balanced on top of each other with green background

Little things can be amazing.

Learn To Appreciate Simple Things

It is ok to have big goals, but if you realize all the small things in life that can make you happy, you can enjoy the journey towards your goal a lot more. Slow down and take a deep breath. Instead of asking yourself “what do I want?” or “what do I need?” ask yourself, “what do I have right now that makes me happy?” Sometimes just slowing down your breath and smiling can bring a sense of peace and happiness.

Perhaps you are standing at the sink washing dishes, feeling annoyed at your housemate for leaving a mess, wishing you had your own apartment, worrying if you did the pull of your addiction might be stronger, feeling resentful of the factors in your life that may have driven you to addiction. Take a deep breath. Realize you are ok, right now, doing dishes, taking care of something. Look out the window and find beauty in what you see. Enjoy the song of a bird and be grateful for a peaceful moment when you realize, right here, right now, you are ok. Realize that small things like sharing a laugh with a friend or smiling out the window at a bird singing on a beautiful day can make you happy.

Accept Imperfection

You will face uncertainty on the road of addiction recovery. You won’t always have all the answers, and sometimes you will be wrong when you think you are right. It’s ok to be wrong. It is ok to realize you need to change something. Sometimes you will try to change something that you realize is really important, but you won’t succeed. That is ok too. You can try again. The emotional growth required for addiction recovery is a difficult challenge and you may progress in fits and starts. Embrace the challenge, compassionately accept your failures and resolve to keep trying, grateful for the will to persist and the knowledge that you are not perfect, but that is ok. You can keep working for the life that you want, because YOU ARE WORTH THE EFFORT.

young hand on older person's arm

Helping others feels good.

Do Something For Others

However difficult your life is, you will probably agree, someone else has it worse. Find someone you can help and help them. Volunteer programs help build social connection, which is another great way to support your recovery efforts. When you help someone else, you will feel good. You can be grateful for that feeling, and for the ability to help. Discover how happy helping others can make you feel.

Take The First Step

Take the first step on the road to better life. You can do it! If you or someone you care about has a problem with drugs or alcohol, call one of our experts today on (toll-free Australia) 1800 288 348 or +61 398045757 or email us at and we will call you.

At Seasons Bali, we guide addicts to recovery by teaching them about the physical, psychological, emotional, social and spiritual effects of addiction. Learning to cultivate gratitude is a core component of our addiction recovery program. Addicts recovering at Seasons Bali learn through balanced, structured activity to address their wellness as a whole person and achieve lasting recovery using tools such as individual and group counseling, yoga, exercise, and meditation. Learn more about our Rehab Program in Bali for recovering from addiction and make a plan to get free from addiction.


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