How Does Your Daily Gratitude List Aid Your Recovery?

How Does Your Daily Gratitude List Aid Your Recovery?

How Does Your Daily Gratitude List Aid Your Recovery?

Your sponsor may have suggested completing a daily gratitude list. But how does this tool of recovery help prevent relapse? Learn more here.

Keyword(s): daily gratitude list

2017 study published in Greater Good magazine highlights a strong link between gratitude and good mental health.

Participants in the study, who regularly wrote gratitude letters, reported a marked decline in depression and anxiety during this exercise. 

When one takes the close relationship between mental health and addiction into account, it only makes sense that a daily gratitude list is one of the most important tools of recovery.

Here's how gratitude can help you make the most of your sobriety. 

A Gratitude List is a Reason for Reflection

When you first get sober, it's difficult to see beyond the pain and fear of addiction. These unpleasant emotions are a familiar crutch that addicts cling to even after they stop drinking.

Compiling gratitude lists forces you to focus on the good things in your life. In this way, they help break the chain of negative thinking that drove you to drink.

Gratitude Rewires Your Brain

When you concentrate on negativity for too long, it disrupts the chemical makeup of your brain. In short, you're teaching yourself to feel depressed and anxious.

By contrast, mulling over the things you feel grateful for, sparks a flood of feel-good neurotransmitters. This reverses the damage done by negative thoughts and helps you unlearn these bad mental habits. 

Every moment you spend on positive emotions is a moment you aren't feeding the guilt and remorse that fuelled your alcohol addiction. It's a buffer against low self-esteem, fear, and pain. 

As your brain's chemicals start to reach homeostasis, you'll find it easier to maintain a positive outlook and stay sober.

A Daily Gratitude List Keeps You Going

When you look back on previous gratitude lists, you'll notice they get longer each day. This helps you recognize how far you've come and inspire you to keep going.

Gratitude lists essentially force you to acknowledge every small positive step. Glancing back on these lists helps you understand that you can keep moving forward, one day at a time.

Time spent reflecting on gratitude lets you focus on your growth, instead of comparing yourself to others. When you're focussed on the present, you can't revisit the guilt and shame of the past, either.

Gratitude Gives You Perspective

It's only human to take our blessings for granted. A gratitude list helps prevent this.

Even small things like a sunny day or a favorite dessert can make the list and help you realize how much better your life is without booze. 

Every day sober is a reason for celebration. Write it down, so you never take your sobriety for granted.

When you cherish and appreciate your sobriety, you're less likely to relapse.

Celebrate Your Recovery Journey

Like AA tokens that commemorate your chronological progress, a daily gratitude list marks your spiritual growth during recovery from addiction.

Every milestone helps you recognize your progress and renews your motivation to stay on the straight and narrow. 

Would you like some more help, advice, and inspiration to fuel your recovery? Browse our store for all the best AA books to inspire your recovery journey.