Grateful people don’t relapse. When an addict can find gratitude in their life consistently, the potential for relapse decreases incredibly. People who enjoy their life, appreciate what they have gone through and how far they have come, and cherish the journey they are on to reach their goals are simply happier, and far less likely to fall into the mindset that leads to participating in harmful behavior.

When you find yourself struggling, one good way to make sure to stay on the right path is to write a gratitude list. Gratitude can be defined as a feeling of thankfulness for a benefit that an individual has received. People can experience gratitude towards other people or just the events in their life, often, recovering addicts feel gratitude for their new sobriety and the opportunities it is opening for them in their lives.

The purpose of writing a gratitude list is to help you stay focused on the good things in your life. By keeping a list of the things you are grateful for, you are keeping your sights on the things that keep you moving forward, not the things that hold you back. This process keeps you present with your recovery, and doesn’t allow you to take it for granted, which is when an addict can most easily slip into relapse.

Creating a Gratitude List for Your Addiction Recovery Journey

Creating a gratitude list can be really simple, it doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. There are no exact rules for how people do this. A few things to keep in mind that may be helpful when creating a gratitude list are:

  • Don’t overthink it; just write things down things in list form. Each thing may only be a word or two, and that’s okay.
  • Consider creating a longer gratitude list that allows you to elaborate on your thoughts and feelings. In this list, you can describe in more detail each of the things you feel grateful for. The format you choose is completely up to you.
  • For your gratitude list to be effective, keep coming back to it; don’t create it once and then forget about it. You may even want to update it regularly – daily, weekly or once a month. By continually reflecting on what your grateful for, you’ll stay focused on everything you’ve accomplished thus far and everything that is yet to come in your recovery journey.
  • Buy a nice notebook to house your gratitude lists. Make it attractive; if you enjoy looking at it, you’re more likely to keep using it.
  • If you are having thoughts of using again, go back to your gratitude list. It will help refresh your memory about the amazing things you have found in recovery.

A gratitude list is a healthy and invaluable part of any addict’s recovery. What do you have to be grateful for in your life after getting clean?