Embracing an Attitude of Gratitude at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to come together with family and friends and reflect on life and everything there is to be thankful for. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude can be very beneficial in recovery because it keeps you thinking more positively and allows you to deal with challenging situations in a healthier manner. In turn, this can help reduce risk of relapse and keep you motivated in recovery. There are many ways to boost your gratitude this season.

Appreciate how far you have come: Even the smallest steps forward count. You may not have 10 years of sobriety under your belt yet, but look at how your life has changed for the better in the weeks, months, or years you have been in recovery. Think about all the things you’re doing now that you didn’t think were possible in the past.

Keep a gratitude journal: Write down two or three things every day that you are thankful for. They don’t have to be life-changing moments; it can be something as simple as seeing a rainbow after the rain, or watching your child kick a goal in their soccer match. Forcing yourself to look for the positives can turn your mood around and give you something to reflect on later if you’re having a rough day.

Tell others how much they mean to you: One way to lift yourself up is by lifting others up. Brighten someone’s day by thanking them for being a great friend or paying them a compliment. Let them know how much their support has meant to you and how much you value their friendship. Seeing the smile on their face can bring one to yours as well.

Give back: Volunteering can give you a greater sense of purpose and motivation by knowing that you are helping others. Share your time, talent, and passion supporting a cause that is meaningful to you. You can volunteer with a nonprofit organization or give back on your own. Volunteering also allows you to reflect on everything you have to be thankful for.

Change your perspective: Each day is filled with its share of ups and down. However, how these issues impact you depends on how you look at them. Instead of getting mad or frustrated that you’re stuck in traffic, be grateful for a few extra minutes to yourself, the opportunity to listen to your favorite song, or additional time to think through what you want to accomplish. Do your best to look for the silver lining; remember that it takes time and practice to change your way of thinking, so don’t give up.

When you embrace an attitude of gratitude, it can help you to steer clear of the negative thinking that can contribute to relapse. It boosts your mental health and helps you to gain clarity and focus in your life. A brighter outlook can enhance your recovery efforts and provide you with motivation and encouragement to stay on track and keep making healthy decisions.

This Thanksgiving make a conscious effort to change your perspective and be more grateful for life and all of the opportunities that you have been given and those that still await you. Crossroads can help you get on the path to recovery and change your approach to life and your health. Learn how to cope with challenges in a healthier way, build stronger relationships with those around you, and create a network of support that keeps you moving forward. Crossroads can help you recognize even more reasons to be grateful and appreciate how your life has changed in recovery.

[cta] Join the conversation on Facebook and let us know what you’re thankful for this Thanksgiving! [/cta]