Posted by Steps to Recovery on February 1, 2013

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, how far they have come, and 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 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:

  • The usual way to create a gratitude list is very simple. Just right down things in list form. Each thing may only be a word or two.
  • You may also want to write a gratitude list in a longer form. Here you can describe in more detail each of the things they feel grateful about. The format you choose is completely up to you.
  • In order for it to be effective, your gratitude list is not something that you do once and then forget about. It should be updated regularly – at least once a week but even better is to add to this list daily.
  • Buy a nice notebook to keep your gratitude lists in. Make it attractive, something you enjoy looking at and writing in.
  • If you are having thoughts of using, read back on 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?