| Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others. Marcus Tullius Cicero |
Gratitude Can be Difficult
When individuals are at a low point in their emotional lives and physical circumstances – the idea of ‘gratitude’ seems almost laughable. But with a slight shift in habitual ways of thinking – it is possible to allow a new and more positive point of view.
Gratitude is a way of viewing the world – and one’s existence – in a positive way.
In addiction recovery, emotional stability is critical. If a positive emotional foundation can be created and maintained, then with personal work and strong intent addiction recovery is successful and continues to be successful, ongoing.
For those not in addiction recovery or struggling with addiction – feelings of gratitude help to create inner peace and happiness.
Feelings of gratitude are the keys to inner peace and a happier life. Gratitude is a very positive basis that supports emotional stability and health.
Basic Gratitude Exercise: Start at the Beginning
If all in your life is not going well and nothing else is possible regarding feeling gratitude: Start at a basic point – and de-personalize gratitude.
“I am grateful for blue skies.”
Now, look around you. Take your time – no need to rush. Truly observe as objectively as possible.
“I am grateful for the breeze on my face; for the trees that look so beautiful this time of year.”
Now, take a deep, slow breath – and breathe out, slowly and softly.
“I am grateful I can see and experience these things.”
“Gratitude is good medicine,” says Robert A. Emmons, professor of psychology at UC Davis and founding editor in chief of the Journal of Positive Psychology.
Studies show that practicing gratitude can be used to help lower blood pressure, aid in addiction recovery and reduce stress.
Author and researcher Dr. Robert Emmons has discovered what gives life meaning: Gratitude.
Emmons, a University of California, Davis professor, backs up his claim with eight years of intensive research on gratitude in his best selling book, “Thanks! How The New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier.” Dr. Emmons’ research indicates that gratitude is not merely a positive emotion: gratitude also improves your overall health, if cultivated.
‘People must give up a “victim mentality” and overcome a sense of entitlement and deserved-ness.’
Gratitude is Empowering
“If we’re so depressed about what’s going on in the world that we can’t act, what does that serve? So part of what we’re trying to do is keep people connected to gratefulness as a source of activism,” says Kristi Nelson, executive director of gratefulness.org, which describes itself as an online sanctuary dedicated to fostering grateful living.
Take a moment each day this week to notice the sky — the changing clouds and colors. Describe what you see and experience to a friend. What new perspectives arise when you gaze at the sky?
Each day commit to looking directly into the face of another and simply smile without words. What happens?
Experiment with using only a flashlight to move through the darkness of a day/evening to truly embed appreciation for the gift of light. Consider all those who went before to make electric and battery light possible and bring to mind the millions of people around the world who don’t yet have access to electric light. How does this reflection impact you?
Write down something at the end of the day that describes how you left the day better than you found it. Take in the positive impact that you do and can have on our world.
Go for a walk and notice any natural and human-made wonders that give you a sense of “awe.” What is the impact?
Commit one month a year to begin each day with a grateful living practice that, no matter what, you will step into with an open heart.
Gratitude is a Counterbalance to Depression
Practicing gratitude is linked to more resilience and optimism. One study that found that counting blessings and “gratitude letter writing” reduced the risk of depression in patients by 41% over six months.
Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude is Tough
Gratitude is, according to Dr. Robert Emmons, a “chosen attitude.” We must be willing to recognize and acknowledge that we are the recipients of an unearned benefit.
Emmons’ research indicates that gratitude is not merely a positive emotion: gratitude also improves your health if cultivated. People must give up a “victim mentality” and overcome a sense of entitlement and deserved-ness.
As a result, he says, individuals will experience significant improvements in several areas of life; including relationships, academics, energy level and even dealing with tragedy and crisis. From The New Science of Gratitude
We use an integrated multi-disciplinary addiction treatment approach implemented by licensed professionals. The Arrowhead Lodge Recovery Staff includes a Physician-Addictionologist, Addiction Psychiatrist, Physician Board Certified in Pain Medicine, Doctor of Clinical Psychology, Registered Nurse, several Licensed Therapists, and an addiction Nutritionist.
We assist our clients in finding their personal connection to the spiritual. Through years of experience, we believe in the power of spirituality in the addiction healing process. We assist our clients in discovering their unique path to living a more authentic and joyful life.
Our addiction recovery programs treat the whole person and include Mindfulness for recovery and relapse prevention.
Impaired Professionals Well-Being Program and EAP Programs