writing a gratitude list

Creating a Gratitude List

One of the best tools you can add to your relapse prevention toolbox is a gratitude list. It is a well-known fact that those in recovery who focus on being thankful are less likely to relapse.

Starting your day seeking things to be grateful for and adding them to your gratitude list throughout the day or at the end of the day will promote happiness, keep you in a positive frame of mind, improve your health, and motivate you to stay on track with your recovery.

Just Start

Grab a pen and a journal, or open a blank Word document on your computer and begin by writing down all the things that make you smile; big or small. Keep your gratitude list handy. When you are having a tough day, read it to remind yourself of all the things you have to be happy about. It will motivate you to brush away the clouds and look a little harder that day for a piece of joy.

Singing the Blues

There will be ‘those’ days when no matter how hard you try, you can’t find one little thing to write on your gratitude list. When that happens, sing. Out loud. That’s right; grab a wooden spoon, use it as a microphone, and belt out a song. Any song will do. That alone should make you smile. It will certainly make your neighbors smile.

If you don’t know the words, make them up or steal a tune and modify the lyrics with all the things you are grateful for. Since the holidays are near, maybe something like this….

On the first day of Recovery my sponsor gave to me
 A vote of confidence in me
On the second day of Recovery  my sponsor gave to me two words of encouragement and
A vote of confidence in me
On the third day or Recovery my sponsor gave to me three words of wisdom
 Two words of encouragement, and
A vote of confidence in me

You get the gist. When you are done laughing, you will have something wonderful to write on your gratitude list!

About the Reviewer: Chris Barnes

Chris BarnesChristopher Barnes has worked in health care for over thirty years. He is a graduate of Alabama State University where he earned a double Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work and Psychology in 1982. Christopher Barnes is currently the Director of Clinical services at The Discovery House where he has been employed for the past five years. Because of his extensive experience in health care & substance abuse he has an excellent rapport with constituents, clients, and other professional organizations in the counseling/social service community.

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