The New Year is here. Happy 2017! Like most people, this time of year has got us thinking about setting intentions for the year ahead, forming goals and resolutions to better ourselves to make 2017 our best year yet.
Save more money, spend more time with friends and family, be more vulnerable, eat healthier and the plethora of other targets to set our sights on – are all worthy goals. However, by thinking about the things we want and getting lost in the race to achieve them, we often forget the importance of taking stock of what we have and being thankful for it.
Enter gratitude. Gratitude by definition means “the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful” or “the readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” Living with an attitude of gratitude is essential for happiness, a healthy emotional view of the self and others, and a successful recovery from addiction.
Those in active addiction, oftentimes display negative attitudes that are self-centred, depressed and mired in resentment. They blame others because they feel their life is unsatisfying or not enough. What is absent in this way of thinking is gratitude and this lack of thankfulness only adds to the unhappiness they feel.
To change one’s toxic behaviours once and for all, a shift of the mind and one’s perspective is necessary. Really, anyone who incorporates a practice of gratitude benefits from the healing powers of positive thinking.
While negativity fuels the disease of addiction, gratitude nurtures recovery by nudging us in the direction of hope and positivity. We all experience fleeting moments of gratitude but we can also make a conscious effort to cherish those moments and help multiply them by practicing an attitude of gratitude. And yes, gratitude can be learned.
Living a life of thanks may be the one resolution you make this year which can alter everything else for the better. Here’s why you should cultivate an attitude of gratitude:
Gratitude reminds you of the positive things in your life
Rather than dwelling on what you don’t have, an attitude of gratitude channels your energy into recognizing what you do have. The people in your life, the roof over your head, the shoes on your feet, the sight that enables you to read this – all of these simple blessings – are just that, blessings.
Gratitude turns bad things into good things
Are you stressed out work? Be grateful that you have a job, that life isn’t boring and life is bringing you challenges that you can learn from. Be thankful that overcoming these challenges and tackling them head on makes you a stronger, more adept person.
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