While Thanksgiving is typically a time of year where we discuss the benefits of giving thanks, 2020 is a difficult year for many people to find gratitude. While during most years we discuss getting together with family and loved ones and sharing gratitude, 2020 is making that all the more difficult. The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, ravaging the planet since March, is surging, families are having to cancel Thanksgiving plans, and many people won’t be able to participate in their usual Thanksgiving and holiday celebrations. On top of the coronavirus pandemic, America is divided based on the recent presidential election, many are out of work and struggling financially, and the rates of mental health issues, substance use issues, and suicide are continuing to rise. It is not a stretch to say that, for many, 2020 is not an easy year to find things that many Americans can be grateful for.
However, it is important that during this Thanksgiving, we make an even greater effort to find gratitude. This is important for us, for our mental health, for our loved ones and for our communities. We must strive even more so than in other years to find gratitude and thankfulness.
In the larger sense, thankfulness and gratitude are important barometers for our health, both physically and mentally. Numerous studies have shown that scientifically, our lives improve when we are able to be grateful and to find gratitude in our daily lives.
Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude:
- Gratitude opens the door to more relationships and deeper emotionally connections
- Gratitude improves our physical health
- Gratitude improves our psychological health
- Gratitude enhances our empathy and reduces aggression
- Gratitude improves our quality of sleep
- Gratitude improves self-esteem
- Gratitude increases our mental strength
Cultivating gratitude has been scientifically proven to better our lives. During 2020, when many of us are more worried, anxious, and stressed than we have ever been, a simple practice of gratitude is proven to improve our circumstances, our health, and how we approach and handle situations.
In a smaller sense, we also know the importance of gratitude as it related to individuals and families impacted by addiction and are who are finding recovery. In the rooms of 12 Step recovery fellowships, gratitude is often discussed. In Narcotics Anonymous, a famous slogan is “a grateful addict never uses”, while in Alcoholics Anonymous, numerous quotes within the fellowship’s basic text, the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, point to gratitude as one of the keys to recovery.
For people suffering from substance use disorders, alcoholism, and addiction, the practice of appreciation becomes a daily way of living. Being thankful for what we have rather than what we don’t have, finding gratefulness for freedom of addiction, and learning to live selflessly rather than wrapped up in self are all important aspects of recovery. For the family members of those suffering from addiction, they begin to cultivate gratitude and thankfulness that their loved one is no longer suffering with the chains of addiction and begin becoming grateful for their loved one’s recovery.
2020 has been difficult, and the coming months may continue to be hard for many Americans, but during this time of year, it is vitally important that we begin to find things that we are thankful for, and begin to cultivate an attitude of appreciation. It will help us all get through the trying times of coming months, as well as enhance our lives as we collectively begin to recover as a nation, as a society, and, for many of us, as individuals and families finding recovery from addiction.
If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or co-occurring disorders, please give us a call. Innovo Detox offers the latest in evidence-based medical, psychiatric, and clinical care for those in need of detox and medical stabilization in Pennsylvania and the surrounding Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or a loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a detox, rehab, treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (717) 619-3260 or email our team at [email protected]. For more information on our company or services, please visit our website at www.innovodetox.com.