The month of November and the winter holiday season typically brings much talk about gratitude and thankfulness. As Thanksgiving approaches, we begin to take stock of our lives and the things for which we are thankful for. We hear talk of gratitude, read about thankfulness, and we begin to get swept up in the holiday season.
It begins to resonate that, even though everyone goes through struggles and faces trials and tribulations throughout the year, we actually have much to be thankful for and be grateful about. We think about our families and our friends. We recognize that we are surrounded by people that love us and care about us. We think of the gratitude we have for the things we have in life- a home, a roof over our heads, employment, security, support. We know that we are thankful that we are able to spend another holiday season with people that we love; that we are able to get gifts for our loved ones for Christmas; that while we may lose sight of it often, life isn’t too bad and we should cherish who and what we have in our lives and what, as individuals, we have created during our experience on earth. As we move through the holiday season, probably more so than we do during the other times of the year, we are struck with thoughts and feelings of gratitude. These thoughts and feelings take us to a much better place mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually then we would be if we were only focusing on the negative things in life, or the times that life was tough, or when things didn’t go our way. We see evidence how an attitude of gratitude benefits us and how we approach our lives and how we approach each day.
These types of attitudes are normal during the holiday season. However, imagine how we would feel, or how we would think positively, or how we would begin to approach each day if we were able to keep those thoughts and feelings of gratitude at the forefront of minds and hearts everyday throughout the year? When most of us think back to holiday seasons in the past and remember how we felt and behaved because we were filled with gratitude, we remember all the wonderful experiences and positive thoughts that surrounded us like a warm blanked in those holiday seasons of the past. Sure, the weather was cold, and the nights were dark, but we remember a sense of warm comfort remembering those past holiday seasons. Why? Because our memories are peppered with the spirit of gratitude we kept with us during that time each year.
Therefore, if we all have similar memories, let’s take a moment to understand how invaluable an attitude of gratitude is for each and every one of us, and how cultivating a spirit of thankfulness and an attitude of gratitude would benefit us if we were able to hold onto that feeling year-round? Think of the positive way in which your life would be impacted if you were grateful year-round. Think of how that would positively impact your family, friends, and loved ones. Think about how that would positively impact your community. Think about all the time you have spent wasting away, worrying or complaining about things that don’t really matter. Think about how much better those times would be if you were able to remember to stay grateful. An attitude of gratitude makes everything better.
In active addiction, it is difficult to stay grateful. The chaos of a life in active addiction, and the damage and hurt that it causes people, makes it difficult with someone with an addiction to find gratitude. However, when those individuals seek help and healing, they find hope in recovery. And in recovery, gratitude is often one of the most powerful guiding forces. The idea of gratitude and thankfulness is often discussed. And, as it is helpful to anyone in times of difficulty, gratitude is important in those sometimes difficult early days of recovery, learning to feel emotions and not turn back to drugs and alcohol. Those in recovery understand the value and the power in an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude is also, for those in recovery, one of the best relapse prevention tools a person can use to stay sober. Many individuals that don’t suffer from substance use disorder or addiction, but have found lives of serenity, happiness, and peace, often reference gratitude as one of the guiding lights in how they approach and life their life. An attitude of gratitude is powerful for everyone, and no person has ever complained about being too grateful in their life.
So, as we approach the holiday season, we ask that you take a moment to slow down and recognize how you feel in those times when you are grateful and thankful. Recognize how much better being grateful is than being ungrateful. See the power that an attitude of gratitude has in your life. Remember it. Hold onto it. And then, as the holiday season passes, the new year dawns, and winter fades into spring, do your best to keep that attitude of gratitude. It is not just for the holiday season. It is not just when everyone in society seems to be talking about it because it is popular. But rather, gratitude is a feeling and an action that you can use everyday of every year to better your mental and emotional state, better your life, and make the lives of those around you better too.
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.