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Many individuals take on new endeavors when improving mental health and reinventing themselves. They do this by eating healthier, exercising more, and prioritizing more quality sleep. However, there are other simple things people can do daily to make significant improvements in their lives and recovery journeys. This can include utilizing mindfulness-based interventions to practice gratitude. 

For some people, the benefits of practicing gratitude on their mental health and well-being remain blurry. However, this practice is a critical part of addiction recovery, and in many cases, practicing gratitude can prevent people from relapsing. Of course, struggling as you begin your gratitude journey is natural – trust us, you’re not alone. West Coast Recovery Centers can help you practice gratitude, get treatment, and achieve sustainable recovery today! 

Mindfulness Practices Within Addiction Recovery

Though many consider mindfulness a relatively modern concept, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Mindfulness has been practiced for hundreds of years, with many of its practices rooted in Buddhism and other ancient philosophies. Essentially, mindfulness helps people achieve or maintain a state of self-awareness. This sense of self-awareness opens us up to understanding more about how we think, feel, and behave. The process also helps us when learning more about and changing harmful habits. 

Examining one’s thoughts, feelings, and actions is critical during the addiction recovery journey. Individuals incapable of self-awareness and self-examination ultimately struggle more during treatment. Anytime someone attempts to improve themselves, heal from a mental health condition, or recover from addiction, self-awareness is necessary. Without it, individuals can’t accept their struggles, make amends, or understand how substance use disorder (SUD) has harmed their lives. 

Benefits of Mindfulness

One of the most significant benefits of mindfulness is its ability to help prevent relapse. Life post-treatment comes with many unique challenges. These mindfulness practices can help with integrating back into daily life. Some of the other benefits of mindfulness include: 

  • Reducing stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Improving interpersonal relationships 
  • Increasing your amount of quality sleep 
  • Lowering stress and blood pressure 
  • Decreasing emotional reactivity and increasing emotional regulation 

An excellent way to achieve these benefits and a greater sense of self-awareness during treatment is through mindfulness. So, where does gratitude come into play? 

What Does It Mean to Practice Gratitude?

Mindfulness-based practices offer individuals a holistic approach to addiction treatment, which more individuals are seeking nowadays. Some of those practices include meditation, breathwork, yoga, and mindful movement. Practicing gratitude is just another effective mindfulness practice to add to your repertoire. 

To practice gratitude means to foster a sense of positive and thankful appreciation even toward the most basic things in life. Put more simply, this means paying attention to and acknowledging the good things that happen in your life every day. Sometimes, this also means acknowledging the good that may come out of a bad situation, which, unfortunately, can be extremely difficult to do. 

These feelings of gratitude can provide a number of mental and physical health benefits. However, many individuals are skeptical of the benefits of gratitude. Plus, it’s difficult for people to practice gratitude when it feels like everything’s falling apart, making it challenging for people to truly believe in its benefits. So, for you the question may remain – are there benefits of practicing gratitude? 

Are There Really Benefits to Practicing Gratitude?

Before anyone can truly reap the full benefits of practicing gratitude, they must uncover effective practices. However, once you do equip yourself with these practices, there are many benefits you’ll experience. Some of these benefits are the same as those listed above. However, other benefits of practicing gratitude may include: 

  • Improved cardiovascular health 
  • Increased overall happiness 
  • Elevated mood 
  • Enhanced mindfulness in day-to-day moments
  • Improved self-esteem 
  • Deepened meaning and purpose in life 

Again, you’ll only begin reaping the benefits of practicing gratitude when you find ways to practice gratitude that work for you. So, let’s consider some ways you can practice gratitude today. 

Learning to Practice Gratitude in Recovery

The great thing about gratitude is that you can safely experiment with different methods. Some ways to practice gratitude in your day-to-day life include the following: 

  • Keeping a gratitude journal. Doing so can help you organize your thoughts, account for the blessings in your life, and put complex thoughts on paper. 
  • Engaging in prayer or meditation. Whether religious or spiritual, prayer and meditation are effective ways to be thankful for what you have and ask for the strength to get through your hardships. 
  • Helping others in need. Another great way to be thankful is by giving back to a community of others who are struggling with mental health or SUD. 

These are only a few out of many ways to practice gratitude. We encourage you to discuss other ways with a mental health professional and contact West Coast Recovery Centers for further help today. 

For decades, addiction treatment was full of strict and rigid treatment methods used on each person entering a facility. Today, we recognize and acknowledge the necessity and benefits of individualized and holistic treatment methods. Holistic practices are integral to the recovery journey as they focus on treating the mind, body, and soul. This is achieved through mindfulness-based practices. Practicing gratitude is an excellent way to begin. To practice gratitude is to pay attention to each blessing in life, no matter how small, and you can do this by keeping a journal, being present, meditating, and helping others. To learn more about the benefits of practicing gratitude, contact West Coast Recovery Centers at (760) 492-6509 today. 

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