Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gratitude IS a Chosen Attitude

When you first embark on a recovery path, it is common to feel "high" on life for a short period of time....

but then...

the doldrums of the reality of life without this "protective layer" set in.

For instance, you may feel more vulnerable, more frightened, more child-like than ever before, because you are "exposing" part of your true self for the first time in a long time.

When the negatives take you for a ride, you basically have two choices: sink or swim...

And since you have tried ....and tried...and tried...and tried..the sinking over and over again...

why not try a new way to swim above the surface?

One clinically proven way to turn the negatives around (as hokey as it sounds) is to make a gratitude list.

You can do the old (A-to-Z) approach that lists things you are grateful for, A-to-Z..or, you can do something called the "ten finger" approach..just find ten things, counting on your ten fingers, you are grateful for every day (or every moment you feel miserable). The act of touching your fingers is also very self-soothing and distracting from negative thoughts.

The trick with gratitude lists, however, is not only to write about what you are grateful for that seems "good" in your life, but to make sure to express gratitude for the things you are struggling with as well.

It will feel as though you are lying at first, and, in many ways, you are...

however, thinking changes feelings and action changes thoughts.

If you think it...and force yourself to think it by this simple practice, you WILL find the good and the gratitude in all you are experiencing.

And the best part?

You get to stay clean and sober for another day.

Just for today, choose life instead of misery. You've already lived the life of the "walking dead," so why not do something different?


  1. You know I used to journal my gratitude list but my journal was ruined and I was so very sad about it. I should do this on my blog but do say, 3 everyday. I will, yep, gonna do it. Thank You. Tammy

  2. So true. I remember those things that I'm grateful for and feel better. There is a lot to be grateful for if I take the time to observe and be still.

  3. Is gratitude a attitude or a situational depending mood?