As you have worked through treatment and overcome various obstacles, you likely have a few specific individuals who you feel have supported you during some of the worst times and who helped you get to the place where you are now. Learning how to show your gratitude to these individuals can be rewarding for the individuals who provided support and for you as well.
There are many different ways you can show your gratitude to people who helped you overcome your addiction. Depending on your current relationship and how often you see them, the ways to express gratitude may differ. Choose the option that feels right for your situation.
Write a Letter
This can be done via email or through a handwritten note. While email may be necessary for some situations, a handwritten note often shows a greater depth of meaning. Avoid being generic when expressing your gratitude. Relate to a personal experience with this individual and pinpoint the actions they took that were influential to you. Show them what role they played in your journey to find yourself in recovery.
Sharing this gratitude can help them feel empowered. It is a simple way of giving back support to them after they supported you. As you have worked through treatment with their support, they likely know about your goals and recovery success. Update them on how you are doing in post-treatment life, and let them know if you have been using any of the skills they taught you.
Letter writing is not only a great way to express gratitude but also to reflect on your relationship. After completing treatment, you may feel a sense of loneliness as you adjust to your new lifestyle. Looking back on individuals who influenced your success can remind you that you are not alone and you have people who are willing to support you.
Spreading positivity is an amazing way to express gratitude. This form of gratitude does not necessarily need to be directed toward the individuals or specific situations you feel grateful for. If you feel gratitude for a specific circumstance from your treatment journey, try to help someone else or boost the self-esteem of a random stranger.
Even simple actions such as holding the door open for someone, telling a stranger to have a good day, or giving a sincere compliment can spread positivity and gratitude. Too many people assume that expressing gratitude requires grand acts. This is far from true. You can express gratitude for life in general by simply spreading positivity to your surrounding community.
To better understand how these simple actions can make a difference, think about a small action someone else did that strongly impacted you. Maybe you were in a rush and a stranger let you cut in line in front of them at a grocery store, giving you just enough leeway to be on time. Even the simplest acts of kindness can go a long way for others.
As an alum of a treatment program, you have experienced the positive and negative factors of addiction recovery. While you still may be working to maintain sobriety for the long term, you have gained a variety of skills to help you overcome your addiction through the treatment period. If you have a peer that is working through the early stages of recovery, provide support to them.
As you reflect on the individuals you are grateful for who made a difference in your recovery success, you can develop an understanding of how to support individuals who are going through those stages themselves. Offering external support can make a large difference in their success. If you are unable to express gratitude towards the individuals who strongly supported you, this is a great way to pay it forward and help someone else in a similar situation.
Why Is Gratitude Important?
Gratitude is not only important for thanking individuals who supported and helped improve your mental health. It is easy to fall into the habit of viewing the world in a negative light. Addiction is incredibly hard to overcome, especially with all the external stressors happening around the world. Taking the time to acknowledge some of the positive aspects of life can improve your mindset and reinforce your focus on positive aspects of your surroundings.
By increasing your positive thoughts and feelings of gratitude, you may develop a greater appreciation for life itself. While this may not seem to directly relate to sobriety maintenance, appreciation for life has a profound impact on your motivation to keep going. As you increase your appreciation for your surroundings and the progress you have made, remaining sober becomes easier because the negative stressors of life are put into perspective. Gratitude can help not only with sobriety maintenance but your ability to manage stress levels as well. The benefits of gratitude are endless.
Learning to express gratitude may seem to be a big step; however, it can be accomplished with simple actions. Pinpointing specific people who have helped you along your path to recovery and sharing your appreciation directly with them is a great way to begin. By writing a letter or even expressing this gratitude in person, you can remind them of how impactful they are. As you improve your skills to recognize moments in which gratitude is felt, you can begin to develop a strong appreciation for everything around you. Spreading simple acts of kindness can increase your levels of gratitude for others in your community as well. The more you continue to express gratitude, the more your appreciative mindset is reinforced, leading you to a more positive outlook on your surroundings. To learn more about how to express gratitude, reach out to Dream Recovery at (949) 732-1960.