The role of gratitude during the recovery journey



As a child, I’d always heard adults and wise older people say to “Be thankful for what you have”.  When I was younger, I never really paid much attention to the jewels that the older people would drop on me.  I never took the time to actually think about what those words really meant.  As I got older, I was engulfed in a haze of anxiety and I was caught up in the symptoms that my bipolar disorder was inflicting on my life.  I was never in a mental state to do any heavy thinking.  Or in a place to really ponder the wisdom that the world offered.  I was trying to stay above water and maintain myself from the happenings of everyday life. 

When I made the conscience decision that I wanted to get serious about my recovery and become stable, I began incorporating several mindful, and wellness practices into my routine. As I began on my journey, I did a lot of reading in the self-help genre.  This helped me so much with the way I viewed myself, and the way that other treated me, and how I treated myself.  Many of the books, and articles that I consumed all shared a common thread.  Throughout many of the readings that I had come across, a large percentage of them all spoke on the power of gratitude.  This was not a new concept to me.  Surely, I knew what gratitude was, but I had not been a person that included giving thanks in my daily routine.  I thought about it and decided that I was going to do something new.  The way that I had been doing things for the last 10 + years had not really been working for me and it was time to do something new. 

When I started giving thanks for all that I had on a daily basis, things started to change for me.  It was almost like everything was coming together.  Not in a shallow, materialistic way but in a personal, happy kind of way.  I was beginning to feel better about myself.  This was something that I had not felt in so many years.  Here were just a few benefits that I noticed as a result of incorporating gratitude into my daily routine:

  •          Increased sense of awareness
  •          More compassion, for myself and others
  •          More kindness
  •          Better relationships
  •         Better self-image  
  •         Increased clarity
  •         Sense of calm



While there are several other benefits of incorporating gratitude into your routine, these are the benefits that I have personally noticed.  Practicing gratitude is a great thing and will only enhance your situation.  So, go ahead and give gratitude a try, you will not be disappointed.