The world is a curious mixture of wonderful and weird. The precise biological and environmental factors that breathe life into us every day are as exact as they are seemingly random. We have so much for which to be thankful that our bounty can’t be contained to one day of the year (Thanksgiving).
Rather, let’s celebrate an entire month of gratitude and revel in how a positive outlook fosters a productive recovery.
Cheering Up? Write It Down!
The bravery of your newfound sober lifestyle is worth documenting. Your thoughts are clearer, your emotions are visceral, and your communication skills are no longer blurred by substance use. This is the perfect time to start a journal of your journey!
Not only will this diary provide you with a keepsake of your quest to be the best, but it also serves as a reminder of how far you’ve come. Additionally, scientific studies have proven that focusing your thoughts on positivity and expressing them regularly actually yields cognitive benefits and overall health improvements. By writing down thoughts of gratitude rather than gripes, the subjects of this thought experiment gained more energy, optimism, and forward thinking skills.
These are the ingredients for a successful recovery.
Thanks = Love
Your significant other is the co-pilot of the turbulent, triumphant adventure on which you now find yourself. By exhibiting the traits of a gracious, giving person, you not only brighten your perspective, but you also forge new connections to your romantic partner. Statistics show that thankfulness has a ripple effect that lasts over six months in the span of a relationship. During this time, partners reported greater responsiveness to one another, which dovetailed into even more communication, expressions of love, and further gratitude.
This is a momentum that will serve you exceedingly well as you BOTH explore the future phases of your recovery.
Gratitude In the Workplace
A simple “thank you” goes a long way, and in the business world, it actually helps the bottom line. In a social experiment on the topic of workplace gratitude, the results were fascinating. When a manager wrote a letter of commendation to one of his or her employees, that worker was far more likely to assist not only the manager but also his or her coworkers. In other words, they paid it forward.
Also, this study showed that verbal expressions of gratitude yielded increased output from those who received them. Not to be cliché about it, but a happy worker is indeed a more productive worker.
Random Acts of YAAS!
The best way to nurture gratitude is to spread it liberally. Let’s face it: you have some amazing people in your life, so you should tell them all about it. Not only will it make you feel good; studies show that it will also make them feel great! According to these results, a single gesture of thankfulness will prompt a 10% rise in happiness while the recipient also experiences a 35% drop in depressive feelings.
So, how can you effectively convey your overwhelming gratitude to the support system on which you rely?
Ways to Express Your Gratitude
While every recovery is as individual as the person experiencing it, there are some shared truths that may work as guidelines when it comes to expressing your gratitude. We hope these ideas prove applicable and fruitful as you embark on your upcoming “thank you” tour:
- Give the Gift of Quality Time – Now that you have left drugs and alcohol in the past, you have more hours in the day. Make the most of them! Share the healthy, happy new you with your loved ones. The ultimate “thank you” is quality time with those who helped you find your way down the road to recovery.
- Return the Favor – If your substance use involved friends or loved ones, then they might still be suffering from the disease of addiction. Don’t leave them behind; help them move forward. Use everything you’ve learned in your journey towards recovery and pass it along to anyone willing to gain from your achievements.
- Create an Open Dialogue – Open up to your loved ones about the realities of your recovery. By acknowledging your difficulties, you can tackle them together. This sense of inclusion brings your support system more fully into your newfound sobriety; transparency and communication are great forms of thanks.
- Dear Gratitude – Sometimes, however, it’s not easy to speak your thanks aloud. You may be tentative with your interpersonal communications for fear of rejection or embarrassment. That’s why the written word is an ideal way to craft your thoughts carefully and cautiously. Draft a letter that expresses your gratitude and read it back to yourself before delivering it (either digitally or via snail mail).
Windward Way: The Ultimate Thank You
You have gone from using to sober and from regret to recovery. This has been an epic journey, and your loved ones are along for the ride…
But now it’s our turn to take the wheel.
If you have learned anything along the way, it’s this: you can’t go it alone! Not only does substance use affect your mind, body, and soul; it also ricochets throughout your social structure. That’s why you need to create a new paradigm and surround yourself with people who understand your plight and support your achievements.
Windward Way is just such a community. By venturing into our programs, you will find a whole new way of communicating and coping with the stresses and successes of recovery life. Invite your friends and family to explore our offerings and show them that you’re in good hands.
They’ve taken you this far. It’s time to thank them by contacting us today.