Giving Thanks in 2022 – Gratitude is Possible
New Start Recovery Solutions – Recovery Happens Counseling Services
∙ What is Gratitude in 2022?
∙ Finding Gratitude When Feeling Down
∙ Finding Gratitude: Start Where You Are
∙ Gratitude is Good for Health: Physical, Mental and Emotional
∙ Cultivating Gratitude, Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. – short video
What is Gratitude in 2022?
Thanksgiving is seen as a time to express gratitude. But what is gratitude?
Because the Thanksgiving holiday has become so commercialized – some feel an obligation to ‘feel gratitude’. But emotions of gratitude cannot be forced. And feeling forced produces resentment – not peace and happiness.
So what are we talking about with gratitude?
Finding Gratitude When Feeling Down
The year 2022 is another year that has been very difficult for most individuals.
While some aspects of life were difficult before – worry about health and the economy has made things worse for many.
For those struggling with addictions – life can seem hopeless at times. (Note: Addiction is not a hopeless diagnosis – and help is available!)
So how to find gratitude when feeling down?
Finding Gratitude: Start Where You Are
Important elements in the dual diagnosis addiction treatment at New Start Recovery Solutions are mindfulness training and CBT Cognitive Behavioral Training. Both of these treatment modalities help individuals learn to discard habitual behaviors – and habitual ways of thinking.
When individuals are down and/or depressed – it is difficult to see anything positive. So start where you are.
No expectations for anything enormous happening are needed. Just breathe and take a look around.
If outside, notice the sky and sunshine (or clouds). Notice trees and buildings. If inside, look at the space. Feel your feet balancing on the ground. Observe all of these things without judgement. These things are good.
This is the beginning of gratitude.
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”Ralph Waldo Emerson
Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., is the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude. He is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis. A he is the founding editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology. He is the author of the books Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, Gratitude Works!: A 21-Day Program for Creating Emotional Prosperity, and The Little Book of Gratitude.
Gratitude is Good for Health – Physical, Mental and Emotional
Studies of gratitude have found that gratitude has profound and positive effects on physical and mental health.
- Stronger immune systems
- Less bothered by aches and pains
- Lower blood pressure
- Exercise more and take better care of their health
- Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking
- Higher levels of positive emotions
- More alert, alive, and awake
- More joy and pleasure
- More optimism and happiness
- More helpful, generous, and compassionate
- More forgiving
- More outgoing
- Feel less lonely and isolated.
Thanksgiving Sobriety Planning
For many, the Thanksgiving holiday includes visits with friends and family. And for some, those visits will be a minefield of relapse triggers.
And for those without family or friends to visit – Thanksgiving and winter holidays are a lonely time that can also be a major trigger and challenge to sobriety. If you are recovering from an addiction and are alone on a holiday – we strongly recommend attending a local recovery support group.
Holidays can be stressful – but they are not destined to be depressing. Are there ways to experience holidays without relapse or major depression? Yes! And it is vitally important to have a Sobriety Plan. (Also see Relapse Prevention Plan.)
Holiday Sobriety Planning Tips
- Make a firm and unshakable resolve to remain Sober.
- Remember self care: Check H.A.L.T. – Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired.
- Avoid people, places and things that bring memories of previous drinking or drugging.
- Have Strategies and a Plan for Relapse Prevention in Place; know potential obstacles.
- Self Regulate and Communicate; Return to Common Ground Topics
- Manage emotions; use Mindfulness to stay in the present moment.
- Attend recovery support group meetings, such as SMART Recovery, AA, NA, ACA, NarAnon
- If family gatherings are too stressful or toxic – attend support group meetings and/or spend time with supportive friends.
- Use mindfulness to acknowledge and work with emotions – do not ‘bury’ unpleasant emotions.
- Allow yourself to have Real Fun – Sober. Create new sober holiday traditions.
- Give Thanks: Implement ‘Gratitude as an Attitude‘ whenever possible.
- Sobriety is the Priority. (And have a back-up plan in place).
Mindfulness Exercise for Stressful Situations
- Stop what you are doing. If you need to excuse yourself and walk away to another room or outside – do it.
- Breathe deeply and hold the breath as long as you can. ‘Watch’ your breath. That is: concentrate on breathing as if this is your only activity in the world. And for now, it is.
- Slowly release the breathe. Breathe in slowly and again hold the breath.
- Repeat – concentrating on slow breathing for 1-2 minutes.
- When it feels comfortable – listen. Just…listen. If you are outside, hear the wind moving in the trees. Notice birdsong or even car noise. Just listen to sounds in your surroundings without making a good/bad judgement.
- The combination of centering by concentrating on the breath and listening to surroundings without involvement – will bring you back to your ‘center’.
- Our center is the place where we can just ‘be’ for a few moments, without any judgement. This is who we really are.
- Centering works to ‘break’ the connection with physical and emotional stress. It returns us to a place of inner peace.
- If an unsettled state of mind cannot be brought back into perspective through this mindfulness exercise – mindfully walk or do something else for a few minutes.
- Repeat Steps 2-5. Inner balance and calm are critical factors to implement during times of stress.
Dual Diagnosis Residential and Outpatient Addiction Treatment
New Start Recovery Solutions specializes in dual diagnosis addiction recovery treatment. We have residential inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment. And we assist patients in discovering and healing the underlying emotional causes and triggers for addiction – as well as treating the addiction.
A new start in life is just a short step away. We are a world class behavioral health system. We treat those who suffer from alcohol and substance abuse – as well as PTSD, depression, trauma, anxiety and any underlying issues. Our goal is to facilitate patient long-term sustainable recovery.
Our staff understands how difficult it is to see a loved one suffer with addiction. Each patient receives a comprehensive assessment and personalized treatment plan. It is our passion and mission to carefully and compassionately guide you or your loved one into recovery and a better quality of life.
For More info or a Confidential Consultation – Please Contact Us at 866-303-6275.
Change is Possible – Recovery Does Happen.
Seeking help is the first step to recovery and regaining control of your life.
New Start Recovery Solutions Dual Diagnosis Addiction Treatment
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• Dual Diagnosis Treatment (Our Specialty)
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• Most Insurance Accepted
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