Gratitude and the Holidays


Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC for Addiction Hope

In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, “to-do” lists and materialization can quickly define our lives. Anytime our focus in life is blurred by “busyness”, it is easy to lose sight of those things that are truly important and meaningful.

In a society and culture that values material possession, wealth, fame, prestige, etc., it is far too easy to become consumed by what we do not have or what we may be lacking compared to other individuals.

Changing Negativity to Positivity

Choosing an attitude of gratitude can be an instantaneous perspective changer. By recounting the many things in life that you are grateful for, your focus can be transformed from negativity to positivity.

If you or a loved one has been battling an addiction, maintaining an attitude of positivity will be a crucial part of recovery, healing, and restoration. A transformation can occur from within when one chooses to find joy. In any life circumstance, no matter how bleak or hopeless things might seem, finding gratitude can be a driving force in recovery.

Seeing Past the Trying Times

Perhaps in your recovery journey, you have experienced many difficult and painful times. Addiction is burdening in many aspects, causing destruction on one’s physical health, emotional well being, and more.

Even in recovery, it can be challenging to see past one’s own circumstances to a future with hope. Maintaining a sense of gratitude can be a helpful way to get through trying times.

Practical Ways to Practice Gratitude

What are practical ways to find ways to practice gratitude on a daily basis? This can seem like a challenging task at first, but with regular practice, you may find that your attitude and perspective in life drastically changing.

Here are some helpful suggestions that can help you focus on the positive in your life each day:

Start a gratitude journal:

hiking-358555_640Keep a notebook where you track what you are grateful for as things come to mind. Having a journal is also a wonderful way to look back on what you have written and to remind yourself of your gratitude list. When it seems difficult to find anything worth being grateful for, having a journal to reflect on can be a helpful place to start.

Reflect with a trust family member of friend:

If finding something to be grateful for seems beyond your reach, collaborate with someone close to you whom you trust. Have a discussion about things in your life that you are thankful for. Sometimes talking with someone can help encourage meaningful and reflective conversations.

Set aside time on daily basis to reflect and be grateful:

At the speed of life, it can be easy to go about your day without pausing to think on the good that is happening in your life. Find some quiet time in your busy schedule to reflect on the positive and to be grateful.

Gratitude can ignite a fire of positivity and longevity, not only in your recovery process but also for a lifetime to come. Whether it is the holidays or any other season of life, take the time to be reflective on what you are grateful for.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What are you grateful for this holiday season?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on December 22nd, 2014
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