The phrase “Attitude of Gratitude” is one you hear used in the rooms of AA and other 12 step programs. Obviously, it refers to giving yourself an attitude adjustment when you get angry or resentful and remember all the good things you have in your life. Gratitude is also what the holidays are supposed to be all about! It seemed like an appropriate topic at this time of year.
Gratitude is a powerful way to up your mood or challenge abusive self-talk or even the black and white thinking that comes with addiction, depression, eating disorders, and just life in general.
Having an “Attitude of Gratitude” is especially useful at challenging perfectionist thinking. When you go days on end, feeling like you are not allowed to enjoy anything or that nothing is good enough, readjusting your thinking is a break from the unrelenting criticism and cruelty. Even if it’s only for a few moments, it’s quite nice, actually.
Gratitude also helps you find reasons why recovery is worth it. Recovery is hard work and sometimes may not feel worth the effort. Gratitude allows you to reassess your priorities and refocus on recovery in those more difficult moments.
So, how is this done? Some people make gratitude lists, a set of 5-10 things they are grateful for in the morning or a specific day of the week. Others find 1-3 things to be grateful for when they realize they are becoming resentful or angry. There is no right way to adjust your own attitude. You get to figure out what works for you!
Today, I am grateful for the moment when my son was playing and he looked up, saw me, yelled “Mama” and ran towards me for a big hug! I am grateful for the recovery that is allowing me to carry a second child. I am grateful that the shopping is done and I can rest for a moment.
What are you grateful for today? How do you maintain an “Attitude of Gratitude”?