Overcoming Addiction with Restorative Gratitude
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Restoring Gratitude
Mental Health | 23 November, 2022

In today’s hectic world, one of our greatest challenges is taking a moment to be thankful. As counterproductive as it may seem, giving thanks has an enormous ability to restore internal balance. It counterweights the cycles of negativity and shame that we often experience as addicts. As we progress in our recovery, we learn that each moment and every day is something to be thankful for. With gratitude, we choose life.


“Gratitude is freedom,” says recovery coach Dominic Chianese, “It’s that simple; it frees us from our wants and desires. If we are not grateful for what we have, it will never be enough.” It’s understandable to be fearful of the unknown. We look at reminders of our past, temptations in our present, and overall discouragement from our inner demons. Gratitude involves confronting them head on and turning them on their head.

Gratitude in Practice

Recovery professionals suggest the best way to exercise gratitude and confront negative feelings is to keep a daily journal. Through your own design, you can create your own path of recovery. “Get a nice notebook,” Chianese suggests, “Keep it simple. It can be the same thing over and over. It migrates to the forefront of our consciousness. It can be the lunch you had or even your pet.” Get your feelings out of your head and heart and onto paper. Put down the full spectrum of your emotional landscape. Gratitude is a cultivation. Like a garden, it requires planting seeds, and tending to them daily with regular care work. By setting up a routine.

The Science of Thankfulness

Practicing gratitude allows our brains to release those two “feel good” chemicals we know as serotonin and dopamine, elevating our mood, willpower, and— most importantly— motivation. Scientific studies prove that regularly keeping a gratitude journal drastically improves life in recovery as it aids in our motivation.


One study of nurses found that gratitude consistently predicted less exhaustion, fewer sick days, and higher job satisfaction. Keeping track of your story through journaling can instantly reveal meaning and purpose while simultaneously strengthening neural pathways. Over time, practicing gratitude will train your brain to be present, leading to many positive outcomes both mentally and physically.

The Science of Thankfulness

Being Thankful for Difficulties

Life gives you challenges before it gives you blessings. We can learn more from negative experiences than from positive ones. Within all of life’s hardships are lessons, if you know how to look, you’ll find yourself becoming more grateful for each breath. Understanding and valuing your lived experience can replace regret and remorse with wisdom and gratitude. It is important to persevere through it, it is a proven beneficial tool to recovery. Sometimes the solution is a lot simpler than the complicated problem.

If you or someone you know suffers from addiction,
Paramount Wellness Retreat is here to help.

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