Gratitude and Health

Gratitude and Health

There just may be a link between gratitude and our health, according to some researchers.  Giving thanks may lead to positive outcomes for our physical and psychological health.  Those individuals who are in treatment for a substance use disorder can also benefit by showing gratitude.

Giving thanks is easy, cheap, and therapeutic.  You probably say thank you numerous times to customer service folks on the phone and to the clerk who checked you out at the grocery store.  Gratitude though is more than saying thank you or giving thanks to others.  Gratitude is being satisfied with life.

In a study conducted in 2015, one psychologist found that those who wrote down three things they were grateful for in their day, achieved a decrease in negative mood and an increase in feeling serene and calm.  The participants in this study were individuals who were receiving treatment for alcohol use disorder and the study lasted 14 days.  Individuals in this study reported a change in attitude overall but they also experienced a decrease in negative thought patterns.  Gratitude can also reinforce recovery efforts, as found in this study.

There are many with a substance use disorder and a co-occurring mental health disorder.  Gratitude can also help to alleviate symptoms of depression, which is a common co-occurring disorder alongside alcohol use disorders.  In another study, researchers found that keeping a gratitude journal for two weeks decreased levels of perceived stress and symptoms of depression.  Other research indicates that writing a letter of gratitude to someone who was helpful or nice, can also improve mood overall.

Gratitude also can be beneficial to your physical health.  For those individuals who maintained their gratitude journal for 10 weeks showed improved health through an increase in exercising and just wanting to take better care of physical health.  Giving thanks at the end of the day can also improve how one sleeps.  Living a healthy lifestyle can support recovery efforts and can help reduce the risk of relapse.

Gratitude also involves appreciation for others and helping others when needed.  When you appreciate someone or help another, there is an increase in overall satisfaction with life.  You feel good about yourself and these feelings are quite contagious.

Whether you are just entering a program of recovery or have many years of abstinence, give thanks for all you have.  Show appreciation to others or help a new member in a 12-step meeting.  Show your gratitude!

Hired Power would like to help you with your drug or alcohol addiction and maybe you can start giving thanks to those who have helped you.  Call today (800) 910-9299.