Creating an attitude of gratitude is one of the most important steps you can take after you stop drinking. Positive self talk can be the difference between succumbing to or overcoming a trigger.
Prior to attempting to create an attitude of gratitude, I challenge you to tune in to your self talk. Observe how you speak to yourself. Many of us have a habit of talking to ourselves badly. We get accustomed to beating ourselves up and that becomes a habit. A negative one. Negativity breeds negativity, so it’s hard to adopt gratitude when you can’t even bring yourself to be thankful for your own existence.
Wake up to the things you say to yourself and really work at changing it. Start using gratitude to replace negative self talk. When you catch yourself beating yourself up, turn it around into gratitude. Grab a journal and write down what you’re thankful for when you find negativity creeping in. Try to find 5 things you are grateful for every day. Big, small, serious, silly – it doesn’t matter.
You’re suggesting to your subconscious that there’s a different pattern, a different way of talking to yourself, and that you can start to do things around gratitude and finding the good things.
The Happiness Advantage
The book The Happiness Advantage has a really interesting study. Two groups of people had to answer one question every day at dinner time. They had to go back over the last 24 hours and think of three to five things that they were grateful for, so they had to scan the last 24 hours every day at dinner time. Gratitude teaches your brain how to look for the positive and then all of the sudden you start looking for the positive and seeing the positive in everything. This group of people had to say what they’re grateful for…and their overall satisfaction in life, their depression lifted, and everything improved. Their overall happiness scores improved. So you can actually change your overall level of happiness. Your happiness is not fixed.
There’s more research like this waiting for you to discover it! Start reading This Naked Mind for free today to find it!
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Creating An Attitude of Gratitude With Neuroplaticity
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change.
So even if you’ve been depressed for a long time and drinking has led you to always look for the negative – you don’t need to stay stuck in that pattern. You can learn to create an attitude of gratitude. Thanks to neuroplasticity, you can rewire your brain to eventually be drawn towards looking for the positive in things.
Putting It Into Practice
Creating an attitude of gratitude takes practice. It won’t happen overnight but the more you practice, the better you’ll get at it. Find your own ways to practice gratitude. Slip a token in your pocket and use it as a reminder to give thanks throughout the day. Set a reminder in your phone. Get a silicone bracelet that has gratitude printed on it. It doesn’t matter how you practice gratitude. Just give thanks!