Practicing Gratitude in Sobriety

Unfortunately, things don’t always go the way we want them to. Each day we are faced with unexpected challenges and events that can easily bring us down. However, fostering a grateful heart can help you cherish and hold onto the blessings that you have in life while enhancing your spirituality. Cultivating gratitude in recovery is crucial to your mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being.

What is Gratitude?

Gratitude is both an emotion and an action. It is an emotion that directly correlates with the ability to feel thankful for what one has. On the other hand, it is an action that relates to the ability to express appreciation towards the gifts in life – big and small. Many view gratitude as the key to happiness, and it is often said that a grateful heart never drinks.


Aside from being an important asset in recovery, gratitude is proven to have a variety of benefits, ranging from emotional, mental, and social aspects, such as:

  • Promotes new and healthy relationships
  • Improves physical health by encouraging individuals to take care of their health
  • Reduces depression and increasing happiness
  • Enhances empathy towards others and reducing aggression
  • Helps individuals fall asleep faster and sleep better
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Reduces stress
  • Plays a role in overcoming trauma
  • Improves satisfaction in life
  • Enhances spiritual connection with God

Fostering a Grateful Heart Day by Day

Fostering a grateful heart in sobriety is a crucial aspect of recovery. It can help you focus on the positive things in life rather than the negatives. Things to be grateful for can be as minuscule as the sunshine outside, the flowers in the front yard, or the laughs you share with the ones you love. They can also include the bigger things, such as having a relationship with a higher power, attaining another day sober, and waking up without being bound to a drink or a drug.


It is inevitable that we will endure difficult times in sobriety. During these times of emotional turmoil and distress, it is so easy to become enveloped in the struggles you face. Many times, it can be difficult to see through this pain and focus on the positive things in life. However, through prayer and practices in gratitude, your challenges can be turned into opportunities to grow and appreciate the blessings that God has given you.

Although feeling gratitude is an important key to happiness and sobriety, it also involves action. Those who are truly grateful take actions to demonstrate their gratitude. One way that those in recovery show gratitude is through sponsorship. Once you have been taken through the twelve steps and have had your hand put in God’s, there is no better way to express this appreciation than by guiding the next sick and suffering individual on their spiritual journey.


Another way to express gratitude is by simply sitting still and spending time with your higher power. After all, he has saved each sober person from a life of bondage and He has given everyone in the rooms a second chance at life. All He desires in return is time spent with His children in prayer and meditation.

Exercises in Gratitude

There are many actions that can be taken to practice gratitude that you can use in your recovery.


  1. Keep a gratitude journal. Keep a notebook by your bedside and take a few minutes at the end of each day to make a list of things you are grateful for. The next morning, look over your list to remember all of the things you have to be thankful for. This will help begin and end your day in a positive way.
  2. Mindful meditation. Through mindful meditation, you can practice focusing on the present moment without judgment. Try meditating on things that you are grateful for, and shift your full energy towards these things. Mindful meditation can help train your brain to be more positive. At the end of your meditation, take time to thank your higher power for His blessings.
  3. Giving thanks. When someone else does something nice for you, no matter how small, be sure to express your gratitude and thankfulness towards them. You can even write a letter or call u an old friend who has had a positive impact on your life and show them your appreciation.
  4. Volunteer. A key to attaining more gratitude is by helping others. A great way to do this is by volunteering in your local community. In addition, it will allow you to appreciate the things you have that you may be taking for granted.
  5. Spend time with your loved ones. Spending time with those who you are close to will not only make you feel happier, but it gives you the opportunity to strengthen your relationships and practice acts of gratitude towards the people you love.


Finding Gratitude at Through the Archway’s Retreat

Through our spiritual immersion program, guests will be able to reclaim their lives and find gratitude in their newfound sobriety.


“Discouraged by watching those who suffer from alcohol or drug addiction, relapse after treatment, and the skyrocketing costs, we came to the realization that a new approach was needed.”


If you are suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, a spiritual solution is waiting. Contact Peter Marinelli and his staff at Through the Archway today.


Disclaimer:  Through the Archway, a Florida Not for Profit Corporation (“TTA”) is a Spiritual Retreat Center whose primary purpose is to provide an alternative solution to traditional rehabilitative services.  TTA does not provide medical services and should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment including but not limited to alcohol and drug detoxification. The information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat or provide any medical advice.  The information and content provided herein are for informational purposes only. Please consult with your physician or healthcare provider regarding any medical diagnosis or medical treatment options. Never disregard or delay medical advice based on the information provided herein.  Contact your physician or healthcare provider promptly should you have any medical-related questions.    


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