I don’t often talk about gratitude.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I prefer sharing tips, tricks and actionable advice to help you move forward with your sober goals.
But the truth is, none of that stuff is going to work if you’re approaching sobriety from a negative place.
If your focus is always on everything you don’t have, or everything that’s going wrong in your life, it makes it pretty hard not to drink.
You’re far more likely to hit wine o’clock and think “What’s the point?”
My American friends will be celebrating Thanksgiving this week, so now feels like a good time to talk about gratitude and the surprising benefit it has on your sobriety.
Why bother with gratitude?
Our brains naturally have a negativity bias – we’re wired for self protection, so we often pay more attention to negative experiences. If we constantly feel a bit dissatisfied with life, it’s easy to think, “Why am I bothering to quit drinking? I deserve a drink.”
Tests at the University of California found that people who kept a gratitude journal for two weeks felt happier and healthier. They exercised more, drank less alcohol and their families and friends noticed they were nicer to be around.
How to practice gratitude
Write down 3-5 things or people that you’re grateful for and why. You could jot down a list of different things, or you could get really specific, and write all your points about the same thing.
Alternatively, you could try a ‘what went well list’ or note down things you’re grateful for on little pieces of paper that you keep in a jar. On some days, you’ll have to work a bit harder to think of what went well, or what you’re grateful for – but that’s kind of the whole point!
What’ve you got to lose?
We all have negative thoughts from time to time, of course we do. But if you’re not careful, complaining can become a habit, and feeling as if life is less than perfect can become an easy place for your mind to rest.
2020 has been a tough year for many of us and maybe you’re wondering how this can really help? But if a sceptic like me can come round to this idea… perhaps you can too.
If you’d like some help and support to create an alcohol-free life you love, click here for details of my online course.