The importance of gratitude

17 Apr 2020 - blog

Kyra is Senior Counsellor at Yes We Can Youth Clinics en has been in recovery for ten years herself.

In these uncertain times it is very easy to focus on our negative thoughts and anxieties. In the clinic our fellows learn daily how to speak out their thoughts and their worries and they also learn that they can ask for help when they feel sad, anxious, angry or depressed. During my active addiction I was always focussed on the negative things in my life. My head told me that I was not doing well, that I would fail, that nobody cared about me and that people would leave me in the end. These thoughts always lead to self-pity and the end result was using, pushing people away or finding other ways to escape my feelings.  

I am almost 10 years in recovery and one of the tools that helps me most is my daily gratitude list. Every evening I reflect on all the things that I am grateful for and that I used to take for granted.  And there are always things to be grateful for. You can also do this together with your family. Get everybody in your family a small notebook and fill it with things you are grateful for or things you feel proud of. Especially in my first year of recovery, reading through my notebook was a way to motivate me on difficult days. By reading the notebook I could see and feel how much recovery has already brought me. To reflect on the things, you are grateful for makes a big difference in my daily life.

By sharing this with your loved ones, it is also a nice way to get to know each other better.

Melody Beattie wrote this poem about gratitude:

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life

It turns what we have into enough and more.

It turns denial into acceptance,

Chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast,

A house into a home, a stranger into a friend.

Gratitude makes sense of our past,

Brings peace for today,

And creates a vision for tomorrow.

If you have any questions and/or need help, we are here for you. Please contact Yes We Can Youth Clinics and call: +31 (0)85 02 01 222.