You've heard it at meetings, "Have an attitude of gratitude."

It's one of those sayings that gets tossed around and is often greeted with a moan or rolled eyes because it sounds so sappy. Often the mind-set behind the resistance goes something like this:

"Ok, sure, I'm grateful that I'm clean and sober but I've got real problems with the rest of my life ?don't lay this gratitude stuff on me."

It's so easy to fall into a grumph! We're busy, often over-busy; our relationships are not up to par; we've got car problems or the rent has just gone up. Or maybe we're a bit bored ?or we've watched too much world news with all its depressing information. In many circles ?even in some 12 Step groups - it's considered fashionable to be slightly down in the dumps and pessimistic.

But stop - think, for a moment, how much better things seem to go when you're happy and feeling positive. Some call this the Law of Attraction. The idea is that whatever you focus on is what you'll get more of. It seems to be true at least most of the time.

One of the quickest ways to change your focus is to get grateful.

Be grateful for your sobriety, and for any big or little thing you can think of. In fact, try a gratitude list for a month (or even a few days) and see what happens. It's easy enough to do, just write down three things you're grateful for and you're done.

Today my list looked like this:

1. Sobriety, almost 25 years
2. Marcy and JR helping me with pages
3. Ellie's support

Yesterday it was:

1. That it's Sunday and I don't have to go anywhere even though I may
2. Looking at the bay from my desk
3. That it's warm tho' cloudy this a.m.

Notice that most of what I recorded is little stuff ?the kind of stuff our lives are made from. Whatever you list is fine, no matter what its size or importance. Notice what happens to your attitude when you make this list.

When I write a gratitude list my attitude changes ?I walk more comfortably in the world; the little problems don't bother me and I'm more creative at solving them. I feel better about myself and what's going on in my life.

Anytime I can move into this kind of comfort and ease, I'm experiencing Powerful Recovery. Working with a gratitude list each day helps keep me there.

Author's Bio: 

Anne Wayman is the author of Powerfully Recovered!, a book that
challenges the myths in the 12 Step Movement.