With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s hard not to think about gratitude. Many have already begun creating lists of what they’re thankful for. Have you ever stopped to wonder if being thankful has any benefits? According to the Mayo Health Clinic, “Studies have shown that feeling thankful can improve sleep, mood
and immunity. Gratitude can decrease depression, anxiety, difficulties with chronic pain and risk of disease.”
Now, the real question is how does this apply to those who are struggling with a pornography addiction? The benefits listed above can be very helpful in overcoming the anxiety and depression associated with pornography addiction. There have also been studies done that show that gratitude actually helps those with addiction to recover. While studying those who were being treated for alcohol use disorders, Amy R. Krentzman found that a 14-day gratitude exercise “was associated with a decrease in negative affect (e.g., feeling angry, irritated, upset) and an increase in unactivated positive affect (e.g., feeling calm, at ease, relaxed)” (2017).
Assuming the same is true of those addicted to pornography, these effects could be incredibily beneficial as recovery begins. Recovery can be hard, and knowing that gratitude helps reduce negative feelings is very helpful. If you are ever trying to quit porn, or if you’re helping someone in recovery, it might help to be grateful. Start a gratitude journal, or post something on social media that you’re thankful for.
Quitting an addiction like pornography is never easy, but little tools like gratitude can really help. If you need other resources or help, visit fightthenewdrug.org/resources or citizensfordecency.org/recovery.
Krentzman, A. R. (2017, April 25). Gratitude, abstinence, and alcohol use disorders: Report of a preliminary finding. JSAT, 78, 30-36. DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2017.04.013
Mayo Clinic Health System. (2022, December 6). Can expressing gratitude improve your mental, physical health? https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/can-expressing-gratitude-improve-health#:~:text=Expressing%20gratitude%20is%20associated%20with,everyone%20would%20be%20taking%20it.