Last Updated: March 11, 2022|Author:Hannah Sumpter
Long-term recovery from alcohol addiction may include attendance at 12-step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).1 As you familiarize yourself with the AA program and AA literature, you may be introduced to the AA Daily Reflections as a way to connect with resources and the experiences of others privately on a regular basis.
In this article:
- What Are the AA Daily Reflections?
- Where Can You Find the AA Daily Reflections?
- How Are the AA Daily Reflections Used?
- Are the AA Daily Reflections Effective Recovery Tools?
- Are the AA Daily Reflections Useful in Addiction Treatment?
What Are the AA Daily Reflections?
In Alcoholics Anonymous, you may read many pieces of AA literature. The best known is the book Alcoholics Anonymous: How Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered From Alcoholism, commonly referred to as “the Big Book.” Written in the 1930s, the Big Book is the primary text of AA and contains the original version of the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions.2
Since the 1930s, many of the tools and inspiration found in the Big Book have been translated into other pieces of literature. Some of these resources are more approachable alternatives to reading the Big Book in its entirety, while others are intended to be complementary texts that can be read alone or alongside the Big Book. The book Daily Reflections: A Book of Reflections by A.A. Members for A.A. Members or Daily Reflections is a complementary text that focuses on specific principles from the Big Book.2
The Alcoholics Anonymous daily reflections in Daily Reflections are not focused on the 12 Steps, though you can work the 12 Steps and use the daily reflections at the same time.3 You also have the option to attend AA meetings that focus on the approach you currently find most helpful in your recovery. Step meetings may cover each of the steps in chronological order or may allow attendees to talk about their current step work. Other AA meetings may focus on a discussion topic, a chapter of the Big Book, or another aspect of the program, or a speaker may share their experience of how the program aided in their recovery.3
The Daily Reflections expands on recovery concepts such as: 4
- Communal strength
- Applying AA concepts to daily life
Daily Reflections is structured to provide a short passage for each calendar day that you can add to your daily routine. 4 If you already take time for journaling, prayer, meditation, or step work on a daily basis, the AA daily reflections can complement those daily habits. You may be introduced to this tool during inpatient rehab where you have a consistent, recovery-focused daily schedule.
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The daily passage pulls a topic from the Big Book and condenses it into one simple and understandable reading. In addition to the daily passage, Daily Reflections has quotes from the Big Book and a reflection about that quote which is written by a member of the AA community.4 Daily Reflections has a more casual, relatable tone than the Big Book, which can make it more approachable for regular use.
Where Can You Find the AA Daily Reflections?
There are several ways to purchase the Daily Reflections book. You can purchase it from the official Alcoholics Anonymous website’s online bookstore or most major online or brick-and-mortar bookstores.
Because AA meetings are peer-led, not every meeting facilitator brings AA literature that is available for purchase to every meeting. However, you may have the option to buy Daily Reflections or other AA literature at a meeting. The facilitator is more likely to have copies if the meeting is covering the text or one of the reflections. In this case, the facilitator may have a copy you can borrow for the duration of the meeting. Ask the facilitator about resources you are interested in purchasing.
You can also access and read the current daily reflection on the Alcoholics Anonymous website for free. The website allows you to find the Alcoholics Anonymous daily reflections for any calendar day by selecting the date in a calendar.
How Are the AA Daily Reflections Used?
Daily Reflections can help both those beginning recovery and those who have been in recovery for a long time. Daily Reflections can be useful whether you are struggling or not. The reflections are intended to speak to the parts of recovery that are universal, allowing them to apply to virtually everyone in recovery from alcohol addiction.4
Daily Reflections is a helpful tool for recovery, as its design allows you to engage in a healthy daily habit that fosters a positive growth mindset. Additionally, since Daily Reflections takes concepts from the Big Book and breaks them down into smaller parts, it may help you internalize and retain more of the information you are learning from other AA literature and in meetings. This can promote long-term sobriety recovery.4
By reading Daily Reflections, you are continually immersing yourself in recovery, where your thoughts and actions throughout the day can remain focused on sobriety and overcoming the triggers and cravings that you may face.4
Are the AA Daily Reflections Effective Recovery Tools?
The use of texts like Daily Reflections in alcohol addiction recovery is supported by several findings in psychology research.
Redirecting Mental Energy
Reading daily recovery-focused passages can contribute to your recovery journey. Research indicates a correlation between personal growth and wellbeing with spending more mental time and energy centered on the affirming and positive elements in your life and circumstances.5
Spiritual and Inspirational Practices
For many individuals, Alcoholics Anonymous has a spiritual aspect due to the encouragement to call on a higher power. This is not necessarily a religious practice, but is spiritually meaningful for many members of the community. Daily Reflections can become part of personal practices, such as periods set aside for self-reflection, prayer, and meditation. Studies show that people who actively engage in spiritual practices show improved psychosocial experiences and a decreased risk of alcohol misuse.6
The daily reflections offer positive insight and inspirational passages that can help those in recovery, including those with other mental health diagnoses, as they align with the benefits of positive psychology.7
Positive psychology is a newer and complementary branch of psychology that works to heal a person by promoting and focusing on internal happiness.7
The research behind positive psychology shows that negative words alert your brain to danger, which then triggers feelings of pain or discomfort in an attempt to motivate a solution to the negativity.7
Positive words help shift your brain toward positive motivation. The more positive words you view, such as the daily reflections, the more positive thoughts and feelings you facilitate. With time, this changes the way you see yourself and others, as you condition your mind to seek out and observe the positive more than the negative.8
The positive psychology behind the daily reflections can prove helpful to multiple mental health conditions, with the most success shown for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance use disorders.9
Are the AA Daily Reflections Useful in Addiction Treatment?
Alcoholics Anonymous is a peer-led organization that does not offer formal addiction treatment. However, AA literature and meetings are often complementary to conventional addiction treatment.
Daily Reflections may be a useful supplemental resource in the following situations. Treating addiction may oftentimes require additional care and treatment of other underlying mental health conditions, making the daily reflections helpful for those in recovery, as positive psychology can improve addiction and other mental health conditions.
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Co-Occurring Alcohol Addiction and Depression
Many people with a substance use disorder, including alcohol use disorder, also have depressive symptoms or a dual diagnosis of major depression. Depression can be a contributing factor to the onset and continuation of substance misuse.10
Working through the negative thoughts associated with depression can help those seeking sobriety, as overcoming symptoms of depression can also help with efforts to overcome addiction.
Implementing daily habits that encourage patterns of positive thinking can reduce the intensity of depressive symptoms and improve your ability to focus on recovery goals.
Co-Occurring Alcohol Addiction and PTSD
Addiction often correlates with traumatic experiences. Past trauma can contribute to the development of substance use disorders, including alcohol use disorder. Additionally, the clinical characteristics of alcohol use disorder can potentially lead to exposure to new traumatic experiences.
Any individual who has experienced trauma can develop post-traumatic stress symptoms, whether or not they receive a formal dual diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This post-traumatic stress can hinder your road to recovery, as high levels of stress are associated with increased alcohol use. However, studies show that post-traumatic stress symptoms can be limited and sometimes overcome by reframing a person’s experience of their addiction and traumatic events, leading to an experience called post-traumatic growth.11
Post-traumatic growth is not something that happens spontaneously in recovery, but rather is something desired and worked for by the person seeking it.8 Post-traumatic growth begins with intentionally working to reframe your experience of addiction and remain focused on the reality while beginning to see hope in recovery and the positive aspects of your current circumstances.12
Daily Reflections offers an opportunity for you to begin reframing your experience of addiction while immersing yourself in the necessary positive framework for sobriety and achievement of post-traumatic growth. With Daily Reflections, you are gently reminded of the seriousness of alcoholism while praised for your strength in working toward sobriety and overcoming the adversity faced in recovery.4 This combination of addiction reality and sobriety goals allows for a starting point to do the necessary reframing of your thoughts and actions and eventually achieve post-traumatic growth and recovery.
Symptom Management and Emotional Regulation
Many individuals experience mental health symptoms and strong, complex emotions while in recovery. Daily Reflections and its positive messages offer one tool for managing:
- Shame and guilt
As is common in psychology, working through your underlying mental health conditions requires a lot of mental work. People often struggle with negative emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.5 Thoughts influence emotions, and emotions influence behavior. By working through negative thoughts and emotions, therefore, you can overcome potentially negative behaviors.5
In addiction treatment, your treatment team may recommend cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which focuses on identifying thought patterns that lead to specific behaviors and learning how to make changes to both thoughts and actions, or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which focuses on how being mindful of thoughts allows for better emotional and behavioral regulation. Daily Reflections may be one tool you use to examine your own thoughts and intentionally alter them.
Daily Reflections may allow you to, even if just temporarily, put aside negative thoughts and focus on the positive. That moment of positive thinking will, in turn, influence positive emotions and ideally influence positive behavior throughout that day to aid in a recovery-focused lifestyle.5
To learn more about addiction treatment options, call 800-839-1686Who Answers? to speak to an addiction recovery specialist.
- Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (1999). Treatment of Adolescents with Substance Use Disorders. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) No. 32. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US).
- Library of Congress. (2021). Books that Shaped America 1900-1950.
- Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. (2014). The A.A. Group, Where it all Begins.
- Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. (2014). Daily Reflections: A Book of Reflections by A.A. Members for A.A. Members.
- Fredrickson, B. L. (2000). Cultivating positive emotions to optimize health and well-being. Prevention & Treatment, 3(1),
- Heredia, L. P., & Sanchez, A. I. (2016). Vulnerability to alcohol consumption, spiritual transcendence, and psychosocial well-being: test of a theory. Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem, 24, e2702.
- Cherry, K. (2021). What Is Positive Psychology?
- Newberg, A. & Waldman, M. R. (2012). Words Can Change Your Brain: 12 Conversational Strategies to Build Trust, Resolve Conflict, and Increase Intimacy. Penguin Group (USA), Inc.
- Schrank, B., Brownell, T., Tylee, A., & Slade, M. (2014). Positive psychology: An approach to supporting recovery in mental illness. East Asian Archives of Psychiatry, 24(3), 95-103.
- Kranzler, H. R., & Liebowitz, N. R. (1988). Anxiety and depression in substance abuse: Clinical implications. Medical Clinics of North America, 72(4), 867-885.
- Haroosh, E., & Freedman, S. (2017) Posttraumatic growth and recovery from addiction. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 8(1).
- Tedeschi, R. G. (2014). Handbook of Posttraumatic Growth: Research and Practice. United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis.
Just for today I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my luck' as it comes, and fit myself to it.What is the daily reflection of AA just for today? ›
Just for today I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my luck' as it comes, and fit myself to it.What is the daily affirmation in Alcoholics Anonymous? ›
Alcoholics Anonymous uses daily affirmation therapy as one of its techniques for rebuilding new brain connections and healthy habits. Affirmations are positive statements that embody everything the individual wants to become.Is daily reflections AA approved? ›
B-12 Daily Reflections
A collection of readings that moves through the calendar year one day at a time: A.A. members reflect on favorite quotations from the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous. The volume focuses on all Three Legacies of Recovery, Unity and Service. General Service Conference-approved.
I must treat everyone with respect, and that goes for the smallest, innocent child to the most errant rogue that I might encounter.What is the 12 step just for today? ›
Just for today I will try to adjust myself to what is and not force everything to adjust to my own desires. I will accept my family, my friends, my business, my circumstances as they come. Just for today I will take care of my physical health; I will exercise my mind; I will read something spiritual.What's my daily affirmation today? ›
Today is going to be a really, really good day. I am excited to wake up today and experience this beautiful life that I am creating with my thoughts and visions. Today I align myself with freedom, growth, and joy. I am grateful that my life is so happy and successful.What is the on awakening prayer in Alcoholics Anonymous? ›
On awakening pray: God, I ask you to direct my thinking, I especially ask that my thinking be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.What is the daily prayer for alcoholics? ›
Father, Your Word tells us that we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present age. God, I therefore come to You on behalf of those who are suffering due to alcohol abuse. We ask that they break free from their addiction and come to know and experience Your Love, in Jesus' Name. Amen.What is the meaning of daily reflection? ›
Explained very simply, performing self-reflection means that you take from a couple of minutes to an hour or more to reflect on your goals, beliefs, behavioral patterns, negative and positive emotions, emotional knots and everything else that's happening in your life.
The Tenth Step asks us to promptly admit “when we were wrong”. Part of this is recognizing that a character defect might be at play. Fear and self-reliance are common culprits. One aspect of this is when we actually do wrong towards someone else.How much is daily reflections? ›
$13.68. Book in Good Condition.What are the four absolutes of Alcoholics Anonymous? ›
The "Four Absolutes" of Alcoholics Anonymous were considered "yardsticks" in the earliest days of the recovery program —standards for determining appropriate behavior as measured through God's eyes. The Four Absolutes are Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness, and Love.What is Tradition 4 in Alcoholics Anonymous? ›
What Is Tradition Four? As stated in the 12&12, Tradition Four is: “Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.”What is Tradition 5 of Alcoholics Anonymous? ›
“Each group has but one primary purpose - to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.” OUR co-founder Bill W. said that it is better to do one thing well than many things badly. The thing that AA does is one alcoholic helps another.What are the 3 rules of addiction? ›
Black addresses three major rules that exist within families when someone has a chemical dependency; don't talk, don't trust, and don't feel.Is alcoholism a disease or an illness? ›
Most medical professionals agree. The American Medical Association (AMA) classified alcoholism as a disease in 1956 and included addiction as a disease in 1987.Why is the 12th step so important? ›
12 Step meetings allow you to meet others in similar situations who will reassure you that you are not alone as well as provide you with advice on how to get through obstacles that may challenge your recovery.What is 1 example of reflection? ›
Common examples include the reflection of light, sound and water waves. The law of reflection says that for specular reflection (for example at a mirror) the angle at which the wave is incident on the surface equals the angle at which it is reflected.What are the 4 rules for reflection? ›
|Reflection||Reflection Rule||In Words|
|Over the x-axis||(x,y)-->(x,-y)||Negate the y coordinates|
|Over the y-axis||(x,y)-->(-x,y)||Negate the x coordinates|
|Over y=x||(x,y)-->(y,x)||Swap the x and y coordinates|
|Origin||(x,y)-->(-x,-y)||Negate both the x and y coordinates|
- I am successful.
- I am confident.
- I am powerful.
- I am strong.
- I am getting better and better every day.
- All I need is within me right now.
- I wake up motivated.
- I am an unstoppable force of nature.
- I expect to win. I deserve to win.
- I will not care what other people think.
- I can't do everything today, but I can take one small step.
Positive mantras are words, phrases, or affirmations we say to aid in meditation. “Mantras are an example of sound healing,” says Erika Posinelli, certified Kundalini Meditation/Yoga Teacher and Manifestation Coach. “The words we say hold a vibrational frequency.What is the prayer of addiction? ›
Prayer For Addiction Recovery
Dear Lord, please turn my weakness into strength. Transform my suffering into compassion and turn my sorrow into lasting joy. Transform pain into comfort I can provide to others. Allow me to trust in your goodness and find hope in faithfulness, even in the midst of this struggle.
The Serenity Prayer spread both through Niebuhr's sermons and church groups in the 1930s and 1940s, and was later adopted and popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous and other Twelve Step programs.What is Step 3 of Alcoholics Anonymous prayer? ›
God, I offer myself to Thee – To build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of Life.”What is the daily morning prayer for AA? ›
Recovery Prayers In The Morning
Free me from doubt and indecision. Guide me through this day and show me my next step. God give me what I need to take care of any problems. I ask all these things that I may be of maximum service to you and my fellow man in the name of the Steps I pray.
Dear Lord, I pray that you would give me strength to be strong for You in the world today. Lord, you know the struggles that I will face today. Be with me as I go through them. Carry me if I am too weak to move.What is the morning prayer for sobriety? ›
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.What is the daily example of regular reflection? ›
Seeing our image in a plane mirror. Our shoes appear shiny after polishing. Formation of reflections in water. The different colours of flowers, birds etc are a result of reflection of light (different colours) .
- It helps you learn from your mistakes. If we don't reflect on our mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them. ...
- It gives you great ideas. ...
- It helps you help others. ...
- It makes you happier. ...
- It gives you perspective.
We give other people control over our lives when we say that they "make us" angry or afraid. The truth is that we usually say or do something that helps to create the conflicts in our lives. Step Ten suggests that we take responsibility for this fact, clean up our role in these matters, and practice forgiveness.What are the AA 10th step promises? ›
Step Ten Promise
“And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame.
Step 11 of Alcoholics Anonymous encourages people to reach out to a source of inspiration, whether it be a God or some other spiritual or inspirational force, and work to achieve the strength to find recovery. One of the underlying principles of the Alcoholics Anonymous program is that nothing happens by mistake.Who wrote the daily reflections? ›
Who Wrote the Daily Reflections? The great thing about the Daily Reflections book is that it was written by AA members. This is what makes this text so useful for those who are going through the journey to sobriety.What is the spiritual axiom of daily reflections? ›
The spiritual axiom referred to in the Tenth Step—"every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us"—also tells me that there are no exceptions to it. No matter how unreasonable others may seem, I am responsible for not reacting negatively.What is the third step? ›
The 3rd step of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) states: “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”What is the big book quote of the day? ›
“And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.” “We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “Thy will be done.” We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions.” “It is always my choice.”What is an example of just for today? ›
Traditional NA just for today daily meditations start with the words, “Just for today.” Some examples are: Just for today I will have a program and follow it to the best of my ability. Just for today I will listen and think before I respond.What is the meaning of just for today? ›
The Just For Today ritual is a form of daily meditation, often administered at NA meetings (and other self-help groups, including Alcoholics Anonymous), in which a list of daily goals and affirmations are recited.
- And action is the only remedy to indifference, the most insidious danger of all. ...
- In the beginning there was faith - which is childish; trust - which is vain; and illusion - which is dangerous. ...
- Human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere. ...
- So now, muster your strength, and don't lose heart.
|That's one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind.||Neil Armstrong||English|
|The love of money is the root of all evil.||the Bible||Greek|
|The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.||Franklin D. Roosevelt||English|
|The truth will set you free.||the Bible||Greek|
Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never.What is five sentence with just? ›
[M] [T] I have just washed all the dishes. [M] [T] She wants him to be just a friend. [M] [T] He came in just as I was going out. [M] [T] I can't think of his name just now.What does JFT mean in recovery? ›
Copyright © 1983 by. Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All rights reserved. Tell yourself: Just for today my thoughts will be on my recovery, living and enjoying life without the use of drugs.Who wrote AA Just For Today? ›
Who wrote the Just For Today card? Although the Just For Today card was first printed by AA in 1978, it was not written by AA. In fact, the card's words are slightly adapted from a regular Boston Globe column called “Dr. Crane Says” that was written by journalist Frank Crane.What does just be in love mean? ›
Being in love means desiring the happiness of your partner, admiring them for the individual they are, and feeling motivated to be a better person. When you are in love, your relationship goes beyond a simple physical attraction.What does we just move on mean? ›
to start a new activity or job, especially after you have spent a long time doing a previous activity or job: I am excited about the company's future but it is time for me to move on.What is the Bible meaning of just? ›
Just is defined as 'behaving according to what is morally right and fair' but as Christians we must search the Scriptures and not a dictionary to define our requirement to act justly. In Micah 6:8 the Hebrew word for just is mishpat.What are the 3 powerful prayers? ›
The prayer of protection. The prayer of transformation. The prayer of restoration.
“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.”What is a powerful prayer to say? ›
Father God, we bow before you, and recognize our great need of a Savior. Today we want to lift our hearts and give thanks for Your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. We lift our hearts in praise to our Savior, and as your loved children and your redeemed servants, we lay our lives before you in worship.