Achieving happiness can be difficult, especially if you are dealing with a difficult situation. Going through recovery can create tumultuous situations as you have to completely adjust your lifestyle to support sobriety. The loss of relationships, changes in everyday activities, and even the act of stopping substance use altogether can create a difficult set of circumstances that can be trying at times.
Finding a new way to achieve happiness in recovery when faced with all of this loss can be difficult, but it is important to actively work towards it. Finding ways to fill the void substance abuse leaves can improve recovery outcomes and strengthen your overall sense of wellbeing. It is vital to make achieving your own sense of happiness a priority in recovery.
There are countless ways you can work on strengthening your recovery through improved happiness. While there is no right answer or formula that you can follow to achieve happiness, there are some steps you can take to improve your overall mood and acquire a sense of wholeness.
- Invest in yourself: Recovery is about focusing on your own journey. Rather than worrying about what other people expect from you or what others are doing, focus on your own needs. Investing time in yourself to develop a strong foundation that supports sobriety long-term is critical to your success.
You can invest in yourself in a number of ways. For example, finding new activities or interests to explore gives you the opportunity to learn something new about yourself. You may find new outlets for stress, things that make you happy, and new, healthy relationships through new hobbies. Make time for your physical and mental health as well. Exercising regularly, attending therapy sessions, and spending time meditating or reflecting can help you cope with stress in a productive way and improve feelings of self-worth and overall wellbeing.
- Build meaningful relationships: Relationships often suffer due to addiction. One of the biggest focuses in recovery is working on mending relationships damaged by substance abuse and developing healthy relationships moving forward. Upon entering treatment, relationships with people who abused substances with you have to be ended in order to support sobriety. You may find many of your relationships disappear because of this. While this can be a difficult transition for those in treatment, it is imperative to the recovery process.
Developing healthy relationships can enable successful sobriety in a number of ways. First and foremost, surrounding yourself with people who encourage your sobriety can help you stay on track. These relationships can be an excellent source of support when dealing with particularly trying times. They may help you avoid situations that could trigger relapse and also help you network with other sober individuals who share similar interests.
- Give back: Volunteer work can improve your overall sense of wellbeing and help you feel more connected to those around you as well as your community. Giving back to others not only makes you feel good, but it also helps you make a difference. There are countless volunteer opportunities available and you can become involved in any number of activities.
Volunteer work can also help fill the time that was once spent on acquiring and using substances. Giving your time to a worthwhile cause can not only make you feel good, but also make a positive impact on the lives of others. Additionally, it gives you the ability to connect with others who share similar passions and interests, leading to the potential development of meaningful relationships.
- Learn to let go: While you are making all of these changes to improve your future, it can be hard to let go of the past. Reflecting on past actions, behaviors, and incidents that have occurred can cause feelings of guilt, shame, anxiety, and other negative emotions. While this may be your natural response to the situation, you cannot hold onto these feelings forever. We cannot change the past and holding onto these negative feelings will not change what has happened. Instead, we must find a way to make peace with it and let it go.
Sometimes, letting go of the past is easier said than done. With the help of mental health professionals, therapy and other guided activities can help you find a way to let go of difficult situations. Whether it means coming to terms with what has happened or finding a way to forgive yourself, it is important for your recovery moving forward to not carry this additional weight with you. You cannot control what has happened, but you can make choices that impact how things play out in the future. Focus on what you can control and actively work towards making decisions that enable your happiness and success.
- Be realistic: The journey in recovery is not easy. It is long and it is often filled with numerous ups and downs. You may find that many people will only represent the good and positive experiences they have. It is rare to see someone be completely transparent regarding the difficulties and challenges they face. This can create a false representation of others’ lives, portraying a sense of ease and accomplishment that is impossible to meet.
Be realistic and aware of how most people choose to represent themselves and their journeys. Everyone has struggles, makes mistakes, and loses their way from time-to-time. Comparing your worst days to someone’s best days is unrealistic and will set you up for feelings of failure, sadness, and negativity. Your journey is your own. You will have great days, and there will be days that are difficult to manage. Keep a realistic perspective and do not allow one bad experience to represent the entirety of you as a person or your journey.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, we are here to help. Give us a call at 888.855.6877 or send us a message below and one of our admissions counselors will do their best to get you the help you need.