Sunday, September 13, 2015

5 Simple Tips on How to be Happy in Recovery

Happiness Quote

Over my 7 years in Recovery I've had many ups and downs. Like everything in our lives, nothing is good, easy or happy all of the time. That would just be weird and not real at all. In Recovery we get better at coping with the struggles and stress in our daily lives because if we don't, a relapse will surely follow. Recovery gets easier with time because we get wiser and stronger with each mistake and struggle we overcome. 

Happiness in Recovery Quote
It's ok to feel bad. The struggles create a greater appreciation for the good times. After all, you can't know true happiness without first knowing sadness. Still, there's no need to wallow in all those negative emotions any longer than we have to. Take some time to feel bad and then get proactive. I know its not always easy to be happy when we feel miserable, but we can do things to help ourselves get there. Our happiness is important and our recovery may even depend on it.

We don't usually relapse when we're happy. Getting high was an attempt to get away from the painful emotions so it makes sense that striving for happiness can not only help us lead more fulfilling lives but help us stay in recovery. The painful emotions were almost always caused by negative thoughts so learning to deal with them is essential to our happiness in recovery. 

Here are 5 tips I want to share that helped me achieve happiness in recovery.

Being Positive or Faking it 

Positive Thinking QuoteI learned that to find happiness I needed to monitor my thoughts and actively try to change them for more positive ones. However, the hopelessness that comes with feeling miserable tends to be very counter productive to achieving happiness, especially since positive thinking requires hope. Changing thought patterns to more positive ones can be difficult especially when we're feeling bad, but I've found that even faking it at first can really help. You control your thoughts they don't control you.


Attitude Quote
I believe happiness begins with being grateful for the things we already have. I use to believe that I'd be happy when I got this or that, but I never was. There was always something else I needed to be happy, but deciding to start making lists of all the things I was really thankful for - like a place to live, food, people who cared, being able to get an education, a good teacher, my hobbies and so much more - helped remind me when things weren't going my way that I still had a lot of reasons to be happy.


Failing Quote
I believe another important key to happiness is accepting my life today the way it is and not waiting for some circumstances to change. Accepting my situation made enjoying the moment much easier. Life will rarely, if ever, be perfect or exactly the way we want it. It's ok if things don't work out as long as we keep trying. Accepting that things aren't perfect gave me this inner peace. I was never satisfied with my life until I finally started practicing gratitude and acceptance.

Being Busy

Purpose and Passion Quote
Accepting my current situation didn't mean I didn't work on the things I could change. Actively trying to make my life better made me feel good about myself even if things weren't changing as fast I wanted them to I was content being busy trying. I also made lists of all the things I liked to do so whenever I was feeling restless, bored or just miserable I could always find something to do to keep me busy. I spent time trying new things, learning, working towards my future and discovering my passion for writing and advocating for addicts.


Forgiveness Quote
Another essential part of my happiness was learning to forgive. I started by forgiving others and eventually worked my way to forgiving myself. It's way easier said than done, I know, but it really is worth it. Forgiveness is very liberating. The more you forgive the happier you will be and the easier it gets (for the small things anyways). When someone does something that's hurtful I try to imagine what they are going through or already went through in their life that caused them to act like that. It really helps to forgive them when I know their actions aren't caused by me, but rather something they're dealing with.

For more tips on how to be happy in recovery You can read the book The Happy Addict

If you liked this post please subscribe to my mailing list to get a notification whenever a new post comes out (usually once a week). Subscribe here

Yours Truly,

Being Happy in Recovery Quote

Let me know in the comments what you do to stay happy because it might help someone.