The Keys to Finding Happiness in RecoveryAlyssa
Everyone wants to be happy, but this is sometimes easier said than done. Happiness isn’t something you can just buy in a store, and some people are naturally happier than others. For those in addiction recovery, finding happiness in sobriety is also imperative for their long-term success.
How to Find Happiness in Addiction Recovery
Addiction recovery is a time of many changes that can be filled with a mix of emotions. While happiness is likely one of these emotions, it may be more fleeting for some than others. Many people will also feel lost, overwhelmed, and scared. For those struggling with finding happiness in recovery, these tips may be able to help.
Happiness in recovery doesn’t always come easy and one of the biggest things holding people back is guilt and resentment. When you are unable to forgive others or yourself, these feelings can fester inside of you and leave you feeling unhappy. It is easy to get caught up in the past and your former wrongdoings, but doing so can ruin your happiness. You are a new person now, and the only way you will be able to move on is to practice forgiveness.
Years of substance abuse can take a toll on your body and do a number to your physical health. In rehab, you likely learned the importance of getting into a healthy routine to keep you on track, but this good habit could also make you happier. Exercise and eating right have both been proven to boost people’s moods,1 and no one feels their best if they are not getting enough sleep.
Find a New Hobby
For many addicts, drugs and alcohol take over their lives and after their standard or luxury PHP treatment, they struggle to fill this void on their own. Use this time to try several new activities and explore your passions. When you find something you like, you will find that it does far more than just fill up your free time.
Surround Yourself with Good People
One of the best ways of building happiness in recovery is surrounding yourself with the right people. Those with better social connections with others have been proven to be happier and live longer.2 Now that you are in recovery, you are likely not spending time with all of the same people you were with when you were using, but that doesn’t mean you have to be alone. Do your best to make new friends with similar hobbies, reconnect with people from your addiction programs, and try to mend any damaged relationships that you cherish.
Set Achievable Goals
If you are unhappy with your life, you need to do something about it. Finding happiness in recovery may take action. The first step was getting sober, but now you likely need to pick up the broken pieces from your time as an addict and start planning for the future. One of the best ways to do this is to set attainable and realistic goals. Make sure they are reasonable like finding your own place, getting a new job, or trying something new. These goals give you something to work towards; you should start feeling a little bit happier with each step in the right direction.
Take a Step Back
Working toward new goals, trying to improve yourself, staying healthy, attending recovery meetings, and trying new things can keep you busy. It can be easy to get overwhelmed, but too much stress is not only bad for your physical and mental health, but could also lead to relapse. Make sure you take time to relax, destress, and put yourself first. Practices like meditation, mindfulness, or other holistic therapies for addiction can help you take a step back and feel better overall.
It is easy to get caught up in always looking toward the future, but the happiest people are able to appreciate the moment. Even research consistently suggests that gratitude is strongly correlated with increased levels of happiness.3 Make an effort to be more appreciative of the little things in life and you will find that you start to feel much happier than before.
Especially if you find yourself still unhappy after months or depressed even when everything in your life is okay, there could be an underlying mental health problem holding you back. Mental health programs could help you confront your problems and learn how to better manage your symptoms for a more enjoyable life.
Have Patience & Enjoy the Ride
If you are unhappy with your current life and are actively taking steps to improve it, remember that change doesn’t happen overnight. Instead of being unhappy about not being exactly where you want to be right now, take time to look at your progress. Getting sober is a big step in the right direction and one that should be celebrated. Also, be sure to enjoy yourself along the way. If you only ever think of happiness as a destination, you may never get there.
There is no magic formula for finding happiness in recovery, but if you follow the tips from above, you will likely find that you improve your overall life and feel much happier.
At Seaside Palm Beach, we keep our patients’ comfort and happiness in mind. Our luxury Palm Beach drug rehabilitation center offers our patients special amenities and a higher standard of living than other rehabs so that our patients can get sober without sacrificing the lifestyle that they are used to. If you or someone you care about is ready to get sober, contact us now at 561-677-9374.
- Today – How eating right can make you happy
- Our World in Data – Are we happier when we spend more time with others?
- Harvard Health Publishing – Giving thanks can make you happier