Most people come into recovery broken and miserable and are usually just looking for a way to stop drinking and using drugs. When I first got sober, I didn’t get sober to be happy but I ended up finding happiness along the way. Each person has a different experience and some people find happiness naturally where others have to work at it a little more. When we are actively using, we use the drugs and alcohol to make us happy in the beginning or use them as a buffer for everything we do that makes us happy. It can be difficult in the beginning to do the things we used to view as “fun” without drugs or alcohol. There are many different ways to find happiness in recovery, though.
1. Set goals
Setting goals can be super beneficial to feeling like you have some direction in your life. Not only will it make you happier, it will benefit you in the long run. It can be easier giving up the lifestyle of the drugs and alcohol if you have more important things in mind – such as a better life.
2. Find out what you truly enjoy doing
Go out there and find out what you enjoy doing and what hobbies interest you. Try painting, hiking, yoga and anything you want. Remember, you are a different person than you were in addiction or even before addiction, so your interests may have changed. Go explore what makes you happy.
3. Take care of yourself
Take care of yourself physically and emotionally. It is important to treat yourself and take care of the outside as well as the inside.
4. Be present
Stay in the present moment. We have such a tendency to always want to live in the past or future, be here in the now. I find when I stay in the present moment I am much less stressed and my life seems to flow much more smoothly.
5. Think positive thoughts
If you try to keep positive thoughts in your mind, it can make a world of a difference. You can actually make a choice to be happy. You don’t have to wait for happiness to find you. Decide that you will be happy and you will. Thoughts are a powerful thing.
6. Help others
It says in the program to help others if you want to stay sober. Not only does helping others keep you sober, but it also makes you feel good. Helping others can make you happier than almost anything else on this list.
7. Have fun
Loosen up a bit and have some fun. Yes, we do need to get our lives back on track and recovery is a serious thing but that doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun. Smile, laugh, make jokes and have a good time.
8. Connect with others in recovery
Making friends that are also in recovery can be very rewarding for many different reasons. You have people to talk to and connect with who share some of the same feelings that you have and have gone through similar experiences to yours. Find sober supports and friends who are sober just like you.
9. Go to meetings
Going to meetings can also make you happy. Even if you don’t want to go to a meeting, just go! It might seem like the worst and most unappealing thing to you at that moment – but I GUARANTEE you will feel better afterwards!
10. Stay grateful
Gratitude is a huge part of being in recovery. Some people relapse due to not staying grateful. Make a gratitude list if you are feeling sad or down and it is sure to make you feel better. Remember what you have and look at how far you’ve come.
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, please call 1-844-422-6926.