We use the term happiness to describe a wide range of positive emotions that include contentment and joy. To be happy is not just being emotionally cheerful or constantly smiling. It has depth and purpose to it. To be happy or content means to have a sense that life is good and meaningful.
Achieving Greater Happiness
Research reveals that there are several key strategies to increase happiness and contentment. One principle is that happiness is maintained by growing and learning. You can increase happiness by expanding your life. Before coming into treatment, many people have experienced a shrinking of their world. They are traveling less, reading less, trying fewer new things, not seeing as many friends, and not engaging in activities that would typically enhance life. They find themselves in a dull, boring, and routine life with little variety and few intellectual challenges. In almost every way, life is shrinking.
Growing and Learning
In recovery, it is important to grow, learn again and expand your life. Find old hobbies you can revive and new events you can attend. Add new interests you can develop. Discover challenging activities to explore. Take a class, try a new hobby and learn a new skill. As you learn and grow, your overall happiness and contentment will increase and your long-term recovery program will get stronger.
Recovery is a Journey. Enjoy the ride!