Is there one secret to happiness? This is the question all of us have tried to answer at some point in our lives. We seem to think that the next big thing will bring us lasting joy, but it usually does not. Happiness that is brought on by materialistic things creates fleeting feelings. The further we look, the more we may realize that happiness is not what we should be striving for. Continue reading for more information.
Is Happiness the Same as Joy?
The dictionary defines happiness as “an experience.” But, is a single experience really what we want to base our lives around? Happiness is about being content. But, do we really want to settle for contentment? After all, being content means we’re comfortable. However, our comfort zones may not be the best place to live.
Joy, on the other hand, is not a single experience that is fleeting. Joy is a long-lasting emotion that we must cultivate every single day. We must work toward bringing joy into our lives. How can we do that? That’s the tricky part. We’ll discuss that below. It can be difficult to practice joy when you aren’t used to it. It’s going to take time, but it’s a necessary part of your recovery. Are you ready to get started living a life of joy?
The Link Between Joy and Vulnerability
Without vulnerability, there is no love, belonging, courage, empathy, creativity, and—yes, you guessed it—joy. This theory of joy is from Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly. Brown, a research professor, has studied vulnerability and joy for two decades. She has coined the term, “courage over comfort.” This is a mindset you have to adopt in your recovery because there is no one secret to happiness. Happiness is fleeting, but joy is long-lasting. Joy is a way of life. To enter into this way of life, you must be willing to work hard at releasing your addiction and adopting a positive mindset. Reach out and grab ahold of this secret: joy is attainable once you take the first step of deciding to enter recovery.
Pursuing meaning in your life means letting go of the goal of trying to uncover happiness. It’s realizing that your newest big purchase may bring you fleeting happiness, but it will not bring you the joy you strive for. Recovery brings you the joy you strive for. Remember that you cannot have joy without vulnerability. If you try to white-knuckle joy and control it to make it do what you want, you aren’t going to get anywhere. This is trying to avoid being vulnerable. This is setting yourself up for hardships once you realize that your recovery will not be perfect. To be filled with joy, you must accept vulnerability. This can be done when you pursue meaning in your life.
When you pursue meaning, you are looking for activities that will fill you with the things that you value. This means knowing what you believe and being able to let those values guide you in your recovery. Truly working at this is truly working at letting go and being vulnerable. Having a deep sense of purpose with everything you do is how you pursue meaning in your life. It’s doing something with intent, no matter how small the action may be. This practice of mindfulness is an important one to adopt in recovery. It’s necessary to make sure you are not going through life on autopilot. This only derails your success.
Being rooted in the present moment is key in your recovery. Once you have decided to stop using alcohol and drugs, you must work at that goal every day. Just like you have the intention of not using substances, you must have the intention of being mindful and present in each moment. Mindfulness is the practice of accepting where you are right now. It’s about acknowledging the thoughts, emotions, and feelings within you, then accepting those thoughts, emotions, and feelings. It’s about being non-judgmental and not trying to change these thoughts, emotions, and feelings. When you are present in the moment, you are able to encounter your thoughts, emotions, and feelings, all while practicing the mindfulness you deserve. One way you can practice this mindset through meditation. There are many free guided meditations you can find on the internet. These guided meditations help you pay more attention to your thoughts, emotions, and feelings. You can then find patterns in these thoughts, emotions, and feelings, making sure you are willingly riding this rollercoaster called life, and not fighting each mountain and valley. Instead, you work on accepting wherever the rollercoaster takes you.
How Can I Approach Joy Each Morning?
Allowing yourself to accept joy each morning is important. You might not know where to start, but Mallika Chopra, daughter of The Chopra Center founder, Deepak Chopra, says that you should ask yourself the following questions to help you get started with your day and set you on the path to joy:
“What will make me feel healthy today?
What will make me feel connected today?
What will give me a sense of purpose today?”
By asking yourself these questions, you can check in with yourself in the morning, making sure that your intentions are pure and will help you reach your recovery goals.
Lighthouse Recovery Texas is here to help you set those recovery goals and pursue joy. We know that there is no one secret to happiness, but we know a thing or two about addiction recovery. We can’t wait to speak with you and help get you on the right track today!