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Monday, August 24, 2015

Pursuing Happiness During Addiction Treatment

happiness in recoveryEveryone knows what happiness is, right? Defined as the "state of being happy," happiness seems to us for much of our adolescent and adult lives. From self-help books to songs and films that teach us about this elusive inner quality, everyone has an opinion about how to achieve "true happiness." It's an emotion that's often associated with other emotions: joy, love, pride, faith, euphoria. Perhaps that is why it is best captured in images and music.

There is also another kind of happiness that only a few individuals seem to find. It is a constant sense of well-being that appears to smooth out the rough edges of life; a deep-rooted optimism that allows people to feel content even in the midst of setbacks and tragedy. For philosophers of the past and psychologists of today, the quest to understand and achieve this happiness has led to some interesting research and intuitive insight.

Happiness from a Disciplined Mind 

One universal truth about learning to be happy is to cultivate positive thoughts. In the past, this was combined with religion, but today even secular thinkers recognize the power of this discipline. In Authentic Happiness, Martin E. P. Seligman provides a variety of tests and tools for understanding positive emotion and creating a stronger and more virtuous reality for ourselves.

For many individuals, following a moral code is a key factor for attaining happiness. Over 60 years ago, Norman Vincent Peale wrote The Power of Positive Thinking, which detailed his belief that anyone could experience a happier life by keeping a positive outlook and adhering to the Christian faith. In The Art of Happiness, the Dalai Lama teaches that happiness results from learning to discipline our thoughts, share our humanity, and explore our spirituality.

Practice Gratitude 

Why are some people naturally happier than others? Many studies indicate that those who practice daily gratitude are more content than those who are inwardly focused. Thankfulness has been found to be linked to a mental reward system that provides signals of pleasure. Most of us can find something small to be grateful for each day, even if it is as simple as our ability to feel the sun's warmth on our skin. According to Emiliana Simon-Thomas, instructor for a class called The Science of Happiness, gratitude provides a trifecta of happiness benefits. "You're committing neural resources perceiving and feeling the goodness about something," said Simon-Thomas. "The second piece is that you're linking goodness to something outside yourself. And, third, gratitude involves focusing on the goodness in another person." 

Find Happiness in Sobriety 

Have you been using drugs and alcohol to achieve fleeting moments of happiness? Are you seeking a more lasting, healthy sense of well-being? If so, the holistic therapies at Complete Harmony can show you the way to a more meaningful and satisfying life. Begin the journey to mindful sobriety and a life of fulfillment by calling our caring, compassionate team at 866-930-4673 today!

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